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How to store cut fruit to avoid contamination

Food By Esther Muchene
Properly storing your fruit will keep them fresher for longer (Photo: Shutterstock)

Fruits are a vital part of survival for human beings. They contain many vitamins, minerals and other important properties that are essential for our body’s development.

Every other day, we buy them and store them without putting too much thought into it.

Unfortunately, many cases of food poisoning and other infections come as a result of the way we store our fruits especially the ones we’ve already cut.

It’s not too difficult to store fruits before we cut them but how exactly should we store the ones we’ve already cut without risk of illness?

Here is a list of ways you’re supposed to store cut fruits to avoid risk of contamination.

• Pre-storage

Before you ca go ahead and store them, it’s important to ensure that they are handled well before cutting them. The standard procedure is to wash your hands first with soap and water and then proceed to wash the fruits thoroughly with water.

This step is essential because produce often comes into contact with a lot of dirt, chemicals and bacteria which we wouldn’t want to consume.

• Storage

i. Keep them in the fridge

Most fruits that have already been cut do just fine in the fridge or the freezer. The cool conditions slow down the formation of mold or bacteria so this is the best place to store fruit that’s already been sliced. For the purpose of safe storage, always ensure that your fridge is cool enough, well maintained and clean. Get rid of overstayed foods in the back shelves if you need to and this will help prevent any food related illnesses from contamination.

ii. Dry the fruits

Ensure that you wipe the skin of the fruits before you store them in the fridge. Moisture that clings onto them can be a breeding ground for bacteria and other forms of contamination.

iii. Keep them covered

The two basic methods of covering them and avoiding contamination is by placing them in a clean container with a lid or by securely wrapping them in cling film. This simple process helps prevent contamination from bacteria, mold and pesky fruit flies as well.

Some fruits aren’t suitable for the fridge so if you’re placing them on the counter, it’s still important to wrap them up as well.

Also, keep them away from chemicals and other harmful substances that could potentially be disastrous when consumed.

Most fruits do just fine in the fridge or the freezer (Photo: Shutterstock)

iv. Don’t store next to raw foods

Raw foods like meats are usually breeding ground for bacteria. While they’re uncooked, these contaminants live on their surfaces and get destroyed once they are cooked. In the fridge, it’s possible that the bacteria found on them can transfer to your fruits and cause serious cases of food poisoning.

Because of this, you should always ensure that you keep your fruits away from them.

You can go a step further and store them separately in the crisper. This will prevent contamination and keep your fruits fresh for long.

v. Don’t refreeze them after thawing

If you have stored your fruits in the freezer, you should never put them back in the freezer after they have thawed.

In most cases, refreezing food that has already thawed affects the safety of your food. These conditions can trigger bacterial growth and put your health at risk especially with cut fruits.

Always avoid putting thawed fruits back into the freezer as a practice of food safety. If you must, take out the portion you need from the freezer to avoid risking yours and your family’s health.

The best and most effective step is to only cut and eat what you need to avoid going through all the hustle. Also, you should consume the fruit

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