How to keep your food fresher for longer

Keep food fresher for longer, as stats show we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year

As a nation we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, costing the average UK household £470 a year. To try and reduce this, AEG, one of the UK’s leading household appliance manufacturers, has come up with a list of top tips to help keep food fresher for longer, and save Brits some of their hard earned cash. Here's how to keep your food fresh.

Related: Best fridge freezers for keeping food fresh and tasty

1. Check your fridge temperature

Your fridge should be between 0-5 degrees. This is the optimum temperature for making sure your food lasts.

2. Don’t overload

kitchen with white wall and red refrigerator

(Image credit: Andrew Woods)

Cramming food into the fridge might seem like a good idea at the time (we’ve all been there) but you are in danger of preventing the cooling air from circulating and keeping all items at the right temperature and humidity.

3. Segment for success

kitchen with blue door kitchen rack and wooden basket

(Image credit: Simon Scarboro)

Many fruits give off natural gases as they ripen, making other nearby produce spoil faster. Store bananas, apples and tomatoes by themselves, and store fruits and vegetables in different compartments.

4. Preparation is key

Sometimes it is not possible to eat everything before it goes off, so prepare and cook perishable items, then freeze them for use throughout the month.

5. Dare to freeze dairy

cheese dairy freezer plant in vase and plate with knife

(Image credit: TBC)

Don’t be afraid to freeze dairy products. Items such as semi-skimmed and skimmed milk can be places in the freezer and so can hard cheese – try cutting them into small portions or grate some so it is ready to use later.

Related: Fifty per cent of you would fail a food hygiene inspection at home. Here's why!

6. Keep it watered

red chillies brinjals and radish in wooden basket

(Image credit: Alun Callender)

Try wrapping salad and herbs in a damp paper towel before storing to prevent them from drying out, keeping them fresher for longer. Keep the stems of vegetables such as broccoli, celery and asparagus in water to help them stay fresh and crisp.

7. Prevent cross contamination

Keep all raw meat, poultry and fish in its store wrapping, or in sealed containers to stop it from touching or dripping onto other foods and spoiling them.

8. In or out?

kitchen with table having racks and plant in pots

(Image credit: Lizzie Orme)

Some food lasts longer outside of the fridge, this includes bread, bananas, pineapples, potatoes and onions.

Related: Is this the recycling solution to the UK's 7.3 million tonne food waste problem

9. Take a shelfie

Photograph the contents of your fridge or make a list before you shop – organisation is key and can prevent you from buying items that you don’t need.

How do you keep your food fresh?

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.