September is National Food Safety Education Month and the ConAgra Home Food Safety Program, as well as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, want to keep you safe. Most of the food waste stems from improper storage and misreading labels. Here are some ways that you can keep your food safe & cut grocery costs:
Proper Storage- Keep a refrigerator thermometer in your refrigerator to ensure that your perishable foods are being stored at or below 40°F in the refrigerator and at or below 0°F in the freezer. Produce should also be stored correctly in order to maintain and lengthen the duration of freshness. Some fruits and vegetables should be stored in the fridge, and some at room temperature.
Reading Labels- Be sure to read the dates on the label to reduce your food waste. Did you know that 90% of Americans may be throwing out their food too early because they misread the food label? Check out the descriptions below to learn what the key terms on labels mean:
- The "sell by" date tells the store the last day they should sell that specific package. Buy the product before the 'sell by' date passes and cook or freeze the product before it expires.
- The "best if used by" date is the recommended date for best flavor or quality.
- The "use by" date is the last date recommended for use of the product at peak quality.
You can’t always tell if a food has spoiled just because its appearance, smell or taste seems okay. The “use by” date should be followed closely. If you notice that a “use by” date is approaching, feel free to store this food in the freezer for future use.
For more information, check out the Is My Food Safe? app for a list of the shelf life of common foods.