Vacuum packing is a method of storing food which can extend its life by up to five times. The packaging creates an airless environment to prevent food from spoiling ensuring the food is kept in a safe condition and not potentially harmful to people’s health.
LONG TERM STORAGE OF DRY FOODS:
Nuts, cereals, cured meats, cheese, smoked fish, coffee, crisps.
SHORT TERM STORAGE OF FRESH FOODS:
Vegetables, meats, liquids i.e. soups.
Vacuum pouches prevent freezer burn by shielding food from exposure to the cold, dry air. Freezer burn occurs when the surface of frozen food dehydrates, leading to a leathery appearance and an impaired flavour.
(literally ‘under vacuum’) Today, the benefits of sealing products in vacuum pouches has extended to many additional areas of food preparation. Particularly this cooking process used by many top class restaurants to preserve flavour, assist marinading, speed cooking times & lower temperatures.
After the vacuum process, the chamber can be filled with a gas mixture. This can increase shelf life or provide ‘air bag’ protection for foods, or provide anti static barriers when used for packing electrical products. – Additional gas fittings, equipment and gas bottles are required for this facility.
APPROXIMATE STORAGE LIFE OF VACUUM PACKED FOOD
|Product||Normal refrigeration duration||Vacuum refrigeration duration|
|Meat||3 days||15 days|
|Fish||3 days||12 days|
|Vegetables||7 days||25 days|
|Ham||5 days||20 days|
|Cooked dishes (e.g. rice, pasta)||3 days||15 days|
Jan 2021 – some of the above storage guidelines are currently subject to a review as at this time by the Food Standards Agency together with the food industry representation with the possibility of extending storage times but information should be obtained direct from FSA website on this