Week four: Smart food storage

Week four of the Six-week Food Waste Challenge focuses on understanding how food is best stored to ensure it stays fresh and safe to eat for as long as possible. In our subtropical climate, produce is affected by heat, humidity, sunlight and pests, so storing food correctly will result in less waste and cost savings.

Store food properly

Learn what fresh produce is best kept in the fridge and what is best kept at room temperature. Use the findings from week one of the challenge to guide you. For example, if you threw away half a bunch of basil, you may want to start by learning how different herbs are best stored. Challenge yourself to learn about the preferred storage conditions for one new food item a week. Our food storage hints page, Love Food Hate Waste food storage, is a great starting point.

Make the most of your freezer

Many foods are suitable for freezing. If you don't think you're going to eat something before the use by date, check if you can freeze it. You can freeze leftovers, bread, baked goods, cooked rice and pasta, curries, quiches, frittatas, hard cheeses and meat. You can also freeze most fruit and vegetables, except those with a high water content such as lettuce, cucumber and Asian greens.

Unless you're planning to eat bread and meat in the two days after you've bought it, it's best to freeze it immediately.

Food storage tips

  • Keep all items in your fridge visible. Put tall containers at the back and smaller ones at the front.
  • Implement a 'first in, first out' system by moving older produce to the front or top of the fridge so you consume it first. Communicate this system to everyone in your household.
  • Adjust your fridge shelves to ensure you're getting the most out of your fridge space.
  • Know the difference between best before and use by dates. For more information on best before and use by dates, read our Love Food Hate Waste food storage page.
  • Check your fridge is functioning at maximum efficiency (between 1-5 degrees Celsius) to ensure food stays fresh for as long as possible.
  • Adjust your fridge's crisper drawer humidity levels to suit your produce. For more information on using your crisper wisely, check out the Love Food Hate Waste food storage page.

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Last updated:9 July 2020