There are a few ways food can become spoiled in your home. If refrigerated food is not kept cool, then bacteria can grow in the raw foods and cause people to get sick if it is consumed. Dry goods, such as flour, noodles, and dehydrated vegetables, can become spoiled if they are exposed to oxygen due to poor sealing techniques. If you want to protect your food items so they last longer, use these tips and tricks using ice to help prolong the life of your produce.
Dry ice for food storage
If you are starting a food storage, dry ice is very beneficial for oxygen absorption. Simply place a 1/4 pound of dry ice in a 5-gallon bucket and pour rice, flour, noodles, or dehydrated soup mixes on top of the ice. Place the lid on the bucket, but not too tightly. You want to wait until the dry ice sublimates, or fades completely, before tightening the lid. Dry ice absorbs the oxygen in your food as it melts, allowing you to properly preserve your dry goods for an extended period of time.
Cheeses and luncheon meats
Lunch meats must be kept at a certain temperature to keep nasty bacteria like listeria at bay, and cheeses can easily warp and change consistency when they are not kept cool enough. Choose a crisper in your fridge where you will solely keep your lunch meats and cheeses and place a portion of block ice in the bottom. Cover the ice with a clean kitchen towel so your foods do not touch the ice directly. Place your cheese and meats on top of this mini refrigerator. Your deli foods will stay cooler for longer. Place the rest of your block ice in the freezer so you can use it for emergency ice when you buy more temperature-sensitive produce.
Fruits and veggies
If you have fruits and veggies in your fridge that you don't want to over-ripen, such as grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, and kiwi, you can stunt their ripening stage by placing them on dry ice. Take a cooler and line the bottom of it with portions of dry ice, then place a cloth over the ice. Place packaged fruits and veggies over the cloth to keep them fresh and prevent rotting, over-ripening, or wilting. This method is great for when you are using fresh produce at family functions or while traveling. You can also place prepared meals over dry ice in this fashion to keep foods fresh and safe to eat.
If you want to protect your food from spoiling, emergency ice techniques are a great way to do this. You can use block or dry ice to keep your produce fresh and safe to eat. Purchase dry ice or block ice from companies like United City Ice Cube.