Can you still remember your parents yelling at you to close the refrigerator door? Although they might have just been trying to keep the energy bill down, they were also protecting the food in the fridge.
There are ‘rules’ for keeping things safe and healthy in your refrigerator. The first and most important one is to keep the door open for only short periods of time. This rule prevents the warm air outside of the fridge from raising the temperature inside. Here are nine other tips for keeping the food in your fridge fresh.
1. It’s all about airflow
Don’t cram all the food you can fit into your fridge. It’s important to leave enough space between food so the air can flow freely and keep the temperature inside consistent. Consistent temperature is key to keeping your food fresh.
2. Bath time
Before putting fruits and vegetables in the fridge, wash them first in a vinegar and water bath. Do this by filling up your sink with water and adding 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. Add your fruit and vegies to the bath and let them soak for 10 minutes. The natural acid in the vinegar will kill bacteria that causes mould and rot.
3. Dry and humid zones
Vegetables prefer a humid storage climate while fruits prefer dry. Check to see if your refrigerator has controls for each bin and store them separately. If you don’t have this option, you can wrap veggies with a wet paper towel to maintain humidity.
4. Move the milk to the back
Milk needs to be stored where the temperature stays consistently the coolest. In general, the best spot is in the rear of the fridge. Milk should not be stored on the door, since that area is regularly exposed to warmer air when the refrigerator door is opened.
5. Keep that cheese and butter sealed
Many refrigerators have a dedicated storage space for cheese and butter, most often located at the top of the door. This is a fine area to store your cheese and butter, but it’s still important to keep them sealed in an airtight container so they don’t spoil.
6. So what should you keep on your refrigerator doors?
Store soft drinks and non-perishable condiments on door shelves. These are items that aren’t that affected by slight temperature changes.
7. Go easy on those eggs
Eggs should be kept in their original container and placed on the middle shelf with nothing too heavy stored directly on top that could crack your eggs.
8. Keep those meat juices locked up
Raw meat juices can cross-contaminate all the exposed food in your refrigerator. Therefore, store raw meat in a glass container so liquid doesn’t spill onto the shelves.
9. Swap doggie bags for something clearer
Leftover food should be kept in clear glass containers or resealable plastic bags so you can see what condition it’s in without having to open the container and expose the leftovers to air. It’s a good idea to always store your leftovers in the same area in your fridge so you don’t forget about them. As a general rule of thumb, you should purge your leftovers every three days.