What Is Perishable Food? – Making it last

Defining Perishable Food

Storing of perishable food is a topic that requires up to date knowledge, which is what I propose to deliver in this article.

You maybe asking “What is perishable food?” In a nutshell, it is food that is normally stored in a refrigerator and includes:-

  • Fresh meat
  • Raw fruit and vegetables (NB – there are fruits and vegetables which will store well in cool places)
  • All cooked food
  • Food that was purchased from refrigerated respositories of retail outlets.
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Eggs

The Difference

In comparison, semi-perishable food does not need to be stored in a refrigerator and includes – flour, dry mixtures, grain products and dried fruits. If these foods are left unopened and are stored properly, they can keep unspoiled, way past their use by date.

On the other hand non-perishable food such as – canned food, sugar, dried beans, spices etc. Will keep in ideal temperatures for long periods unless mishandled but the quality of the product will tend to deteriorate if stored for excessive periods of time.

Storing Perishable Food

As our topic of interest is the perishable food its important to know how to store it. To do that we need to look at the appliance responsible for maintaining the condition of this type of food. That appliance being the refrigerator/Freezer.

The benefit of refrigeration is that its low temperatures combat two main causes of food spoilage.

1. Microorganisms – The type of microorganisms that cause illnesses are called ‘Pathogenic Microorganisms’. These bacteria do not grow well at refrigerator or freezer temperatures. Bear in mind these microorganisms do not necessarily cause any change in odour, appearance or taste.

On the other hand, ‘Spoilage Microorganisms’ are a bacteria that will cause a food product to become unsightly and possibly have a dreadful smell. Refrigeration will greatly slow this natural process.

2. Enzymes – Enzymes are the medium which causes the ripening of fruits and vegetables. When a food product over ripens, not only does the colour change but so does the texture. Refrigeration will slow down this process.

Both Microorganisms and Enzymes take time to develop. Therefore, to avoid long-term storage, its advisable to only purchase quantities of food for short term needs.

Over the decades the humble refrigerator has undergone dramatic changes. Having been a domestic refrigeration serviceman for a good number of years, I have witnessed a vast improvement in the cooling effectiveness of refrigerators.

No longer do we have to be measuring the temperature of individual shelves to find the appropriate temperature for the food we want to store. These days, due to advanced technology, the temperature inside the fridge section is usually consistent throughout the entire cavity.

To Maximise Shelf Life

To enable your refrigerator to work efficiently and effectively, so that your perishable food receives maxium preservation, keep these tips in mind.

  • Allow enough space around the outside of the fridge for air circulation. A minium of 50mm (or 2 inches) is adequate.
  • Avoid stacking items on top of your fridge that will restrict air circulation.
  • Ensure your fridge is located on an even floor surface. An uneven floor surface could cause the fridge door to sit crookedly.
  • Ensure there is enough room to open and close the door. This will avoid damage to the fridge door as well as any other objects in the door’s path.
  • Also ensure there is enough room in front of the fridge for maintenance purposes. If your fridge sits in a cavity, a technician may need to pull the unit out in order to get to the rear of it. Which is the case in 70-80% of service calls.
  • If your fridge is not an automatic defrost model, make sure you defrost it regularly to avoid ice build up which in turn will cause the fridge to operate inefficiently. As a guide, once a build up of 6mm (1/4 inch) of ice is apparent in the freezer, its time to do a defrost.
  • Its important the door seal is doing its job. Simply locating the centre of a dollar note (or equivalent) between the door seal and the body of the fridge (with the door closed), then gently pulling the note toward you will indicate the effectiveness of the seal. Ideally, there should be an amount of firm (but not restrictive) resistance. If there is no resistance it indicates a problem with the door seal.
  • Also ensure the door seal is clean. A build up of grime on the seal will, over time, cause the seal to harden, which in turn will cause sealing problems.
  • If you notice any spoiled food in the fridge remove and dispose of it so that it doesn’t contaminate other food products.
  • When storing products in your fridge, ensure there is spacing around each product. This will avoid bacteria build up between the products.
  • Periodically check the shelf temperature. A refrigerator thermometer (readily purchased from kitchen outlets, hardware stores etc) will enable you to ensure the fridge temperature is ideally set at 4C – 5C (39F – 41F). The recommended temperature for a freezer is -17.5C (0F) or below.
  • The temperature of your fridge cabinet will affect your storage time so bear in m  nd the higher the temperature the faster your food will deteriorate.

