Keep bananas fresh ‘for five days longer’ with simple and cheap trick – plus other fruit

Food poisoning: Expert gives advice on safe food storage

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The ongoing cost of living crisis means food price inflation has reached a 13-year high, with reasrch suggesting the average person’s grocery bill could increase by £380 this year compared to last year. There are little things Britons can do to save money, such as try to make their food last longer.

Charles Haverfield, packaging executive at US Packaging and Wrapping has shared his top tips on making your food last way past its sell by date.

This is more difficult with fruit and vegetables, especially in hot weather.

Charles said: “In a test, it revealed lemons lasted longer if they were stored in the fridge.

“Not only this, but if you refrigerated the lemons in sealed plastic bags as well, they lasted four times longer than lemons kept at room temperature.”

Berries are another fruit that can benefit from being kept in the fridge. But Charles had another trick up his sleeve for them.

“Berries can be expensive, so to keep them mould-free for as long as possible, try rinsing your berries in a water and vinegar solution,” he explained.

“Make sure to use one part vinegar to 10 parts water.

“Your berries could last up to 10 days by doing this nifty hack as soon as you get them home from the supermarket.”

Charles went on to recommend vacuum sealing.

“If you already do a lot of freezing or bulk-purchasing to help cut costs, it might be worth adding a vacuum sealing method to this process,” he said.

“Typically used for commercial food preservation, it can be adopted on a smaller scale at home too.”

The expert explained: “You can either buy a mini vacuum sealer, which retails for around £25, or there is a simple DIY method using a zip-top plastic freezer bag and a bowl of water.

“The extended storage time for vacuum sealed foods is impressive and can make it last up to five times longer.

“For example, cheese like parmesan, Swiss and cheddar can remain fresh for four to eight months, while vegetables like lettuce and spinach can last for two weeks.

“Fruits like pears and apples last around two months when vacuum sealed.”

Charles noted that it’s worth wrapping bananas in clingfilm to “keep them fresh”.

“The plastic wrap helps enclose ethylene gas, which bananas produce as they ripen. The clingfilm works by trapping the gas and preventing it from speeding up the ripening process.

“This method can keep bananas fresh for up to five days longer than usual.”

As for vegetables, Charles advised “storing your greens like flowers”.

He added: “Some vegetables need water to stay fresh if they are not consumed on the day they are purchased.

“Try storing sliced cucumber in water to preserve it for longer. You can also keep greens like asparagus, spring onion, and celery in jars of water.”

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