What’s more important than meal prep? Meal prep storage of course!
Knowing how and where to store prepped food is just as important, if not more than the actual preparation process. We cringe at the thought of a week’s worth of precious food planning and preparing going to waste due to poor storage methods. Here are some factors you should consider when storing meal prep foods.
If you weren’t already doing this, it is always a good idea to take an extra gander for the longest “sell by” date, especially when buying meat and dairy items. Getting items with a further sell by date spreads out the amount of time your prepped food can remain in your refrigerator, furthering the freshness of your carefully proportioned meal. Always think: later is better.
Did you know that your food is more susceptible to bacteria growth in temperatures ranging from 40-140F (4.4C-60C)? That’s why, when storing your meals, you should make sure that your fridge is set below 40 C to prevent bacterial growth. The best way to regulate the likelihood of food temperatures reaching the “danger zone” is to either:
Keep a thermostat in your fridge, so you can periodically check for the desired temperature.
Consider purchasing a mini-fridge, ensuring that the only time the door will open or close is when you are either taking or replenishing your meal-prepped foods.
While on the subject of fridges, stay away from storing meals within the refrigerator door, as it your food will be more exposed to changing temperatures with each open and close.
As tempting as it can be to literally seal your freshly cooked meal, it’s best not to do so for two reasons. The first would be that the steam created from a sealed container will actually continue to cook your food, creating unwanted moisture which could invite bacteria. The second reason why you should refrain from sealing your food container, is because the extra moisture can leave your meat tasting rubbery and your vegetables tasting soft and mushy.
As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. When it comes to meal prep storage, this saying holds very true. Investing in good, freezer friendly containers will only increase the chances of a fresh meal, but will be cost effective, long term. Most meal prep enthusiasts will say that Pyrex dishes are the best items for meal prep storage primarily because they ensure an air-tight seal with glass than with a plastic brand, like Glad.
When prepping meals, you will undoubtedly deal with raw foods. Cross contamination is a real, hazardous thing, as it can lead to salmonella poisoning. To avoid this, do your best to wrap up meats to avoid leaks and if you do come across any spills, clean with hot, soapy water.
Now that you have the five most effective tips for food storage, consider giving Eat Rite Foods a try. At just $5 a meal, we specialize in creating high quality, affordable, storage friendly meals. Choose from over 19 rotating breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu items in a few, simple clicks. We’ll even deliver straight to your doorstep. Learn more here!