Refrigerating Perishable Food

The following is a guide for domestic refrigeration of popular 

perishable products if stored properly. This guide will be

affected by the freshness of the food at the time of purchase.

Product                                              Refrigerator

Butter                                                      2 -3 weeks

Cheese                                                     3 – 8 weeks

Milk                                                         1 week

Citrus fruits                                           3 – 4 weeks

Apples                                                     4 weeks

Pineapple                                                7 days

Grapes                                                     2 -3 weeks

Brocoli, beans, peas, mushrooms      3 – 5 days

Cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes            5 – 7 days

Seafood                                                    2 – 3 days

Cooked meat                                          3 – 4 days

Uncooked meat                                     4 – 5 days

Bacon                                                      7 days

Eggs                                                        3 – 4 weeks
Poultry                                                   1  – 2  days

Reduce Waste

An important consideration of knowing the type of food you are storing is to be able to store it for maxium life. My intention here has been to give you a basic understanding of this process so that your shopping decisions will produce the best outcomes both health wise and economically.

Reply with any comments about this post












Are Microwave Ovens Safe To Use?

                Are Microwave Ovens Safe To Use?

These Amazing Time Savers

The humble microwave oven. These days this type of appliance is found in most homes in western countries and they have proven to be, not only an amazing time saver but also a very low energy user compared to the conventional oven. However, due to my professional involvement with these items, I have often heard the question “are microwave ovens safe to use?”.

My Experience                                                        Typical Microwave Oven

Personally, I don’t know much about using them for cooking purposes and due to the plethora of opposing opinions out there I’ll stay with what I know. As an electrician with twenty years experience in repairing these items I believe I can competently inform you of how they work, advise you of their rigid safety charteristics and highlight the potential dangers associated with them.

To tell you a quick story. The first microwave oven I repaired was in a takeaway shop and only required a new rubber door seal but being aware of the media hype about radiation I did the job with great trepidation, which resulted in my returning to the shop every other day to check that the unit was still operating correctly.

For weeks I had visions of people eating hamburgers from the shop and then collapsing in the street with vile looking sores  breaking out  all over their bodies as a consequence of a wrongly fitted door seal.

However, as time passed my worry and anxiety turned to joy as I realized my first microwave oven repair was a total success. Since then, these appliances have undergone technology changes which have eliminated the type of door seal mentioned.

The History Of These Products

Before I go into the practical aspects of these products I believe its important to have an understanding of how they were developed.

The first microwave oven was patented in 1945 by Percy Le Baron Spencer, (an American physics engineer) after he noticed that emissions from radar equipment he was working on turned a handful of maize into popcorn and also melted chocolate.

Eight years later the first microwave cookers were sold to the catering trade in the United States but it wasn’t until 1980 that they gained widespread domestic popularity in western countries.

Should I Be Concerned About Microwave Energy?

By now you might be wondering ” is microwave energy safe?” and if so how safe is it? Well let me reassure you, microwave energy is everywhere, it is travelling through your location and the room I’m in at this very moment. For example, telephone networks are linked together these days via microwave transmitting and receiving dishes.

But its important to realise that its the frequency of the microwave energy that determines how safe it is. The wave length of this energy generally varies from 1 millimetre to 1 metre (0.04 – 39.37 inches). For our purposes microwave energy for cooking falls into the field of 12 centimetres (4.724 inches). At this range microwaves do have a carcinogenic effect (can cause cancer) and are mutagenic (changes the DNA structure of humans). However, according to the World Health Organisation, “When used according to manfactures instructions, microwave ovens are safe and convenient for heating and cooking a variety of foods” and I certainly agree with that comment.

