The big spring cleaning

Spring cleaning


If spring is a good time to clean up your wardrobe, it's also the time to spend time in the kitchen. We tackle the pantry, fridge and freezer.  

A clean environment is important to prevent bacterial contamination and maximize the shelf life of foods. This time of year is ideal for reviewing all the food in the kitchen to sort out what can be kept and what should be thrown away. Foods have different storage times and it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of them. Here is a little practical guide to help you do your big spring cleaning without losing your Latin skills.

In the pantry 

The pantry is where less perishable foods are stored. Its temperature is around 20 °C. Food shelf life is highly dependent on storage conditions. In order to best preserve the properties of dry foods, store them in airtight containers, away from light and heat and be sure to close the containers tightly after each use.

  • Sugars (e.g. white sugar, icing sugar, brown sugar): several years when properly stored. If the brown sugar has hardened, do not throw it away. You can melt it with a little water in a saucepan to make a sweet sauce. You can also grate it to sprinkle your yogurt, for example. Finally, you can also soften it by putting it in the microwave for a few seconds. 
  • Vinegars (eg red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar): 2 years, but they remain suitable for consumption for several years. 
  • Dried herbs: 1 to 3 years. After this period, they may have a less powerful flavor, a sign that it is time to replace them. 
  • Spices:3 to 4 years old. Stored in good conditions, they can be consumed after this period, but their flavor and aroma may be less powerful. 
  • Cans: 1 to 5 years. However, any that show a bulge, leak or dent in the rim should be discarded. They could contain pathogenic bacteria. Once opened, canned foods should be transferred to airtight containers and refrigerated. 
  • Oatmeal: 6 to 10 months< /li>
  • Dried pasta: 1 year
  • White flour: 1 year
  • Whole wheat flour: 3 months. Whole grains have a shorter shelf life than refined grains because they contain perishable fats that can go rancid.
  • Breadcrumbs: 3 months
  • Dry white rice: 1 year
  • Dry brown rice:3 to 6 months
  • Dried legumes: 1 year
  • Dried fruits: 1 year
  • Tea bags: 2 years
  • Vegetable oils:< /strong> 1 year
  • Crackers: 6 months 
  • Breakfast cereals: lunch: 8 months
  • Ground coffee: 1 month
  • Cocoa powder: 10 to 12 months
  • Sodium bicarbonate and baking powder: 1 year
  • < /ul>

    In the fridge

    The refrigerator is used to store perishable foods. Its temperature should be maintained at 4°C or less. Condiments are among the foods that can last a long time in the refrigerator, but their storage time is not infinite. Once opened, here is how long you can keep the following condiments:

    • Ketchup: 9 to 12 months
    • Mayonnaise: 1 to 2 months
    • Mustard: 12 months
    • >

    • Soy sauce: 2 years
    • Sweet or salted butter: 3 weeks< /li>
    • Margarine: 1 month
    • Hot/chili sauce: 4 to 5 years
    • The jam: 2 to 3 weeks 
    • Vegetable oils from first pressing: 3 to 4 weeks  

    In the freezer

    The freezer is ideal for increasing the shelf life of many perishable foods. Its temperature should be set to -18°C or lower. For fruits and vegetables that tolerate freezing, it is best to blanch or cook them before freezing. It is also recommended to use bags and containers specially designed for freezing and to identify them (date and content). Finally, to thaw food safely, simply place it in the refrigerator beforehand. 

    • Raw egg white: 9 months
    • Raw egg yolk: 4 months
    • Poultry cooked with sauce:6 months
    • Poultry cooked without sauce: 1 to 3 months
    • Poultry in pieces : 6 to 9 months
    • Whole poultry: 10 to 12 months
    • Meat cooked with sauce: 4 months
    • Meat cooked without sauce: 2 to 3 months
    • Minched meat, in cubes or thinly sliced: 3 to 4 months
    • Casserole, meat pies and quiches: 3 months
    • Meat sauces: 4 to 6 months< /li>
    • Shrimps: 2 to 4 months
    • Scallops: 3 months< /li>
    • Fatty fish (e.g. salmon, trout): 2 months
    • Lean fish (e.g.: cod, sole, tilapia): 6 months
    • Commercial frozen meals: 3 to 4 months
    • Ice cream: 3 months
    • Tofu: 1 to 2 months
    • Soups and soups: 2 to 3 months
    • Most fruits and vegetables: 1 year
    • Breads: 2 months

    The spring cleaning of the kitchen helps to organize the space well for the rest of the year. A tidy environment can inspire you to cook more, which is good for your health and your wallet. In addition, when food is stored properly, it reduces food waste, another way to save money and take care of the environment. The task may seem daunting, but it is definitely worth it!  

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