How to Organize Your Fridge for Food Safety
Having an organized refrigerator not only makes you feel great every time you open the door, it saves time when you're trying to get a meal put together, can help you eliminate food waste, and ensures you’re storing your food safely. Follow these tips to have an organized fridge and make sure you’re storing your food properly.
- Use Your Crisper Drawers Correctly
There's a reason your refrigerator has separate drawers! While many of us tend to just throw whatever we want in the different drawers, using them properly helps to keep your produce fresh for longer.
Designate one of your crisper drawers for the low-humidity setting. Store produce that tends to rot in this drawer. This includes fruits and veggies that emit an ethylene gas, like apples and pears, because the open window on a low-humidity drawer gives those gases a chance to escape!
The second drawer should be designated as the high-humidity drawer. Store your leafy greens, like arugula, spinach, and herbs in this drawer. By having the window closed, water vapor is held in the drawer and the moisture keeps the greens crisper and fresher longer.
- Fill Your Fridge to the Right Capacity
Your fridge runs most efficiently and keeps food the freshest when it's between 60 percent and 70 percent full. If it's too full, not only will everything not receive proper airflow, but your refrigerator must also work extra hard to keep things cold. If a fridge is too empty, it has only air to keep cool, and air doesn't retain the cold as well as actual food and drink items.
If your refrigerator has too much inside, it's time for a purge! If you need to fill it up, just add a few jugs of water to help retain the cool temperature until your next grocery store trip.
- Put Non-Perishables in the Door
The door is the warmest part of your fridge and the spot in which the temperature can fluctuate the most, so it's best to keep non-perishables on the shelves in the door. Things like condiments won’t go bad quickly, so they're perfect for the door. Something that’s not meant for the fridge door? Eggs! Store them in the main body instead.
- Place Perishables Near the Front
You know that saying, "Out of sight, out of mind"? It's way too easy to forget about perishables when they’re hidden in the back of your fridge. Instead, put the things you want to eat first front and center where everyone can see them. This will remind your family to use the perishables first and help prevent unnecessary food waste.
- Store Meats and Seafoods on the Bottom
To reduce the risk of meats contaminating other foods in your fridge, store them at the bottom in case of leaks. Make sure to only store uncooked meat in the fridge for one or two days before cooking or freezing.
- Know When to Dispose of Leftovers
Knowing when to dispose of certain foods is crucial to keeping your household safe from foodborne illnesses. Use this chart to help decide whether to keep or toss your leftovers.
Following these simple rules and tips will help ensure that your fridge stays neat and organized all year round and ensure food safety, and eliminate food waste!