- Once you have opened your food storage, you can prolong its shelf life by eliminating the adverse effects listed above. Store your food in the coolest, darkest, and most airtight environment possible.
- Consider the following options to extend the life of food, once the container has been opened.
- Pour what has not been used into a zip-top freezer bag, and seal the bag. Place the bagged food back into the can and replace the lid (to eliminate light).
- Pour the remaining food into Snapware® containers (shown above), which offer an airtight seal.
- Commercially available sealers can create an airtight environment. Put the food back into the can with the plastic lid secured.
- Generally speaking, refrigeration or frozen storage can extend the life of food. If you do not have much refrigeration or frozen storage space, use a pantry, cupboard, etc.
One way to determine if open food is still okay to use is to verify that it smells normal. Another way is to taste it or cook with it (only if you see no outer signs of decreased quality). If your finished dish is satisfactory, continue to use it. Although food will lose nutritive value over time, old food retains some caloric and mineral value. It may have some life sustaining ability remaining. If you aren't sure whether a certain item is still fit to eat, use your best judgment. The information above includes general guidelines intended to help make an educated decision. Each situation is unique due to many contributing factors.