How They Work

The microwaves in these ovens are developed by a component called the “magnetron”. Describing how this item generates the energy for cooking is quite technical and not necessary for this article but once the microwaves are developed a set of rotating blades scatter them into the oven cavity creating a uniform heating effect.

The nature of this energy is that water molecules in food become excited by the radiation, generating heat throughout the food. Consequently food cooks much more quickly in microwave ovens than in conventional ovens.

Safety Considerations

Even though microwave ovens are very safe to use, like any appliance, accidents happen and components do wear out. Therefore the following precautions should always be observed.

  • Never allow anyone (I’m thinking of children) to put their eyes up against the glass door when the oven is working. It is well known in the industry that there can be minor leakage while the unit is operating and although not harmful to health, could cause eye issues.
  • Always ensure the metal gauze behind the glass of the door is in tact. This is designed to stop radiation from escaping through the glass. I have very rarely seen problems with this in domestic situations but have observed some very curious circumstances in commercial outlets.
  • The door latch on these appliances is very sophisticated, consisting of a minimum of 3 safety switches. This means the door has to be completely and evenly closed before the unit will operate and if any one of these switches becomes faulty the unit will completely shut down.
  • Realize that the technology behind the sealing of the door is very advanced technology and that these appliances go through some very rigid testing before being released to retail outlets.
  • If your unit is in need of repair, my advice is to retain the services of a qualified serviceperson. Electricity is very unforgiving and working with it is not recommended for the DIY handyperson.

All Good Things Come To An End

I feel compelled to advise you that obsolescence is built into these appliances (i.e. they are guaranteed to breakdown after X amount of time, depending on the size of the unit) and unfortunately, with the smaller models the repair costs can be prohibitive.

Finally, if you are going to buy a new microwave oven and want long life, purchase one that is 900 watt or more.

Please realize too that the information I’ve given here is very basic in nature but in doing so I hope your relationship with your microwave oven will be greatly enhanced.


Health Care Is In Crisis – So Take Charge Of Your Health

We All Want To Be Healthy

Health is a critical issue for everyone throughout the whole world. You only have to watch the news most nights to quickly come to the conclusion “health care is in crisis”.

No doubt we have all heard of IBM, the solution providers for IT systems, but did you know they regularly look at trends that impact businesses everywhere.

Back in 2006 IBM found that General Motors annually spends more on health care (health & safety, sick days, accidents etc) than they do on steel….and they make steel cars.

Likewise, that Starbucks annually spends more on health care than they do on coffee…..and this trend, among most big companies was getting worse not better.

Where Is This Leading

For many years now IBM has consistently issued information to the business world, highlighting the increasing trend of failure of worldwide health care systems.

Using Ontario, Canada as a prime example, IBM predicted that Canada’s most populated province will be spending 100% of its annual budget on health care in 2026 if something isn’t done to correct the situation.

The point is, this trend is unsustainable, it just cannot be allowed to happen but unfortunately all western countries are following in these footsteps.

We Must Take Action

Consequently, the only option is to take charge of our own health.

As a case in point, back in 2009 I suddenly found I was lactose intolerant, meaning no more dairy products unless I was prepared to put up with the excruciating stomach pains that went along with it.

After my doctor told me my immune system was unbalanced and that I would “just have to get use to life without dairy”, I decided to investigate nutrition.

By co-incidence, I was introduced to a product that focused on re-establishing the balance of the 8 sugars that are necessary for a strong immune system.

I couldn’t help feeling at the time that it was a big risk. I was not only grappling with this new idea of nutrition, which it became obvious takes time but also the product was somewhat expensive.

However, I was desperate and decided to give it a 6 month trial. Lo and behold, 4 months later I was free of lactose intolerance and have been ever since.

Mindset Is Important

As a result of this experience and the shock realization, industry has outrageously changed our food over the last 50 years, I radically changed my diet and included a range of high quality supplements.

These days I eat very little of the processed food which contains sweeteners, coloring, flavourings and preservatives which I’ve heard referred to as “edible food like substances”.

