To Refrigerate Or Not To Refrigerate
Eggs, meats, salad dressing, and dairy foods like milk are a given– you’re very much aware that these food items go straight in the fridge the moment you get home from the grocery store. However, what about those other sundry items, such as cooking oils, peanut butter, and ketchup?
There might be some food items in your pantry that are quietly growing mold and bacteria right now because you failed to refrigerate them. So, what are the surprising food items that should be refrigerated? Read on to find out!
1. Whole Wheat Flour
You probably grew up believing that flour should be stored in the pantry, and not inside the fridge. Well, if we’re talking about whole-wheat flour, this would be a different story, and storing this type of flour in your pantry is probably a bad idea. The wheat-germ present in whole-wheat flour can go rancid in just a matter of hours. That’s why, it’s required to store whole-wheat flour in the refrigerator or freezer after opening it, in order to prolong its shelf-life.
Note: Unlike other types of flour, whole-wheat flour usually pick up flavors, that’s why you should store it in an air-tight container or plastic bag, and avoid placing it next to a food item with a very strong odor, such as onions and garlic.
Butter should be refrigerated if you want it to last for several weeks. Furthermore, in an agreement with FDA and USDA guidelines, most companies imply that the butter they produce should be refrigerated. Though, perhaps, you’re wondering why it’s even needed, considering that butter is mostly fat, and making it less attractive to bacterial growth. You should keep in mind that most butter are also made from pasteurized milk, making it highly vulnerable to bacterial growth.
Salted and unsalted butter are also different. Aside from the taste, the salt in salted butter makes it less susceptible to bacterial growth, and this is usually the type of butter that can be left out on the kitchen counter. Even so, after a week or so, it will also go rancid. Thus, it’s safe to just store your butter inside the fridge and just take it out a few minutes before use.
3. Baked Goods with Cream or Custard Fillings
Do you love those custard-filled cream puffs and doughnuts? Do you have a habit of leaving them out on the counter for a day or two? Well, you should stop doing that, because custard should be refrigerated right away. The dairy content of custard makes it a potential breeding ground for bacteria, turning it rancid in just a matter of hours.