With time, plenty of different food packaging methods, which had tried and tested. However, it never seems that effective like the prodigal Vacuum sealing method. Vacuum sealing is basically a specialized method of food packaging. It includes the removal of all the existing air present inside the packaging. In order to keep food safe and in the consumable state for the most prolonged period.
Is Vacuum Sealing Food Safe?
But with significant advantages, every process has its downside as well, and the famous vacuum sealing is also no different from them. According to many prominent organizations, including the National Centre for Home food preservation, vacuum sealing is a delusional idea and this could lead to so many dangerous outcomes if being in use for a prolonged period.
Though vacuum sealing may seem efficient on microorganisms which live on oxygen, there are so many others and also the deadliest ones present in the environment, which might not get affected by the low oxygen environment created by those sealers whatsoever. Those microorganisms, including Botulism and Listeria Monocytogenes, even grow much faster when the oxygen level is lower than normal. These two specific microorganisms also considered as the most dangerous ones as they do not make any changes in the look and smell of the raw food, which might end up with most of the people who end up eating them, unfortunately.
Disadvantages of Vacuum Sealing
There are some other disadvantages of vacuum sealing as well, which includes:
- It does not work well on pathogens that can survive under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
- The number of anaerobic bacteria present in a portion of food increases rapidly with time; the food is vacuum-sealed.
- Cooking and fermentation vacuum-sealed foods further, does not even kill all the anaerobic pathogens and spore formers.
- Not so much cost-effective all the time.
- There is always a chance of food being crushed inside the package during vacuuming if proper measures not taken.
So, the key for much precise and efficient sealing is lying in all those safety measures and precautions taken during the process. With sudden popularity in the personal vacuum sealer market, there are hundreds of different manufacturers making different types of vacuum sealers and most of them are equally efficient and safe in vacuum packing different types of foods. As vacuum packaging is entirely different from heat processing or canning techniques, these require a lot more safety measures, mostly with perishable food items like meat and fish and seafood, as these are incredibly vulnerable to pathogen attacks and contaminations.
Vacuum sealing is effective on those contagious pathogens. But there are so many other pathogens that are also present in the environment, which might not be affected by the sealing process as the others do. So, these types of pathogens require extra attention, like freezing before sealing.
Why freezing before sealing is important?
It has been seen in several tests and scientific experiments that vacuum sealers are most effective when done properly with all those precautions and safety measures we talked about earlier. While vacuum sealing raw food items, especially those perishable ones with a low acid content, they need thorough freezing before vacuum sealing, as these are much vulnerable to contaminations from the pathogens that grow in anaerobic conditions.
Moreover, there are some other safety hacks are also there, following them can make vacuum sealing much more effective by all means. These are:
- It is always better to use clean spoons or tongs for handling food, rather than using your own hands. Make sure to clean your hands before touching any of the food items.
- Counters and utensils need to be cleaned.
- Other than non-perishable food items like rice or beans or crackers, all the perishable food items need to placed in a freezer or refrigerator after packaging.
- Low acid foods like fish and meat has to frozen before sealing.
Is A Vacuum Sealer Worth It?
To reach out to the answer to this particular question, we have to understand how the sealers work. The primary mechanism of any vacuum sealer is on the fact that “food gets spoiled due to the presence of oxygen in the packaging. However in vacuum sealing, as the amount of environmental oxygen inside the sealer packs gets decreased in a considerable amount. As the cumulative spoiling time of that particular food gets slow down as well. It has also seen in different cases, that when in combination with other advanced food processing and packaging techniques, vacuum sealing is capable of the limited functionality of many aerobic fungi and other microorganisms as well.
Whole foods like strawberries or blueberries may stay fresh and the best condition only for week after week or two. Still, food like coffee beans, rice, and pulses, can remain safe and in consumable condition. If they properly sealed and packed. Moreover, consuming vacuum-packed foods within a reasonable time. It is also mandatory to ensure that all you are eating are extraordinarily safe and in the best condition