10 Important FoodSaver Food Safety Guidelines

by admin on June 6, 2012

Vacuum sealing food is a great way to extend the shelf life and flavors of foods. However it is important to know that basic food safety procedures matter as much or more when using a vacuum sealer. Here are some food safety points you really need to be aware of. 

What are the Basic Advantages of Vacuum Sealed Foods

FoodSavers extend food shelf life in two primary ways. By removing most of the Oxygen from the packaging of stored foods, chemical reactions that need that oxygen to cause food to spoil are prevented or slowed down significantly. Additionally bacteria that need Oxygen to survive and which cause food spoilage, are prevented from growing. As a result many of the signs of food going bad appear much more slowly. Fats don’t go rancid as fast. Food wont change color. It will take longer for foods to get slimy or smell bad.

Some Bacteria Don’t Need Oxygen.

However its very important to understand that there are disease causing bacteria that do not need oxygen and therefore can flourish in vacuum sealed packaging that isn’t stored properly. The key rule of thumb here is: any food that you would normally refrigerate or freeze still needs to be even if vacuum packed. This includes any food with a high moisture content or that is considered perishable i.e. meats, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, cooked foods. etc.. A simple definition of a perishable food is one that doesn’t remain stable at room temperature.

Food Handling Safety Tips That MUST be Followed.

  • Keep vacuum sealed perishable foods in a refrigerator set between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • For long term storage keep them in a freezer set to below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Never leave perishable food that is vacuum sealed at room temperature.
  • Throw out vacuum packed perishable foods that have been left out of refrigeration for more than two hours.
  • Thaw frozen sealed foods inside your refrigerator. If you need to defrost faster than this alternate techniques include immersing the package in cold water (that you keep cold) or using your microwave if you plan to cook right away. Do not thaw foods at room temperature.
  • Dry, non-perishable foods like coffee, grains spices etc. can be stored at room temperature in a pantry.
  • Keep your hands, utensils, counters and FoodSaver equipment clean.
  • Be especially careful with meats. Make sure you cook them to recommended temperatures.
  • When sealing food write down the date on the outside.
  • When in doubt throw it out.

Click here for the source for the above information.

FoodSafety.gov

www.FoodSafety.gov is great online resource for information on food safety.

Here is a chart of recommended food storage times.

Most meats and leftovers need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit in order to kill dangerous bacteria. You can read more details here.

If you have any FoodSaver food safety tips or observations I encourage you to add them to the comments below.

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