Food Storage & Safety
IMPORTANT : Vacuum packaging is NOT a substitute for refrigeration or freezing. Any perishable foods that require refrigeration must still be refrigerated or frozen after vacuum packaging.
For best result in extending the life of foods, it is important to vacuum package foods that are fresh. Once food has begun to deteriorate, vacuum packaging may only slow the deterioration process. Vacuum sealing cannot prevent the growth of mold. Other disease causing microorganisms can still grow in low oxygen environments and may require further measures to be eliminated.
Food Preparation Hints and Tips for Air-tight Vacuum Sealing
Cooking, Thawing and Reheating – Simmering in a vacuum bag helps food retain its flavor and it helps with the clean up as well. No dirty saucepans... When reheating foods in the microwave using your vacuum bags, always puncture open the bag to allow hot air to escape. You can also reheat foods in the vacuum bags by placing them in water at a low simmer below 170°F (75°C).
IMPORTANT : Always thaw foods in either refrigerator or microwave – do not thaw perishable foods at room temperature.
Preparation Hints for Meat and Fish :
Try pre-freezing meats and fish for 1-2 hours before vacuum packaging. This helps retain the juice and shape, and provides for a better seal.
If you can’t, place a folded paper towel between the food and top of the bag, but below seal area. Leave paper towel in bag to absorb excess moisture and juices during vacuum packaging process.
Preparation Hints for Cheeses :
Vacuum package cheese after each use. If you make your bag just a little longer than needed, you can re-seal the bag after each use.
IMPORTANT : Due to the risk of anaerobic bacteria, soft cheeses should never be vacuum packaged.
Preparation Guidelines for Vegetables :
Blanching is a process that should be done before vacuum packaging vegetables. This process stops the enzyme action that could lead to loss of flavor, color and texture. To blanch vegetables, place them in Simmering water or in a microwave until they are cooked, but still crisp. Blanching times can range from 1 to 2 minutes for leafy greens and peas ; 3 to 4 minutes for snap peas, sliced zucchini or broccoli ; give your carrots about 5 minutes ; and 7 to 11 minutes for corn on the cob. After blanching, immerse vegetables in cold water to stop the cooking process.
NOTE : All vegetables (including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips) naturally emit gases, during storage. Therefore, after blanching, it’s best if they’re stored in the freezer.
More on Vegetables :
Vegetables are a great candidate for portion control ; when storing vegetables, try pre-freezing them for 1 to 2 hours, then separate them into meal portions within your vacuum bags. After they have been vacuum packaged, return them to the freezer.
IMPORTANT : Due to the risk of anaerobic bacteria, fresh mushrooms, onions & garlic should never be vacuum packaged.
Preparation Hints for Powdery Foods :
When vacuum packaging powdery items like flour, it’s best to use their original packaging inside of the vacuum bags. The fine powder could get sucked into the machine and cause enough damage to shorten the life of the sealer.
Preparation Hints for Liquids :
Before you vacuum package liquid such as soup stock, pre-freeze in a casserole dish, loaf pan or ice cube tray until solid. Remove frozen liquid from pan and vacuum package in the vacuum bags. You can then stack in the freezer. When you’re ready to use, just cut corner of bag and place in either a microwave dish or drop into water at a low simmer, below 170°F (75°C).