During these unprecedented times, many people are choosing to stock up on food necessities in lieu of making frequent trips to the grocery store. Luckily, meats, fruits, and veggies can have a decent shelf life depending on where they’re stored. Use this food spoilage guide to make the most of your fare this season.
Signs of Food Spoilage
There are some telltale signs that your food is no longer edible that you should watch out for. Notice changes in smell, color, and texture such as:
- A slimy film: toss your dish if the texture has changed to a slimy film coating it.
- Mold: if there is visible mold on your food, do not consume it.
- Frosted food: when leftovers are saved in the freezer are caked with frost, it’ll affect the flavor and texture of your final dish.
- Color changes: gray or brownish color may mean your food has gone bad.
What Food Has the Longest Shelf Life?
Some foods last longer than others. During this time, it’s best to stock up on the foods that will last the longest, while being as fresh as possible. Grains like rolled oats, rice, quinoa, and buckwheat can last for years when stored in a cool, dry place. Similarly, canned meat and freeze-dried meat have an impressive shelf life of up to fifteen years, in the right conditions. If you prefer fresh foods, things like potatoes, onions, apples, and winter squash will last a few months in standard pantry conditions.
Ultimately, err on the side of caution when deciding whether or not to consume your food. Luckily, properly frozen meats can last up to a year. Similarly, plenty of fruits can last a number of months if stored in the freezer. This visual, courtesy of Kitchen Cabinet Kings, gives the lowdown on how long your food basics will last in the pantry, fridge, and freezer.