Vacuum sealing is a widely popular method for preserving food and making it easier to meal prep. However, if you want to begin vacuum sealing you need to know how to do it properly. There are several food safety rules you should follow in order to prevent illness.
Do Not Vacuum Seal These Items
Certain foods can harbor anaerobic bacteria, or bacteria that thrive in an oxygen-free environment. The bacteria grow and flourish under vacuum and can make you sick. Do not vacuum seal garlic, raw mushrooms, soft cheeses (ricotta, blue, brie, camembert, and any other soft or unpasteurized cheese).
Only Use Clean Tools
In addition to washing your hands, you should also keep all your tools and equipment clean. This begins with everything used to prepare your food. Wash all cutting boards, knives, and other utensils throughout the process. If you’re working with raw meat, be especially vigilant and avoid cross-contamination. You should also wipe down your vacuum sealer and clean off any other tools you are using throughout the process. You want to make every effort to avoid bacteria or anything else getting into the vacuum sealing bags. A clean workstation and clean tools can help to prevent this.
Store Food Properly
Once you’ve finished vacuum sealing everything, you want to make sure you’ve stored everything properly. Keeping food at improper temperatures is another way you can risk food spoiling. Most foods will need to be stored in the fridge or freezer. This will keep the food at the right temperature so it will stay fresh longer and be safe to eat. If you want to defrost anything, take it out of the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge. Letting food defrost on the counter can put it at risk. If you vacuum seal dried goods, like chips or dried fruit, it’s safe to store them in the pantry.
As you begin vacuum sealing, you will learn plenty of tips and tricks to make the process easier. Making safety a priority can ensure you keep your food fresh and preserved. Keep everything clean as you work.
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