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Our food changes once it has been bought: some to a greater extent, some to a lesser, some changes quickly, some slowly. Proper stock-keeping can have a significant impact in this regard.

It prevents unwanted changes and loss of quality such as those caused by sunlight and oxygen, which lead to an altered taste and loss of vitamins (particularly vitamin C). Therefore:

  • Food should always be stored away from direct sunlight.

  • Dry food such as sugar, salt or crispbreads can absorb moisture from the surrounding air and turn lumpy or swell up. As a preventive measure, such food should always be stored in a dry place and in tightly sealed containers, e.g. Tupperware boxes.

  • If the ambient temperature is warm or if kept in a fridge, some foods such as bread, fruit and vegetables release a lot of moisture, which causes them to dry out. Therefore you should store these foods in a cool place, but never in air-tight packaging.

  • Dairy products easily absorb other odours from the fridge. For this reason opened dairy products should always be reclosed properly or, if necessary, moved into tightly sealed containers.

  • Foods with an intense aroma such as coffee, spices and tea will lose their odour over time. Again, using air-tight packaging and keeping an appropriate quantity in stock will help to keep the number of packets that you open and only partially use to a minimum.

  • Foods such as bananas and potatoes become damaged if kept at excessively low temperatures. Cheese loses its aroma and taste. Therefore these foods are not suitable for freezing and should be protected from frost.

  • Once ready, meals should not be kept warm unnecessarily. It is better to allow cooked dishes to cool down and to heat them up again immediately prior to consumption.


In order to prevent food becoming spoiled and being thrown out, it is recommended to store it correctly but also to check it on a regular basis. Look out for the following:

  • Packaging must be intact and any packaging that has been opened must be properly closed again.
  • Are any tins or shrink-wrapped products swollen?
  • Are there any traces of pests such as flies, worms or moths?
  • Are any foods discoloured?
  • Do fruit or vegetables have brown or rotten spots?
  • Does the food smell unpleasant?

If you answer yes to one or more of these points, you have a pest infestation or your food has become spoiled. The affected foods must be thrown away immediately and the pantry then thoroughly cleaned. Even if there is no pest infestation, storage areas, shelves and cupboards should of course be thoroughly cleaned and fridges and freezer compartments defrosted on a regular basis.