How to Keep Food Fresh in the Kitchen

Sometimes, with the best of intentions and even with a tight budget, we end up throwing out food because it is no longer fresh. One way to get around this is to keep kitchen storage well organised and well rotated. This article provides some easy suggestions to help you put a system in place in your kitchen.


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    Keep your purchasing quantities for perishable foodstuffs small. Buying larger quantities of food that you don't eat quickly is not usually good economy and you risk losing the food to spoilage if not used in time. With the exception of items eaten quickly in your household, only purchase small quantities of perishable food and refresh as needed.
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    Rotate ingredients. Make sure that when you buy a new food item, you pull the unfinished one forward in the pantry cupboard or refrigerator so that the older item is finished first. Every now and then do a sweep of the food to bring forward all items that are getting near their use-by date.
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    Throw out old spices and dried herbs. These items lose their flavour over time and the use-by date is there for a reason. Only purchase new ones when you are going to use them.
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    Keep expensive food items at the front. Resist the temptation to not eat or use them in cooking or you may end up finding you waited too long. Enjoy them quickly so that you make the most of them. Don't let such items get stuck at the back of the fridge!
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    Keep the pantry storage area away from heat sources. Food stored next to the oven will deteriorate more quickly than food kept in a cooler environment. Move your food items that are stored next to the oven if necessary.
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    Read the use-by dates. Read them even before you buy and look for the freshest item to bring home. Once home, always be very careful to use refrigerated and frozen foods by their use-by date. Expired use-by dates on pantry items are often less urgent within a short period of time but remember that even food in tins and dried food loses its taste and appeal with too much storage.
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    Store items correctly. Maintaining freshness is dependent on knowing how the food should be stored. For many items, you can find the information on the packaging. There are also numerous articles on wikiHow about storing fruit, vegetables, meat etc. Freezers often indicate on the door how food should be stored. Following the food storage guidelines will help to prolong the freshness of your food.
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    Make it easy to find your food. Pantries and food cupboards should be well lit; refrigerators and freezers should not be crammed so full that you can't bear to rummage in them. Use shelves, rolling wire storage drawers and other helpful storage elements to make arranging food at eye level possible. A small outlay on good kitchen storage can pay its way in less spoiled food.
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    Use containers to prolong the freshness of foods. Plastic, glass and tin containers all work well and can be purchased in a wide variety of shapes and sizes suited to your needs.


  • Food items subject to insect infestations, such as flour, should be regularly used up and replaced. Once insect infestations occur, they can infect other foods stored in the vicinity.
  • Move out food that didn't work. While that packet of something may have looked tempting in the store, the fact that nobody in the family liked it is telling you something - throw it out and make space for the food that will be eaten! Less cluttered pantries and refrigerators assist in keeping food fresh because you can see the ingredients and you will be inspired to use them when cooking.


  • Avoid feeling guilty about throwing out old food; suspicious food is better binned than eaten. Do something about not instituting a system to catch food going off in the first place and put a system into place!

Things You'll Need

  • Regular declutter of food storage areas
  • Cool pantry storage area
  • Fresh herbs and spices

Article Info

Categories: Food Preservation Techniques