Storing Food Uncovered Won't Help It Stay Fresh

Everyone has been there: You're tired after cooking all evening and cleaning up your kitchen, so you just stick the plate of leftovers in the fridge without covering it up. As long as it's refrigerated, it should be fine to eat tomorrow, right? It turns out that this is a common misconception. According to Hygiene Food Safety, leaving food uncovered in the refrigerator can have several adverse effects, leading to food spoilage and potential health risks.

This habit exposes your leftovers to all sorts of different contaminants present in the refrigerator. This can include bacteria, molds, and odors from other foods, which may affect its quality and safety. While floating bacteria can obviously get you sick, odors can also alter the flavor and aroma of the plated meal, making it less appetizing. In addition to that, the cold and dry environment of the fridge can cause food to lose moisture when left uncovered. This can lead to the dish becoming dry, which makes leftover night something to dread.

How to properly store your food in the fridge

To keep your food safe from bacteria and drying out, make sure you store it properly in the fridge. The idea is to create a cover to block any potential risks, as well as retain moisture while stored in such a cold environment. If you don't feel like pushing your food off your plate or out of your bowl, simply cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. That should be enough to protect it from the elements. 

But if you want to ensure it stays delicious longer and expires at a slower pace, store it in an airtight container. This creates a sealed environment that helps prevent moisture from escaping the food, keeping it juicy and at its desired texture. There's nothing worse than dried meat or crunchy pasta, after all. It also creates a heavy-duty barrier against anything that can spoil or deteriorate your food, allowing it to stay fresher for longer, and limits the food's contact with oxygen, slowing down the oxidation process and preserving its original taste, aroma, and color.