August 14, 2014

Food Storage: How to Keep Your Food Fresh

Food Storage: How to Keep Your Food Fresh

Food storage is a big deal.

If food isn’t stored properly, then you risk wasting food, and that can get expensive. But the #1 reason that people turn to me and to others with questions about food storage is because they don’t want to get sick. Food that is not properly stored can spoil, turn rancid, or even make you sick.

Food Storage: Things People Wonder About

You would expect that I get questions all the time about recipes, ingredients, and cooking methods. And I do. But do you know that I also get lots of questions about proper food storage and food freshness? I don’t always have the perfect answer, and I usually respond based on my own personal experience. But, thankfully, lots of information on food storage and safety is just a few clicks away on

I’ll give you an example of what I am talking about.

Just last week a friend of mine contacted me via Facebook to ask about freezing leftover seafood. Here’s her question: “If we boil seafood and freeze the extra meat, how long is it good for in the freezer?”

Excellent question!

My initial response was, “I don’t know. We usually are never in the position of having leftover boiled seafood.” And that’s true.

If we have leftover boiled crawfish, as an example, we will store them overnight in the refrigerator in re-sealable plastic bags or in a large plastic tub with a lid. They will keep in the fridge like that for a couple of days. But usually, we will finish them off the next day… or peel them and use them in another dish, like Crawfish Etouffee or Crawfish Monica.

Leftover boiled shrimp are delicious served cold, or they can be peeled and added to a variation of a Sensation Salad, to a Shrimp Remoulade, or to any number of scrumptious shrimp dishes.

When it comes to seafood, my go-to resource for all kinds of information is the website of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. The amount of useful information on this website amazes me. I can always find what I am looking for.

Here’s what the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board says about freezing boiled crawfish:

Crawfish tail meat that has been cooked and deveined can be frozen for several months.  If the tail meat is to be frozen for more than 5 months it is best to wash the yellow fat off of the meat as it can become rancid after prolonged freezing.  Package the tail meat in small 12 ounce or 1 pound sealed containers and expel all air before sealing.  Thaw in refrigerator for a full day before cooking.

Food Freshness and Food Safety

Of course, seafood isn’t the only concern when it comes to food safety. I get questions about beef, pork, vegetables, and even… mayonnaise and BBQ sauces.

I recently came across an excellent little resource – an infographic – on It doesn’t cover everything, but it is certainly helpful as a quick reference guide. I am embedding the infographic below, but you can go here to read the full story: Everything You Need to Know About Keeping Your Food Fresh.

The Shelf Life of Food