Fresh food is a wonderful thing, but it can spoil if it’s not handled properly. Food production companies go to great lengths to protect the food they produce so it arrives fresh and safe — for example, using deep freezers and leak detection equipment for food packaging. To make the most of your food, follow these 5 tips to protect your food from going bad.
1. Keep it cold.
Fresh foods like meats, vegetables, and dairy need to be kept cold to avoid spoilage. A healthy refrigerator temperature is at or below 4 degrees celsius. Check your fridge regularly to make sure it’s doing its job and keeping foods cold.
If you find your food is going bad before it should, consider turning the temperature down on the fridge to protect food further.
2. Keep hot foods hot.
When you’ve cooked a big beautiful meal, don’t let it go to waste by letting it sit out on the countertop. Any foods left at room temperature for more than 4 hours may be susceptible to significant bacterial growth, and should be disposed of.
If you want to keep foods out for serving, make sure to keep them heated above 60 celsius. This will prevent growth of bacteria and keep the foods safe to eat, while also holding them at a nice temperature for eating.
3. Inspect food packaging.
When you buy foods at the grocery store, check the seals on the packaging to make sure they’re airtight. Don’t buy any product that’s been opened, and return anything that smells off.
Food packaging companies use leak detection equipment to ensure their foods stay airtight, but accidents can happen during the transportation and loading process. This means the consumer should always check packaging to make sure it’s airtight by squeezing and checking for air leakage.
4. Know the signs of spoilage.
A good rule of thumb is to use your nose to evaluate whether something has gone bad. If a food smells bad, off, or simply unusual, it’s often a good idea to toss it out. You can also check foods for mold, slimy or unusual texture, and even taste. If a food tastes off, you’re better off just throwing it out.
If you’re ever unsure if a food is still good to eat, you can do a quick search online to find out the signs of spoilage for that food.
5. Store it in airtight packaging.
Airflow is one of the biggest drivers of food spoilage, because it can help certain bacteria grow. Of course, some bacteria specialize in anaerobic or low-airflow conditions, but they typically require certain temperatures, moisture levels, and acidity in order to thrive. Most of the time, aerobic or oxygen-requiring bacteria are responsible for food spoilage.
For many foods, including dried goods and leftovers, storing them in airtight containers such as mason jars, tight-sealing tupperwares, or vacuum seal bags can help preserve their shelf life and prevent them going stale or off.
Ensuring the integrity of food packaging is essential. When it comes to keeping your food safe to eat, it takes a lot of vigilance to maintain proper safety standards. When food packages are leaky, they can become contaminated, ruining the contents of the package and potentially making people sick. To avoid these sorts of issues, professionals use leak detection equipment to make sure that the packages are safe.
All of the equipment used to detect leaks is very good at making sure that the packages are as secure as they need to be. Not all of this equipment operates in the same ways, though. There are different methods for detecting leaks that are only used with certain pieces of equipment. Learn about five of the most prevalent ways these leaks are detected below.
1. Bubble Testing Method
This method is really simple when you get down to it. The fact that it is simplistic doesn’t mean that it isn’t effective, though. When testers think that there may be a leak in a package, they will put it underwater. If bubbles come rising to the surface, then it confirms that there is something leaking from the package itself.
As far as leak detection goes, this certainly isn’t the most elegant method. It’s a commonly used method because of low cost and ease of use.
2. Spraying with Helium
This method can be a bit tricky to use. You need to separate a section of the material from the packaging that you’re trying to test. Using a special pump, helium is inserted into this void. If there are leaks, then the helium will penetrate parts of the packaging. There is a detector capable of measuring the helium, giving you accurate data on how bad the leak is.
This is a much more professional method of leak detection that is used by many companies. The hardest part of the process is separating the section of the material so you can pump the helium in. Once that is done, this is a very reliable method that you should make good use of.
3. Sniffing Equipment Using Helium
Another method that uses helium is sniffing equipment. This can be very effective, just as the spraying method. Helium is placed into the food packaging and sniffer detects for leaks. It’s simple in concept and will easily tell you if the package is leaking anywhere. The sniffing device is quite sensitive so it can pick up on even a minute leak.
4. Measuring Ultrasonic Sound Waves
A very common leak detection method is to measure the contents of a package using ultrasonic sound waves. The equipment involved in this process is incredibly sensitive so it will be able to give you good leak data to use. Using sound detection to see if there are any tiny leaks in the packaging will be simple to learn how to do. You’ll even be able to get data on how fast things are leaking out of the package.
5. Measuring the Rate Pressure Decays
The final method is to measure the rate that pressure is decaying within the package. The presence of a leak in the package changes how much pressure there is inside. Putting something such as dry air inside of the package will allow a device to measure the rate the pressure decays at. You can get simple but accurate data using this technique.