Keep up-to-date with official information and advice on COVID-19 on the NSW Government website.
Tips for storing fresh food
Fridge? Fruit bowl? Pantry? Freezer? How you store different food could help make some fresh food last longer. Try these suggestions:
Long lasting fruits and vegetables
Try to use up fresh ingredients with a shorter shelf life first – prioritise fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products. Keep your
canned and dried food for when you need it. And if you can’t use it,
try freezing it.
These fruits and veggies can be stored for weeks in the fridge, so consider including in your shopping list.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes
Onions and garlic
Canned and dried food
Some canned ingredients are not only nutritious but can be stored for a long time (try to look for salt-reduced varieties). You may already have some of these at home! Some healthy canned food options include:
kidney beans, black beans, butter beans, borlotti beans
- chickpeas, lentils
oily fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon
tuna in spring water
peas, green beans, and broad beans.
Dried goods like grains and pulses are usually affordable, can be stored for a long time and are nutritious. Some good options for dried food, if available, include:
- split peas
- rolled oats
- dried herbs.
Beans, lentils and split peas can be soaked in water overnight in the fridge to reduce cooking time.
Freezing fresh food
Freezing is a great way to preserve the nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables and make meat products last longer. Frozen fruit and vegetables are a great option and just as nutritious as fresh. You can buy frozen varieties or follow these tips to freeze your own.
Fruits and vegetables
Most fruit will freeze well – just chop into smaller pieces and peel fruit with thick skins before freezing (like bananas and mangoes). You can freeze pieces on a tray first to avoid clumping together.
Most vegetables freeze better if they're blanched first. Vegetables with less moisture freeze well as they hold together better when thawed. You can try freezing:
corn, peas, carrots, green beans
broccoli and cauliflower
Onion and capsicum (no need to blanch these)
root vegetables like potatoes and pumpkin
- greens such as spinach and kale (these don't need to be blanched first but you should wash the leaves and dry thoroughly before freezing).
Freezing fresh food
- Chop up large vegetables into smaller chunks
- Blanch by submerging in boiling water for a couple of minutes – this helps preserve colour and flavour
- Transfer straight into iced water
- Drain and pat dry
- Once cooled and dried, store in an airtight container or ziplock bag (if you don’t want them sticking together, freeze them on a tray first in a single layer)
- Don’t forget to label with what’s inside and the date! Use within 8-10 months
- When ready to cook with them, defrost under running water to thaw (or place the container in a bowl of water) or cook straight from frozen
If not eating straight away, most uncooked meat can last for a long time in the freezer. As a guide:
- Minced meat: 2-3 months
- Steaks: 6 months
- Chops: 4 months
- Chicken breast: 3-6 months
- Fish (including salmon): 3-4 months
Making healthy meals go further
Check out some handy ways to bulk up home-cooked meals and make them last longer.
More tips for staying healthy in isolation
Staying healthy looks a little different during times of change like the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow our tips to brush up on the
basics of healthy eating and
staying active during isolation.