When it comes to your milk and bread, it’s pretty obvious when the product expires. Other food products might have an expiration date but failing that, the old sniff test never seems to fail. With the classic Australian “she’ll be right” attitude, we may be ingesting or exposing ourselves to harmful products without even knowing it. Lucky for the bright bunch whom own a food vacuum sealer from Munro Direct, because we don’t have to worry.
There are so many items out there that many of us aren’t even aware they have an expiration date. Meaning, there are products we keep for years that have lost all effectiveness over time. Other items can actually be dangerous once they pass their usefulness date. The solution? Vacuum seal the items that expire so you can prolong their efficiency!
Not sure what expires? For the next few weeks we will go through the important rooms of the house and tell you items with a best before date. Starting off at the obvious standpoint, check out the not so obvious items that expire in the kitchen.
Dried spices can last years, but this largely depends on the kind of spice, it’s preservation and how they are stored. On average fresh spices last between 5 – 7 days. When ground or dried, spices will usually last between 2 – 3 years. If a spice is able to be preserved whole, it can last between 2 and 5 years. Therefore, spices last the longest time if they are kept whole and then shaved when needed.
If you’ve got spices already that have been sitting in your cupboard for what seems like forever try these tips:
- A vibrant colour generally means a vibrant taste – a colourless herb therefore results in a flavourless state. If the spice started out green, chances are it will turn yellow or brown when the essential oils in the spice evaporate.
- Nice spices have a nice aroma – rub a bit of the spice into the palm of your hand and take a sniff. If you don’t smell anything, you probably won’t get much flavour out of it.
- If moisture has entered the container, the spice will become sticky or clump together, so keep it in the driest environment possible. Remember, practicing proper hygiene and food safety will help hinder food born illness.
Although wine will go vintage with age, I can assure you your opened Bombay Sapphire or Jack Daniels will not have the same effect. Although unopened liquors won’t spoil, the ones that have been opened will begin to evaporate and lose its taste and potency after about 8 months. It’s still drinkable for about a year but after your cheap spirits don’t need to taste any worse than when they started, so you’re best to start fresh.
What to do now? Store spirits vacuum sealed, upright and at room temperature. By preventing the oxidation process that begins after 6-8 months, you can make your liquor last longer.
Potato and other plants of the same nightshade family (such as tomatoes and eggplants) contain traces of a toxic chemical called solanine. Even in small amounts it is incredibly toxic. If potatoes are unripe/green, sprout, become overexposed to the sun, or stored near other vegetables that increase spoilage (like onions) the concentration of this chemical can become harmful. When stored in a cool dark place, ripe potatoes stay good for two to three months. Better yet, why not vacuum seal your potatoes to prevent sprouting! This can keep them fresh up to five times longer. And with a chemical as dangerous as solanine, it’s not worth the risk.
If you’re unsure how long these kitchen products will last when vacuum sealed, check out our blog on Vacuum Sealed Life Expectancy for an indication.
Stay tuned for next week when we reveal what products from your bathroom can be saved with your food vacuum sealer.