Vacuum sealing is a way of preserving foods that have gained a lot of popularity over the years. It involves removing air from a package before sealing it using a vacuum sealing machine.
The method works by preventing air from getting in the package to avoid the growth of microorganisms that make food go bad. It has become a big trend and many kitchens are having vacuum bags for preservation.
If you are wondering if the bags can be reused it means that you use them too. Here we will discuss deeper about them so keep reading to learn more.
Can you reuse vacuum sealer bags?
You can reuse vacuum sealer bags and some people will reuse them until they are worn out to the point of not being usable anymore. All you need to do is wash or wipe them with a damp cloth depending on what was inside them then let them air dry before use.
It is easier to reuse bags that had dry foods or vegetables than those that had greasy foods or raw meats. It is even recommended to throw them away instead because they may have bacteria that can be hard to get rid of.
How to clean vacuum sealer bags
When reusing the bag, you should ensure that the bag is clean before your next use. This is to prevent bacteria from getting into contact with your food.
If a bag had dry foods, you can simply wipe it using a damp cloth to clean it up. However, if the bag contained foods like vegetables, fruits, or cooked foods, you will need to wash it.
Turn it inside out then use clean hot water, dish soap, and vinegar to kill bacteria. You can also place the bag in a dishwasher to wash.
Rinse it thoroughly because it will contain edibles then let it air dry before its next use.
If the bag contained foods like raw meat, fish, unpasteurized cheese, and eggs, bacteria like salmonella can be left behind no matter how well you wash the bag. To be on the safe side, use a new bag instead to avoid cross-contamination.
Also, if the vacuum bag had foods that were greasy and oily, it may be hard to clean so toss it away to avoid the buildup of bacteria. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Store your well-washed bags in a clean place after they dry up. Make sure that there are no sharp objects nearby that can poke holes in the bag and ruin it.
Measures to take when reusing
Before you put a bag into use again, the first thing you should ensure is that it is clean and dry. Moisture can lead to the breeding of bacteria.
Vacuum sealing bags become smaller after washing them. Sometimes the bag may not even close properly so you should check it before putting food in them.
Look out for any spaces or holes that may bring in air into the bag too.
When filling up the bag, ensure that it has enough space left on top after putting in food so that it can seal properly and not open up afterwards when you have already stored it. Keep the space at about an inch from the bag opening to the top of the food.
Advantages of using vacuum sealer bags
Vacuum sealer bags are safe and environmentally friendly ways of preserving food. The advantages of using them include:
Keep food in its original state
When food is preserved using these bags it can stay in its original form because the bag keeps it with all its moisture and form. The food remains with its taste, texture, and freshness even after months of storage.
You can buy food in bulk and when there are offers you can buy more than you need because you will store it in vacuum bags for preservation. This will help you save money that you would have used to buy the extra food.
Reusing the bags will save on costs because instead of buying extra bags, you can use the bags you already have.
Using vacuum bags will help you organize your foods better in the refrigerator making everything neat and easier to reach.
You can also meal prep using the bags which will help you save up on time too.
Preserving food in vacuum sealer bags can help you reduce waste because you will not be having food going stale or becoming worse. Any extra food bought or leftovers can be stored in the bags which will prevent them from getting spoiled and going to waste.
Preserve food for long
Vacuum sealer bags can keep food preserved for a long and in a good state. For instance, the bags prevent freezer burn while keeping the food longer than normal refrigerating.
Meat that would normally stay frozen for only 6 months gets a longer shelf life of up to 3 years while using vacuum bags. Cheese that would last only 2 weeks can stay for as long as 3 months.
Vacuum sealer bags can be reused but they should be cleaned well beforehand.
To avoid mold, bacteria, or other microorganisms from causing cross contaminations, you should use hot water and dish soap to wash them. They can also be washed in the dishwasher, just remember to flip them inside out.
Some foods like raw meats, cheese, and eggs can leave bacteria in the bags after use so it’s advisable to not reuse bags that had these foods for health safety purposes.
Throw away the bags if they are greasy as they may prove hard to clean well. However, other cooked foods, vegetables, dry foods, and fruits are okay if you reused the bags.
Reusing vacuum bags will enable you to preserve food well, longer, and also save on the cost of buying new bags.