Now that we’re all on lockdown, we’re finding out exactly how much, or little, we have in our cupboards.
Trying to social distance means only going to the shops when absolutely necessary.
So nipping out every day to stock up on items for dinner is not a viable option.
Whether it’s making chicken with a packet of Creole seasoning you bought four years ago, or trying fish curry, we’re all experimenting with what we have in.
Unfortunately, there’s a hidden issue with this philosophy.
It turns out many of us don’t know how to store things correctly
For example, did you know that bottles of lemon and lime juice go bad?
No, neither did we until we glanced at the underside of our fruit-shaped bottle.
There we saw a layer of green mould… lurking.
Now, if you’re anything like us then you’ve had bottles of citrus juice hanging around since you bought them for Pancake Day.
Last year’s Pancake Day.
You presumed that the acidity of the product kept it from going bad and started using it again.
A splash of lemon on salmon or in a pasta dish can elevate the flavour, after all.
Sadly, just because your mum kept it in the cupboard, doesn’t mean that’s supposed to be where it’s kept.
The rule of thumb with lemon juice, is to treat it like any other juice.
You’d keep apple or cranberry juice in the fridge, and so once open that is where lemon juice should go too.
Before it’s opened you can keep it in a cool, dark cupboard.
How long does it last?
While shop-bought lemon juice has additional preservatives inside, at room temperature the juice degrades quickly.
Keep it sealed tight, in the fridge and throw it away after three months.
If you’re using fresh lemon juice, without preservatives, then it won’t last more than three days.
If you use lemon juice fairly frequently, you can freeze it into cubes and then throw them into your dish while cooking.
That way, nothing goes to waste, but you don’t end up unwell.
Now, go and check that bottle of lemon juice.
And don’t be surprised if it has to be thrown away, immediately.