IMPORTANT FOOD STORAGE ADVICE

The website and manual include a list of some the most common types of food and our suggestions on where and how to store them. These are some general guidelines, it is difficult to predict how long foods will retain their quality because this also depends on the condition of the food on the day it was vacuumed packaged. Always use common sense when consuming preserved foods. For more tips and advice on food safety and preventing food-borne illnesses, visit www.foodsafety.gov.

Vacuum sealing fresh onions, garlic and/or mushrooms can lead to the growth of a species of bacteria that can cause botulism. Botulism is a very dangerous disease that can potentially be lethal, which is why we advise against storing these products in a vacuum when they are fresh. You can store cooked mushrooms, onions and garlic in Vacuvita bags or containers.

Soft cheeses can be a source of a species of bacteria called listeria that thrive under anaerobic conditions and can cause a possibly lethal infection called listeriosis. Due to this, soft cheeses should never be stored in a vacuum.

The vacuum packaging process extends the life of foods by removing most of the air from the sealed container, thereby reducing oxidation, which affects food’s quality and flavor. Removing air can also inhibit the growth of microorganisms, such as molds and bacteria.

Illness-causing bacteria can grow in perishable foods within two hours. But by refrigerating foods properly, you can help keep food safe. You can significantly reduce the growth of microorganisms at temperatures of 40°F (4°C) or below. Freezing at 0°F (-17°C) does not kill microorganisms, but stops them from growing. Therefore, the long term storage of perishable foods should be in the freezer or refrigerator.

It is also important to note that vacuum packaging is NOT a substitute for canning and it cannot reverse the deterioration of foods. It can only slow down the changes in quality.

Use separate containers or vacuum bags for produce and for meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Placing ready-to-eat food inside a container that has held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs can spread bacteria and make you ill. Preventing cross-contamination is simple. Use one container or vacuum bag for fresh produce and one for raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Before using them again, thoroughly wash containers and utensils that have been used to hold raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.

Vacuum bags are not intended to be cleaned after being used for raw meats, poultry or seafood.

There are two sections dedicated to particular types of food, with some extra information: bread and fresh produce. They can be found after the food storage chart.