How to Store Food to Prevent Waste

We are all guilty of wasting food but did you know that 25% of food wasted in UK households is due to cooking, preparing or serving too much? This costs us £3.5 billion a year. So being savvy with our food can prevent waste and save us money, not to mention the benefit to the environment. About 6%-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced if we stop wasting food.

Here are some ideas to get you started…

Your fridge temperature should be below 5c but the average UK fridge temperature is set at least 2c too warm. Reducing your fridge temperature could keep your food fresher for up 3 days longer.

Where you store food in the fridge also has an impact on how long it lasts. The coldest part of your fridge is at the bottom so if you have short-dated products then this is the best place to store them. Meat, fish and poultry should also be stored on the bottom shelf.

Ready to eat food can go on the middle or top shelves. And anything that has already been open like cheese or coleslaw will last longer if it’s put in an airtight container.

Apples and Bananas produce a lot of ethylene and cause other fruits to ripen quickly so keep them out of the fruit bowl. There are also ethylene-sensitive products that react more to these products like avocados, grapes and melon. Keep them separated as much as possible.

Apples also last longer in the fridge (and I think taste really nice cold!). Cherries and blueberries are not sensitive so can be stored alongside.

Vegetables need to breathe so remove them from their packaging and place in the salad crisper drawer. Try not to pack veggies tightly together as they need space for air circulation.

Potatoes need to be kept in the dark so store them in a cupboard or a paper bag.

Using a cool bag to transport your fresh food from the supermarket to home will keep it cool and help to regulate your fridge temperature (which will also help everything last longer).

To find out more food saving ideas, go to


By Melanie Nurse

Melanie Nurse