Although many foods have a minimum shelf-life, some will keep for much longer if they are stored correctly. In the first part of the series “Shelf-life of foods” you can find out all you need to know about the shelf-life and storage of cereal products.
Bread and baked goods
Bread should be consumed as soon as possible. The darker the bread, the longer it will keep. White bread remains fresh for about three days, while whole-grain bread remains edible for up to a week. It is best to keep it in a bread bin or bread bag. Do not store bread in the refrigerator, because it dries out quickly there. Did you know that bread is exceptionally well-suited to freezing? Individual slices of bread can be deep-frozen and can be thawed out again very quickly.
If mould forms on the bread, dispose of the whole loaf, because the fungal toxins may already have spread in the loaf. Generally, however, bread dries out more quickly than it perishes. Don’t throw away dry, old bread. Be inventive in reusing it e.g. for breadcrumbs or for adding to soup or for serving up tasty dishes such as golden fried bread sprinkled with cinnamon. More creative dishes can be found here
Flour and muesli
When kept in dry, airtight storage (e.g. in a sealed container that protects against pests) flour and muesli can be consumed well beyond the minimum shelf-life. However, whole-grain flour does not keep for as long as white flour and has to be used sooner.
It is essential to keep potatoes in a cool, dark place such as the cellar. Throw out potatoes with a green layer, because these are highly poisonous! Sprouting potatoes are safe to eat: simply remove the sprouts and be generous in peeling the potatoes.
Rice and pasta
Rice and pasta stored in dry, sealed containers remain edible well beyond the minimum shelf-life. If they show signs of mould, a musty smell or infestation with kitchen moths, you should dispose of the products as quickly as possible. Be especially cautious with products in recycled cardboard boxes. These should be transferred to a storage container, because recycled cartons contain mineral oils, which could damage your health.
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