4
Oct

MANAGE EXPIRING FOOD – PART 1: PERISHABLES

By chef Eric Low

Lush Epicurean Culinary Consultancy Chef-Owner Eric Low shares some of his simple Do’s & Don’ts for managing expiring perishable foods.

1.Meat and poultry

Do’s

  • Check for sliminess, discolouration and foul smells.
  • Make sure it is thoroughly cooked and not cooked to desired doneness, which will mean a higher food safety risk.
  • Cook a test piece with very light seasoning so that you can detect any bad taste on the palate.

Don’ts

  • Assume it is ok without checking.
  • Keep in freezer in hope of extending shelf life. Bacteria will continue to grow, especially upon next round of defrosting
  • Keep at room temperature for more than half an hour.

2. Fruit and vegetables

Do’s

  • Check for bruising and signs of rotting.
  • Check for discolouration and dulling of colours.
  • Check for dehydration.
  • Check for loss of aromas.
  • Check for bad smells

Don’ts

  • Assume that a non-perfect colour means it is not edible. E.g. bananas
  • Keep the fruit/vegetable if more than 50% of it is not fit for consumption.

3. Seafood

Do’s

  • Check for delivery time to supermarkets and wet markets, and shop at a time closest to it if possible.
  • Check for sliminess, discolouration and foul smells.
  • Ask for items to be packed in ice after purchasing. You never know if you will be caught in a jam on the way home.
  • Where possible buy in smaller amounts, and shop more often. Seafood is highly perishable, even when frozen.

Don’ts

  • Keep for more than a day in the refrigerator.
  • Defrost at room temperature. For fish, shellfish and bivalves, it is best to defrost in water.
  • Serve raw or semi cooked.

4. Dairy and Eggs

Do’s

  • Keep at chilled temperatures.
  • Take note that pasteurised dairy products have the shortest shelf life, compared to UHT dairy products.
  • Check for loss of aromas.
  • Check for bad smells

Don’ts

  • Keep UHT dairy products at room temperature once opened.
  • Choose bloated packaging, pasteurised dairy products.
  • Keep leftover dairy products more than five days in the fridge after first use.