These days, more and more people are focusing on the health of their food. It used to be you can walk into a grocery store, buy anything that caught your eye, and eat it knowing you were safe. In the 1980's, there were problems with Halloween candy and headache medicine being tampered with and people suddenly realized that everything in the store is not guaranteed safe. As years passed, shoppers also realized that even if food is approved by a government agency or the store itself, there is a chance it could make you sick. The good news is, some of this danger is within the control of the consumer and the diner. If you are smart about how you shop and you know how to store and prepare food in your home, you are less likely to experience a food-related illness. The first thing you need to do to make sure food in your home is safe and healthy to eat is to make sure an existing bug problem is not affecting your food supply. Consider termite control if you are dealing with a problem. Termite pest control as well as other methods of extermination will keep your pantry free and clear of bugs.
Keeping your pantry clean is the best way to ensure your foods items stay fresh. It is important to keep things organized so you know what you have and what needs to be purchased when you go shopping. Many people go to the grocery store, purchase a variety of items, only to return home and find they had plenty of the item in their disorganized pantry. Purchasing more means you may not be able to use it all by its expiration date. If food passes its date of freshness and you prepare it by mistake, there is a chance it could lead to illness.
In addition to keeping your pantry clean and organized, be sure your refrigerator is also clean. Things have a tendency to leak and spill in the refrigerator, and you can wind up with a mess in no time at all. It is also important to cover items properly if you are storing them in the refrigerator. Be sure your plastic storage containers seal properly and if you are using plastic bags, make sure they are sealed completely before putting them away. Also try to throw away old items at least once a week so you do not end up with a refrigerator full of spoiled food.
If you buy items in bulk, or you purchase meat, poultry or fish that you will not be using by the sell-by date, you can freeze the items. This is perfectly safe, as long as your freezer is set to an acceptable temperature. Be sure anything you freeze is rock solid in order to prolong its life. Do not thaw it until a few hours before you are ready to use. You may also need to defrost your freezer every now and then depending on the appliance's age.
Finally, be sure any food storage is at least six inches off the ground. This prevents any rodents from accessing bags and boxes. It also means if there are spills or floods, the foods on the lower levels will not be affected.