7 Tips To Prevent Food From Spoilage During Monsoon

Rain brings respite from heat, washes cities, and waters lands, not to mention the scenic views from your windows that make you not want to get up in the morning and go to work. While the temperature drops during monsoon, the humidity levels (moisture in the air) rise, making your skin sticky and reducing the shelf life of food.

Whether raw or cooked, food items get soiled faster in this weather. If you keep raw vegetables and fruits outside for long, their skin turns brown. On the other hand, the cooked food, if left out in the open, attracts flies and gets contaminated. Here are a few ways you can prevent the food from spoiling in this weather.

Use Dehumidifiers

If possible, use dehumidifiers or moisture absorbers in the pantry. Add silica gel packs in containers or shelves to keep the environment dry. This will help lentils, gram flour, flour, and other ingredients in the kitchen from absorbing moisture, which can lead to spoilage and breeding of germs and bacteria. Keeping humidity levels low in the storage area should be your top priority.

Cook Properly

There are three stages of cooking - finding the ingredients, cooking to perfection, and hygiene. Irrespective of the weather, you must be careful of all these stages, however, you must be extra cautious in monsoon. When you purchase meat, avoid cross-contamination with cooked and raw food items in the kitchen. You must also ensure that the food is cooked thoroughly so that any pathogens or bacteria it is carrying are killed, and at any stage of cooking, maintain the highest standards of hygiene.

Seal Cooked Food

When the food is cooked, it attracts flies and other insects in the environment, which are in abundance in the monsoon. Hence, cooked food needs to be stored in sealed containers and packets. If you have to leave it out in the open, always cover it with a lid so that there is no space for moisture or insects to get in. You can also use the foil wrap to keep the humidity at bay.

Use Natural Preservatives

To preserve food for long, you need to use natural preservatives. You can add acid to the food by using vinegar and lemon juice. Use a generous amount of curries, gravies, and sauces. For pickles, chutneys, and jams, use sugar and salt in a generous amount. These natural preservatives will extend the shelf life of cooked and uncooked food items.

Avoid Buying In Bulk

Monsoon is not the season to buy in bulk and save a few bucks. In this season, you must buy according to your requirements. If you and your family members can consume a kilogram of tomatoes in a week, buy only that amount. If you buy for 10-15 days, you might not be able to keep vegetables and fruits fresh for long, and everything will go to waste.

Use Preservation Techniques

Adding preservatives is not enough, you must use the right technique as well. Vegetables and fruits can be preserved using brine and vinegar. If you are making pickles, fermentation is the way to go. Some pickles also have vinegar in the recipe but the content needs to ferment. Kimchi is a great example of fermented food that you can refrigerate and consume for a long time. Similarly, if you witness the sun shining brightly on rainy days, keep fruits and vegetables out in the open to remove the moisture content.

Use Desiccants

You don’t need silica bags for everything. You can use natural desiccants that can trap moisture. For example, add a few grains of rice to a salt shaker. It will prevent the granules from sticking together in humidity. Similarly, you can add cloves to containers of flour. Not only will it keep the flour dry, but it will also prevent pest attacks. You can add cloves to the containers of lentils as well.