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Post Info TOPIC: Making food containers airtight


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Making food containers airtight


Few, if any, of the containers in which we purchase foodstuffs today are airtight once opened. For many foods which are consumed quickly this doesn't matter but for long lasting items such as stock powder, cooking sauces and the like it does. If exposed to air (oxygen) for a long period many of these items will grow mould, lose their taste or absorb water and solidify (stock powders). Some years back I started using clingfilm to seal the lids of such containers; all you need to do is tear off a few inches of clingfilm, fold it over one or two times, place it over the food container opening and replace the lid thus crushing the clingfilm between lid and container and making an almost airtight seal and vastly improving the shelf life of products - see pic below:

 Airtight.jpg



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I tend to keep condiments in the fridge, biscuits in snap-lock containers, pasta/rice/sugar/flour in square plastic fruit jars with screw lids.

Also use by/best before dates are good guide but common sense must be employed here, particularly on sugar, salt etc. ie 500 year old pink-rock salt with a 12 month use by date.

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Mike Harding wrote:

Few, if any, of the containers in which we purchase foodstuffs today are airtight once opened. For many foods which are consumed quickly this doesn't matter but for long lasting items such as stock powder, cooking sauces and the like it does. If exposed to air (oxygen) for a long period many of these items will grow mould, lose their taste or absorb water and solidify (stock powders). Some years back I started using clingfilm to seal the lids of such containers; all you need to do is tear off a few inches of clingfilm, fold it over one or two times, place it over the food container opening and replace the lid thus crushing the clingfilm between lid and container and making an almost airtight seal and vastly improving the shelf life of products - see pic below:

 


 Good idea. I do a lot of remote travelling and keeping food edible is always a challenge. Have you thought about a vacuum sealer? Mine runs happily off a little inverter, but many of them are 12/240v compatible and quite cheap. Very handy for longer storage and keeping leftover food from oxidising or otherwise spoiling. I find fresh meat keeps at least 3 days longer.

The vac seal also limits freezer burn. Pre-cooked frozen meals can be heated in simmering water, opened and loaded straight onto the plate as though freshly cooked. Saves on dishes, too.... biggrin

 



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How long will meat last in vacuum sealer please



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Vacuumed sealed meats vary in use by dates some say 3-5 times longer then store packaged others say vacuumed packaged meats can if left in the fridge to long they will start fermenting because anaerobic bacteria will exist unless frozen below about 17 C.
To me about 9 days repackaged & vacuum sealed in the fridge no longer.

Cleanliness is the key to any food storage be OCD with food and you will be good.

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Sandi Rogers wrote:

How long will meat last in vacuum sealer please


 It depends upon the type of meat (& cleanliness as already said)  - Commercial cryovac machines generally do a better job than home machines in my experience.

From   https://www.gcfmc.com.au/safe-food-storage/      (a butcher)

As a general rule here are some guidelines as to how long meat can last in a cryovac bag, under ideal refrigerated conditions:

  • Beef approx 4 weeks from date packed
  • Lamb approx 14 days from date packed
  • Pork approx 10 days from date packed
  • Corned meat approx 3 weeks from date packed

Something else to bear in mind is the more a cryovac bag is handled, it begins to loosen the bag and the guidelines above may not apply for as long a time. So best to place it in the bottom of your fridge and leave it untouched until you plan to use it.

---------------------

We often travel for extended periods between resupplying & when planning to be off grid for some time we find a butcher who will cryovac all of our order in portion sizes, & as flat as possible. We then store it in our freezer , being flat helps to fit more in. We can fill our 35 litre freezer & this will last us at least 8 weeks. We have eaten meat which we have had for more than 3 months & it has been fine. Always get the butcher to freeze it before we collect it. A good butcher knows to freeze sausages before cryovacing them, prevents them being squashed. Generally butchers have charged us $0.50c or $1.0 per cryovac pack for the cryovacing, but one butcher did it for nothing. It is quite possible that the meat would be fine in the freezer without cryovacing, but we feel it does no harm to be cautious, & as said , it does assist maximising use of the freezer space. Any processed meats (like sausages) are best used up first. 

In addition to what others have said about sealing & keeping foodstuffs, our experience in the heat & humidity of Cape York is that even unopened goods can spoil. My wife use a variety of stock cubes which are gluten free. Recently we found a fully sealed pack (as purchased) which had turned to 'goo'.  Some block dried instant miso soup packs instead of being their normal off white colour had turned a dark brown & smelled funny. Both of these in 'sealed' foil packs. 

We have also discovered that in the tropics that not all plastic containers (tupperware type) are equal. The only ones worth using up here to keep out the humidity (& tiny 'sugar' ants) are the types with a rubber seal & snap down fastening on all four sides. 

A jar of Vegemite developed mould around the top when the wet season humidity started ramping up. I cleaned out all the mould, washed the lid, cut an extra cardboard disc for the lid from a cornflakes pack & added some cling wrap as has been suggested here, & we finished the jar of vegemite over the next couple of months without any further issue, despite daily humidity of 100%. 

 

 



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