If you’ve ever brought home food from a weekly shop only to find it was already spoiled when you unwrapped it, you’ll know the feeling of annoyance. Read on for tips on how you can tell in the store that food will soon succumb to shelf life, and really only buy fresh food.
For packaged products, it’s sometimes hard to verify freshness
In the fruit or vegetable section, you can easily choose the nicest and freshest pieces. This is because all the fruits are freely displayed and you only bag the ones you really want in your shopping cart. You can tell for sure if your fruit and vegetables are spoiled or less fresh by their wrinkled surface, black spots or even deeper holes. In the worse stages of spoilage, you may even smell an unpleasant odour caused by fermentation. It’s worse with pre-packaged foods.
Be most careful with butters and other fats. These can be poorly packaged, causing rancidity due to air. When choosing butter, look for careful packaging and check for any smell. If you smell a very intense buttery flavor, it is possible that this piece of butter has gone rancid.
For frozen vegetables or meats, you need to look at the degree of refrigeration
In the refrigerated food section, you need to pay attention to the degree of refrigeration in which the individual pieces are stored. Even in your home fridge, the cold should not exceed 5°C. This is because temperatures above 5 degrees Celsius encourage the growth of all bacteria.
So pay the most attention to the following products:
- dairy products
- vegetables and fruit
While you can take eggs out of their paper packaging and see if they are broken, you can’t examine their quality in the store. However, you can do a simple test at home to see if the eggs are okay and fresh. Dip the egg in water and if it sinks to the bottom, it is fine and fresh.
You can tell spoiled meat at a glance
When choosing meat, you need to pay attention to its origin, quality and freshness. If the meat products are not fresh, you will know it at a glance. Spoiled meat usually has no healthy colour at all and is more likely to be greyish or even blue-green. The surface of spoiled meat is oily and sticky. If you have the opportunity to unwrap the meat, you will be able to recognise spoiled meat by its strong and unpleasant smell.