And even though I’ve found it difficult to avoid processed food altogether, the simple changes I’ve made have been extremely beneficial to my health and my immune system easily copes when I occasionally stray.

Back To Science

Ironically, it was Paracelsus, who is considered the Father of Pharmacology and lived in the 16th century, who lectured – “Everything man needs to sustain good health, is provided by God in nature and the job of science is to find it”.

Fortunately, science has found an important missing link. Back in 1996 “Harper’s Bio-Chemistry”, which is still regarded as the No1 textbook for medical students who want to learn bio-chemistry, listed the new discovery of the 8 essential sugars that are necessary for healthy cell to cell communication and a strong immune system, so that the body can heal itself when sickness knocks.

These sugars are Manose, Glucose, Fructose, Glactose, Xylose, Neuraminic Acid, Galactosamine and Glucosamine. Interestingly, these are the same sugars found on mother’s breast milk but only 2 of which are found in our modern western diet, Glucose and Glactose.

The detection of these 8 sugars started a race by research and development companies to develop and patent supplements that contained them.

However, only a few remain, because the high cost of conventional marketing of these supplements makes it difficult to compete with the health food industry’s onslaught of cheaper, low grade, synthetically made nutritional alternatives which are extracted from petroleum, coal tar derivatives and crushed up rocks that are not absorbed into our bodies nearly as readily as their high quality counterparts.

The Problem We All Face

Even though I have the greatest respect for the medical community and the excellent work they do. The problem we all face with our health, is that we live in a nutrient depleted, toxic environment that leaves us stressed and often anxious about the medications we are taking and the low quality food we are eating.

As an example of what industry has done. Research has shown, in 1952 a single peach met the body’s daily requirement of vitamin A, today, because of green harvesting, we have to eat 50 peaches to get the same result.

Unfortunately too, big pharma’s solution, of ‘a pill for every ailment’ and industry’s ‘bigger is better’ have done nothing but strip us of the nourishment our bodies need, typically creating more health care problems for us all. At the same time lining the pockets of those organizations with ever-increasing ridiculous profits.


Our Only Option

Even though our health is a critical issue, it will remain that way if we continue to entrust our health care to pharmaceutical companies and industry organizations that have misinformed agendas.

Alternatively, if we take charge of our own health, we can spend our days living healthy, energetic and productive lives.


Founder of Get Kitchen Vim

The Type Of Frying Pan – For Culinary Excellence

We Are All Different

Talk to any group of competent chefs and you will find differences in the type of frying pan used for basic cooking. This is because our preferences are determined by personal considerations, some of which might include :-

  • What type of material is the unit made of ?
  • Is any of this material toxic to human beings?
  • Is the cooking surface flat and even?
  • Can it be washed effectively in a dishwasher?
  • How well does it retain its heat?How heavy it is?
  • Is it nonstick?
  • Is it easy to keep clean?
  • What is the handle made of?
  • What sizes are available?
  • What is the price?

Choose The Frying Pan Right For You

It can be seen, with all these considerations (and possibly others), that it’s important to know what you want and why you want it. So spend some time reflecting on your own personal needs and the needs of anyone you are preparing meals for. By doing this you will avoid disappointment and the possible waste of funds.

To help you with your selection, think of your frying pan as a “tool” and as every trades person knows “the best tool for the job is not necessarly the biggest or the cheapest. As a tradesperson myself, I know if a tool is too big for the job it will only create other problems, such as clumsey handling and other unexpected potentially disasterous outcomes, including embarassment if other people are involved.

Buying the cheapest new item can also be hazardous. Often the cheapest item will look just as good as the more expensive one but as is often the case, (which in the case of frying pans, I can testify to), you may find the handle is not appropriate, the base of the unit is not flat, or the non stick coating does not live up to your expectations. So the lesson here is make sure you make a wise investment based on your requirements.

A Word Of Warning

Many different types of frypans today are coated in teflon which has ended the painful duty of scraping food off the bottom of the pan after the cooking process is finished.

