Storing Vacuum Sealed Food

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
July 19, 2007

Vacuum Packing & Food StorageMy newest experiment has been vacuum sealing my food. As one who always loved to "put up" food in glass Mason jars and keep a stocked freezer, the thought of further food preservation intrigued me. Vacuum sealing is a simple way of preserving food. If airborne bacteria can't get to the food, the process of natural breakdown (spoilage) can be avoided. It's the way food is packaged for shipping, so why not try it at home? I'm still on the fence as to whether or not it is saving me money, but I certainly am having fun learning.


What Is It?

Vacuum sealing is a process of food preservation which utilizes special canisters or plastic bags. Food is placed in the canister or bag which is then attached to a vacuum sealer which removes all the air from the container. This preserves the food for long periods of time. The bags can be opened and resealed (making them smaller each time), and they can be reused, frozen, boiled, and microwaved. Canisters are perpetually reusable, and they allow themselves to be opened and resealed throughout the day.

Less Waste

How many times have you thrown away food because it went stale or was freezer burnt? It's a frustrating task, and although I enjoy buying in bulk I despise wasting food. I'm disappointed when I pull a roast from my freezer that looks like a chunk of ice. Vacuum storage eliminates this problem, allowing me to produce a beautifully colored roast from the freezer months beyond its normal expiration date.

By packaging a head of lettuce, which is pricey in my area of the country during the winter, in a vacuum canister I can preserve it for more than two weeks. All the while it looks as green as the day I brought it home.

I've even sealed leftover steak rolls in a canister and used them eight days later without noticing a difference in their freshness.

Save on Bulk

Bulk purchases ask for vacuum sealing. After buying a large block of cheese at a discount price, I can cut it into four chunks, seal each one in a vacuum bag, and enjoy it for months. Freezer foods stay fresher, bulk packages of cereals and cookies don't go stale, and fresh fruits can last for over a week.

The Cost

Cost is a priority in our household, but so is avoiding waste. I'm not so upset if it costs a few more pennies as long as I don't waste food. However, I'm convinced that the initial investment in a vacuum sealer will pay off. The sealer systems aren't cheap, and neither are the bags and canisters. While the canisters are the priciest items, they earn their keep in that they're endlessly reusable. I haven't sat to do the math about the cost of the bags versus the savings on my meats and vegetables, but I don't think I'm going to do it.

Like my canning, I enjoy this method of food preservation. My fridge looks full of fresh produce throughout the week and I'm throwing out very little if anything. Like all preservation methods, there is a cost. Canning requires pressure canners (more costly than the sealer system!), cans, lids, and the energy to boil the water. Freezers also ask for enormous amounts of energy as well as the initial cost of the freezer. In the end is a vacuum sealer any different? You be the judge.

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3 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

March 28, 2012

After you vacuum seal your vegetables, do you have to freeze them?

By Bill


March 28, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

You probably already know that some vegetables, such as lettuce, should not be frozen. Cooked veggies can be refrigerated if they are consumed within 3 or 4 days. If you freeze veggies, they should be prepared in a certain way, depending on the veggie. Here is a link to a freezing guide for vegetables.


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August 9, 2019

I am vacuum sealingdried foods, ie. beans, sugar, dried soup, dried milk, etc. and storing them in my pantry. We close the house down in Canada for the winter and my dried foods undergo a freezing and thawing process before we return back in early spring. I need to know if this dried food that is vacuum sealed is safe to consume after repeated thaws.

Thanks all.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
August 9, 20190 found this helpful

As long as all the air is out, it should last a long time, regardless of weather conditions


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
August 10, 20190 found this helpful

I have not tried this for two main reasons:

1. bacteria can still grow in vacuum sealed products and since I got sick on a home canned item once I shy away from all home "processed" foods.


2. all of these home preservation methods do best with consistent temperatures so even if you have done everything right, the changes in temperatures can affect bacteria and get it to start and stop growing.

I do freeze sugar and flour all the time (not vac sealed, just stored in sealed containers) and it lasts for a long time, but I have never tried this with beans or dried soups/milks. Are you leaving electricity on when you shut down your place and can freeze things?

This is just me and my habits. You can contact your Canadian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and ask what they think:

Post back what you learn!


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
August 11, 20190 found this helpful

This is a tough question because it is dealing with food safety and should be answered by someone well qualified to answer.

That said; Everything that I have read states to keep food at same/constant/controlled temperature.


"You have to store in the freezer, and thaw in the refrigerator. Swanson said to cut the vacuum-sealed bag open before thawing to let in air, which prevents botulism from growing."

Since it appears you are talking about all dry food (not fresh) it may be safe to go through the freezing and thawing but only an expert can affirm that.

Do you keep refrigeration/freezer running during this away time? If so, you may be able to store these in your refrigerator.
I did read where someone stored their food in a chest type freezer until needed and thawed in refrigerator.

You can ask your Canadian source for help or ask your question on this International forum.

Here is another site to ask questions:

General Information..

August 22, 20210 found this helpful

I have been using my Foodsaver for the last 10 yrs and wore out 2. My family has never gotten sick. i freeze meat, vegetable and re-seal chips, cereal, cookie and more. During the hurricane I seal important papers. I put dry food in mason jars and take the air out with the food save attachment. I put romaine lettuce in mason jars and take the air out and take to work for lunch. Love my Foodsaver

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