Thursday, January 24, 2008
Medical Reports: Hidden Hazard
It's one of the most tedious household chores, cleaning the kitchen cupboards. Many of us tend to put it off. Tonight, Seven's Diana Diaz shows us how you may want to add it to your "to do list" to make sure your pantry doesn't pose a Hidden Hazard.
WSVN -- Grocery shopping, cooking. It doesn't take long for our kitchen cupboards to get packed.
Denice Recupero: "I buy stuff for one use only, and then it ends up in my pantry for a long time."
Denice Recupero tries cleaning up her cupboard whenever she gets a chance.
Denice Recupero: "I know I have to do it more often, but, with my busy lifestyle and my kids and school, you know, I try to do it once a month."
But how do you really know what to toss and when? Sonia Angel from Memorial Hospital Pembroke says, first go by the expiration date.
Sonia Angel: "Organize your shelves with the older products in front."
You will know what expires first and what your running short on. When it comes to canned foods, beware if they're dented or bulging.
Sonia Angel: "It may mean the presence of bacteria that could be dangerous to your health."
Many of us keep baking supplies for years. That's a no-no. They won't hurt you, but they do go bad. Once you open products like flour or sugar, transfer what's left into an air-tight container.
Sonia Angel: "You want to date it so that you know when you opened it and how long it's going to last."
Sugar will keep for up to two years and flour stays fresh six to 12 months. To test baking soda, place a teaspoon-and-a-half in a bowl of water with some vinegar. If it fizzes its still good. If not...
Sonia Angel: "You can use it in the fridge to prevent odors."
And don't forget about your spices and herbs.
Sonia Angel: "If you buy the little packages, keep them in a sealed container, and, again, you may want to put a date on the bottom of it."
Toss spices after a year. They start losing flavor. As for liquids like honey and oils, try storing them in the fridge so they last longer.
Sonia Angel: "It's going to look a little milky, but it doesn't mean it's damaged. Once it's room temperature it's going to come back to the same color."
Denice now knows the importance of having her cupboard up to date, so it doesn't become a Hidden Hazard.
Denice Recupero: "There's a lot of food-borne illness that could send you to the hospital and almost kill you just by eating something that is not thrown out when you're supposed to throw it out."
Diana Diaz: "Experts also say to keep your cupboard foods away from the stove and fridge because the heat from those appliances may spoil them more quickly."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Memorial Hospital Pembroke
7800 Sheridan Street
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024