According to the European Union Food Information Council, vacuum packaging is the process of placing food in a plastic or aluminum foil pouch and then removing most of the air from the package. In most cases it is exposure to air that causes food to spoil, even when put in plastic covered containers in the refrigerator. Vacuum sealing helps food stay fresh longer but it is not a replacement for freezing. Remember to freeze foods that need to be frozen after you have sealed them.
Prior to sealing food in a vacuum sealed bag you can cut it or prepare it any way you like for easy use later. Clean the food thoroughly prior to sealing it and do not handle the food with your hands. When you are handling food to be vacuum sealed, you should handle it with clean utensils such as tongs or serving forks. If you handle the food with your hands then bacteria and other contaminants might get on the food that may spread quickly once the food is exposed to air again. Take the time and effort to be as clean as possible with the food you are vacuum packaging and make sure that your preparation area is clean as well.
Remember to read the instructions from the manufacturer when using a vacuum sealing device. Set the food mode button to dry or wet depending on what kind of food you are sealing.
Try to leave at least two to three inches of space around the food when sealing it in to a vacuum bag. This allows the bag to seal completely around the food when the air is removed, and it also makes it easier to remove the food from the vacuum container later on.
Always label the bag with the kind of food it contains and the date when it was sealed. Even vacuum sealed food can go bad, so try to use the food that has been sealed the longest when you are cooking. Try freezing fruits and vegetables prior to vacuum sealing them to maintain freshness longer.
Clean your vacuum sealing machine after every use and towel dry it to prevent standing water from creating bacteria. Do not overfill the vacuum bags as this can cause small particles to be lodged in the vacuum sealing machine and damage it.
Always empty any liquid or solid collection areas of a vacuum sealer after every use and prior to storing it.