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How to make the most of your sandwich spreads

Spreads are the absolute staple of any home.

Jam, peanut butter, chocolate hazelnut spread, and so much more; making the essential difference between a good sandwich and a great one. They are as diverse and colourful as they are delicious, but are they handled wisely?

Our Respect Food campaign is about all the ways in which we can all reduce food waste. From storage to buyingto serving food, it’s important to make sure that we are responsible for it all. After all, every bit of food wasted is that little bit more harmful to the pocket and the planet.

Many sandwich spreads can be at risk of spoiling quickly, which can be completely avoided. See these 4 tips that will help you maintain the taste and longevity of your spreads.

1. Seal them!

Spreads such as peanut butter and jam can last for up to a year after they’ve been opened, but oxygen can go a long way in spoiling them earlier than expected. Peanut butter, especially, becomes spoiled with repeat exposure to air. Try to keep a habit of leaving the containers of your spreads open for only as long as you need to use them, and then seal their lids so no air can get in.

2. Refrigeration
While your unopened spreads can last a good while in the pantry, refrigerating them will help them go the extra mile after opening them. See our freshness solutions that Respect Food here.

3. Avoid cross-contamination
Keeping your spreads clean is a key way of making sure they last longer. While many spreads last a good while on their own, it’s easy to contaminate them with bits and pieces from other foods if you’re not careful. Spreading some jam on bread, for example, can usually result in breadcrumbs being left in the jar, which could lead to mould. Instead, be sure to use a clean spoon or knife to scoop it out. Small measures like these add up to make large improvements to the shelf life of your spreads.

4. Temperature
Changes in temperature is something many spreads are easily susceptible to. When exposed to changing temperatures, condensing moisture from the air will begin to collect inside the packaging of your spreads, eventually leading to the growth of nasty bacteria and fungi. Keep your spreads in a cool and dry place.

Spreads are meant to last for a very long time, but simple mistakes can make a serious dent in their shelf life. Try to keep to these habits, and you’ll be able to enjoy more bites out of your favourite sandwiches, without filling up your bin!

Likewise, canned foods are versatile and long-lasting, provided that they are stored properly. Learn more about how to store opened tinned and canned goods.