The problem with teflon arises when when it is scratched or starts to deteriorate. In my research I have found the US consumer group, EWG (Enviornmental Working Group) stipulated in a 2006 publication, that teflon begins to deteriorate and give off harmful chemicals once temperatures reach 350 degrees C (660 degrees F) and will show signs of decomposition above 350 degrees C (660 degrees F). EWG also advises that oils, cooking fats and butter will smoke and scorch at about 200 degrees C (392 degrees F) and that meat will fry between 200-230 degrees C (400-450 degrees F).

With this in mind it must be remembered that teflon has been on the market since the 1930’s and has an outstanding record of safe use and that under normal cooking conditions presents no risk to your health.

There Is A Lot To Choose From Out There

Lets now look at the different types of frying pans out there and map out some important considerations when choosing one.

The following is a list of the most popular on the market:-

  • CopperCast Iron
  • Carbon Steel
  • Anodized Aluminium
  • Stone Frying Pan
  • Stainless Steel.

For teflon free units choose – Stone frying pans, cast iron, copper, carbon steel or stainless steel.

For easier to clean units choose – Anodized aluminum or cast iron.

For non-stick units choose – Stone frying pans, Anodized aluminum, cast iron, copper or carbon steel.

For the best heat retention choose – Cast iron or Carbon steel, stainless steel and anodized aluminum to a lesser degree.

For dishwasher safe use choose – Stainless steel or anodized aluminum, avoid putting cast iron, carbon steel and copper in a dishwasher.

For even heating choose – Stone frying pans, cast iron,copper or carbon steel.

As everyone is different weight and cost considerations should be evaluated at the time of purchase.

Happy Cooking

Having considered the important questions to ask, the attitude behind using the frying pan, the cautious use of teflon and the purchase choices available, you now have ample information to be able decide on the type of frying pan which is right for you.

Armed with this information, as well as any extra from your own research, you will be able to avoid the indecision which often comes from being overloaded with information. You will also be able to avoid the trap of purchasing an item a sales person has recommended, only to find out later your needs have not been fully considered.

With a frying pan that meets your needs and expectations you will find, you not only have a high degree of alertness when preparing meals but also your confidence level will have been greatly increased, resulting in comments from friends and family such as:-

  • You are a wonderful cook
  • I wish I could cook like you
  • You are an inspiration
  • I admire your cooking ability
  • You spoil me with this delicious food
  • Can I have the recipe for this superb meal
  • Etc,etc,etc

My final words are, move forward with courage and demand only the best….you won’t be disappointed.

About Chris

I’ve been single and living alone now for a good number of years and like everyone who is single (e.g. single mums, single dad’s, bachelors, spinsters) I am responsible for the food preparation of my household. I have found over this period of time that a frypan is an essential commodity in the preparation of a variety of meals.


Like many of you. Back in the days when living alone was a new experience for me I was happy to fill up on snacks or regularly indulge fast food takeaways, sometimes on a daily basis.

Over time I came to realise these practices were not the best for my wallet and more importantly my health. Consequently I looked for and found cheap alternatives which consisted of sausages and three vegetables for dinner and ham and tomato sandwiches for lunch.

These daily meals continued for quite a long time. Breakfast was never a problem as I’d been eating the same cereal for as long as I could remember.

The one other boring but healthy discipline I adopted was to daily have an apple and orange.



As I became wiser in my pursuit of healthy eating, I realised how important it is to have a good frypan.

Initially, any clean second hand frypan would do, as long as it was nonstick and not too many scratches.

It wasn’t until I invited a lady friend home for a cooked meal that I found out that aluminum frypans with scratched teflon coating can be a potential health hazard.

Since then I have taken a serious interest in frypans and although I’m still learning, I have gleaned enough information to be

able to offer accurate advice as to the best type of frypan to use for a particular preparation.


I want people to be aware of the potential risks associated with using cheap non-stick frypans and offer advice and products that will ensure you and your household remain healthy and contented with your frypan prepared meals

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Chris Roberts