In my earlier Food Safety 101 post, I invited you to purge your refrigerator of all unpleasant (or unknown) items…and start fresh. I hope you are not too bummed about tossing items you intended to use. But hey, it happens to all of us.
We’re all creatures of habit…and we’re busy! When days fly by as they do, certain foods (especially prepared foods) can grow harmful bacteria and expose us to the risk of food-borne illness. So, how do we keep track of our fridge items and know when they are safe to eat? We carry out The Kitchen Girl’s foolproof, DIY labeling system. No advanced tools here gals and guys…it’s simple…and it works!!!!
Step 1: Use masking tape and a marker
Step 2: Write the date opened/prepared and the name of the item
Step 3: Stick it to the container
Step 4: Never again find yourself asking, “honey, when was this made?”, and cut your risk of food-borne illness.
Here’s the most common Q & A on the subject:
Q: What food items should I label?
A: Everything that gets opened and stored in your fridge for longer than a few days; homemade condiments, infrequently used items, and especially prepared foods (a huge culprit of food borne illness at home). I wouldn’t bother labeling the things you fly through….each family is different.
Q: I’m not digging the masking tape idea…where can I get sexier labels?
A: Check out these erasable labels from The Container Store online.
Q: Does the masking tape leave residue on the container?
A: Nope, it peels right off in water.
Q: I live alone…why should I do this?
A: Because you’re as busy as anyone else and this alleviates those head-scratching questions when you’re hungry and prone to make bad decisions.
Q: How do I know when to say when – to toss something?
A: Trust your senses, but if you like guidelines, check out StillTasty: Your Ultimate Shelf Life Guide. Get ready…this site has it all!
Q: Where did The Kitchen Girl get the idea to develop a system to manage refrigerated foods at home?
A: I got tired of guessing when something was opened or prepared. It’s also a safety standard in all food-service operations. So, why not at home too?
Happy labeling, folks! I’m always available for your questions or comments below.