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General Food Preservation Resources

Vacuum Sealing Food at Home Safely

Suzanne Driessen

There are machines available to vacuum seal food at home. They are called vacuum sealers and they remove air from the food package before sealing. What are the benefits and risks of vacuum packing foods for storage?

The benefit of removing air from a food package is the increased storage time of refrigerated, dried and frozen foods. If air is not removed when food is put in a package or container, oxygen can cause fats to develop "bad" flavors and change the food's color.

The National Center for Food Preservation warns that there are risks with vacuum sealed food products. Some harmful bacteria that only grow in air-free setting can grow much better and faster in vacuum sealed products than if they were not vacuum sealed. Unlike bacteria that spoil food, disease-causing bacteria may not change the color or look of the food.

To avoid the risks related to vacuum sealed foods follow these safe food handling tips:

Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator.


Andress, E., Should I vacuum package food at home? National Center for Home Food Preservation

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Reviewed by Deb Botzek-Linn 2015

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