Mum shares hack for keeping spinach from spoiling while other warn not to eat leaves past its use-by

Shopper shares her tip for keeping spinach fresher for MUCH longer using a pantry staple – though there is a risk of eating it past its use-by date

  • An Aussie mum has revealed how she used an onion to keep her spinach fresh
  • Posting to Facebook, the woman said she kept a chopped onion in the open bag
  • She said the leaves stayed crisp in the fridge in the open bag for days
  • The post drew in dozens of comments with many impressed by the unlikely hack
  • However others warned against eating salad leaves past their use-by date 

An Aussie shopper has come up with a clever way to make her spinach stay fresh for longer using an item most people have in their pantry. 

Posting to popular Facebook page Simple Savers, the thrifty woman said she placed a piece of onion in the spinach bag which kept the leaves from going soggy well passed their use-by date. 

While many were wowed by the unlikely hack, other warned against eating spinach and salad leaves past the expiry date. 

An Aussie mum shared how she kept her bagged spinach crunchy for longer by storing it with a chopped up onion though some warned against eating the leaves past their use-by date

‘So 10 days later, left in fridge open with piece of onion and still good condition. Have tried paper towels and clipped closed the bag no where near as good result,’ the woman wrote in the post adding the leaves had no onion flavour. 

How to keep food fresher for longer 

✅Store your pre-cut veggie sticks with water in the bottom of the container, and swish the water around every couple of days to keep your veggies crisp and crunchy.

✅Wash berries in water and vinegar then pat try to kill bacteria and preserve for double the time.

✅Use airtight containers, always to seal in food freshness.

✅Store dressing separate from your salads until you’re ready to eat. It’s the dressing that makes your salad soggy.

✅Add a square of paper towel to your salad to absorb any moisture and keep your greens crunchy and delish,

Source: Katie Lolas

While many in the comments were impressed, her post sparked a debate among users who warned against eating salad leaves past their use-by as there is an increased risk of food poisoning. 

‘I’ll be trying that one, going shopping today and am sick of the spinach going soggy or not having enough to last if I only buy the small bag,’ one mum said. 

‘So sliced onion in the open bag keeps it fresher? Well there you go…haha…it’s a keeper tip for me!!!,’ another wrote. 

‘The use by date is on these products because there is a really high bacterial risk with these foods. Not because it goes brown. Please be cautious,’ a third advised. 

‘USE BY’ date matters. Yes, even for those packaged salad ones that are pre-washed. Leafy greens still have the potential to carry bacteria like E. coli, so for your safety, never consume greens after any date posted on the bag and eat them up quickly,’ cautioned a fourth. 

Others shared their own tips for keeping fruits and vegetables fresher for longer to save money on their grocery shops with one suggesting soaking leaves in brown vinegar for an hour then rinsing to kill bacteria. 

‘It can be frozen and it will then easily be crumbled into your egg dishes etc. Works well with leftovers or close to use by date so no waste,’ a second suggested. 

‘I pre chop veggies and salad items and store them in containers with paper towels on the bottom and on the top, they stay fresh for ages,’ a third explained. 

Use-by vs best-before dates: What’s the difference?

Fresh produce and packaged foods are marked with one of two dates: a use-by date or a best-before date. 

Confusion between the dates and their meanings is one of the reasons why many people throw food out too early or without needing to. 

Use-by dates

This is the date mark to keep an eye on. A use-by date signifies when a food must be consumed by for health and safety reasons. 

It is marked on highly perishable foods, such as ready-made meals, and items that are classified as high risk upon expiration. 

Always stick to any use-by date, as expired foods may cause harm or illness, including food poisoning, if eaten. 

Foods beyond their use-by dates should not be cooked, frozen or consumed and should be thrown away. 

Things to remember about use-by dates: 

  • Check high-risk foods daily for signs of expiration. 
  • Food may smell and look fine despite its use-by date, however food-poisoning bacteria can still be present. Keep to a ‘better safe than sorry’ philosophy. 
  • Always follow storage instructions to ensure a food reaches its use-by date. Incorrect storage may mean an item expires before even reaching its date. 

Best-before dates  

A best-before date is used to indicate quality rather than safety. It calls out the period up until a food is at the end of its peak quality. 

Best-before dates are found on food items such as fruits and vegetables, dried pasta, rice, tinned and canned foods. 

It may not be unsafe to eat a food past its best-before date; you may simply notice that some of its quality, flavour or texture has been lost.

Things to remember about best-before dates:  

  • It appears on foods with a generally longer shelf life and on a range of items, including frozen, fresh, tinned, canned and dried products.
  • As with use-by dates, following a food’s storage instructions makes sure an item retains its quality for as long as possible.
  • Foods with a shelf life of more than two years may not be marked with a best-before date.
  • Some foods, such as eggs or baked goods, are ideally eaten as close to the best-before date as possible. You may only get one or two days past the date.

Source: Woolworths