3 Foods You Should Always Keep in the Refrigerator
Storing foods properly to prevent spoilage and bacterial contamination is important, for obvious reasons. Not everything has to be refrigerated, of course, but some things do.
Here are three foods that you should always keep in the refrigerator.
In the United States, eggs require refrigeration as a result of how they are processed. In order for eggs to be deemed safe by the United States Department of Agriculture, they are required to be washed and sprayed with a chemical sanitizer that removes any bacteria, like salmonella. The eggs are then dried because bacteria can only pierce the shell when moisture is present. A cold egg needs to stay refrigerated because when left on the counter at room temperature it might “sweat,” and this thin layer of moisture is all that is required for a bacterial contamination. Other countries, like Great Britain, don’t require their eggs to be refrigerated because their egg -laying hens are required by law to be vaccinated against salmonella, making any other sanitizing process superfluous.
An unfortunate trait of minimally processed ingredients, such as nut flours, is that they spoil faster than heavily processed foods. Almond, coconut, wheat germ, and hemp flours are rich in healthy oils, which is why they’re considered healthy, but these oils are susceptible to rancidity and spoilage. Nut and whole wheat flours should be refrigerated after opening; properly cooled, they can last as long as six months.
Pure Maple Syrup
Unopened, pure maple syrup can last up to two years in a cool dark place, but after the safety seal is broken it needs to be refrigerated immediately. Leaving pure maple syrup on the kitchen counter or pantry may result in the growth of mold and other harmful bacteria. The Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association says that when properly refrigerated, pure maple syrup can last up to a year, and when frozen it can be kept indefinitely. Imitation pancake syrup uses corn syrup (not maple syrup) and preservatives such as sodium benzoate to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus, so it can stay unrefrigerated.