Do you know how to store food in your refrigerator?
Best Ways To Store Food In Fridge
The refrigerator is an essential appliance in every household, helping to keep food fresh and prevent spoilage. However, not all foods can be stored in the refrigerator the same way. Here are some guidelines for storing food in the fridge to ensure maximum freshness and safety:
- Keep the temperature at the right level: The ideal temperature for a refrigerator is between 35-38°F (1.6-3.3°C). This temperature range will slow down the growth of bacteria and prevent food from spoiling quickly. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature and adjust it as necessary.
- Store raw meats on the bottom shelf: Raw meats should be stored on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent any juices from dripping onto other foods and causing cross-contamination. Place the meat on a plate or in a sealed container to further prevent this.
- Use airtight containers: For leftovers or opened packaged foods, use airtight containers to prevent them from drying out and to protect them from odors in the fridge. Glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids work well for this.
- Keep dairy products in the back of the fridge: Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt should be kept in the back of the refrigerator, where the temperature is most consistent. This will help to prevent spoilage and keep them fresh longer.
- Store fruits and vegetables separately: Fruits and vegetables should be stored separately in the fridge, as they require different humidity levels. Vegetables should be kept in the high-humidity drawer, while fruits should be stored in the low-humidity drawer or on a shelf.
- Keep eggs in the original carton: Eggs should be stored in their original carton, which helps to protect them from temperature fluctuations and moisture in the fridge. They should be stored on a shelf, rather than in the door, where the temperature is less consistent.
- Use the door shelves for condiments: The shelves on the door of the refrigerator are less cold than the rest of the fridge, making them ideal for storing condiments such as ketchup, mustard, and salad dressings.
- Pay attention to expiration dates: Always check expiration dates before storing food in the fridge, and dispose of any expired or spoiled food promptly. If in doubt, throw it out.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your food stays fresh and safe for as long as possible in the refrigerator.
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How to Store Meat, Poultry and Fish in Fridge
When it comes to storing meat, poultry, and fish in the fridge, there are a few guidelines you should follow to ensure that these foods stay fresh and safe to eat:
- Store raw meat, poultry, and fish in the coldest part of the fridge: These foods should be stored on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, where the temperature is coldest. This helps to prevent the growth of bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses.
- Use airtight containers: To prevent raw meat, poultry, and fish from contaminating other foods in the fridge, store them in airtight containers or sealed plastic bags. This will also prevent them from drying out.
- Use a separate container for each type of meat: It’s important to keep different types of meat separate to prevent cross-contamination. Use a separate container for chicken, beef, pork, and fish.
- Store cooked meat, poultry, and fish separately: Cooked meat, poultry, and fish should also be stored in a separate container or wrapped in foil or plastic wrap. This will prevent them from coming into contact with raw meat or juices that may contain harmful bacteria.
- Use meat and poultry within 2-3 days: Raw meat and poultry should be used within 2-3 days of purchase, while fish should be used within 1-2 days. If you don’t plan to use these foods within this timeframe, you can freeze them for later use.
- Store frozen meat, poultry, and fish in the freezer: If you’re not planning to use these foods within the next few days, it’s best to freeze them. Wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap, or store them in an airtight container, and label them with the date so you know when they were frozen.
- Thaw meat, poultry, and fish in the fridge: If you need to thaw frozen meat, poultry, or fish, it’s best to do so in the fridge. This will prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Allow enough time for the food to thaw completely before cooking.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your meat, poultry, and fish stay fresh and safe to eat when stored in the fridge.
How to Store Dairy in Fridge
It’s advisable to leave cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, cream, milk ans soy milk (further reading: Top 10 Best Soy Milk Maker For Housewives 2022) in their original containers. But after you transfer sour cream into a serving bowl or milk to a pitcher, do not return them to the containers they came in.
Dairy products are a staple in most households and can be found in many forms, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter. Here are some guidelines for storing dairy products in the fridge to keep them fresh and safe to eat:
- Store milk on the bottom shelf: Milk should be stored on the bottom shelf of the fridge, where the temperature is the coldest and most consistent. Avoid storing milk in the door, as the temperature fluctuates more in this area.
- Keep cheese in airtight containers: Cheese should be stored in airtight containers or wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out and picking up odors from other foods in the fridge. Soft cheeses like brie or feta should be stored in their original packaging or wrapped in wax paper.
- Use the cheese drawer: Many refrigerators come with a designated cheese drawer. If your fridge has one, use it to store your cheese. This drawer typically has a higher humidity level, which helps to keep the cheese fresh.
- Store yogurt in the back of the fridge: Yogurt should be stored in the back of the fridge, where the temperature is most consistent. This will help to prevent it from spoiling quickly. Once opened, yogurt should be stored in an airtight container.
- Keep butter in the fridge: Butter should be stored in the fridge to keep it fresh. It can be stored in its original packaging or in an airtight container. If you use a butter dish, make sure it has a lid to keep the butter from picking up odors in the fridge.
- Pay attention to expiration dates: Always check expiration dates before storing dairy products in the fridge, and dispose of any expired or spoiled products promptly. If in doubt, throw it out.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your dairy products stay fresh and safe to eat when stored in the fridge.
How to Store Fruits and Vegetables in Fridge
Storing fruits and vegetables in the fridge is a great way to keep them fresh and preserve their flavor and nutritional value. Here are some guidelines for storing fruits and vegetables in the fridge:
- Sort by ethylene sensitivity: Ethylene is a natural gas that some fruits and vegetables produce as they ripen, which can cause other nearby produce to ripen and spoil more quickly. Sort fruits and vegetables into two groups: those that produce ethylene (like apples, bananas, and avocados) and those that are sensitive to it (like leafy greens, broccoli, and peppers).
- Store in the crisper drawers: Most refrigerators have crisper drawers, which are designed to regulate humidity levels and keep produce fresh. Store ethylene-producing fruits and vegetables in one drawer, and ethylene-sensitive produce in another. Use the high humidity setting for leafy greens and the low humidity setting for firmer produce like carrots and cucumbers.
- Don’t wash until ready to eat: Washing fruits and vegetables before storing them in the fridge can actually speed up spoilage. Wait to wash them until you’re ready to eat or cook them.
- Use airtight containers: To keep fruits and vegetables fresh, store them in airtight containers or plastic bags with the excess air squeezed out. This will help prevent moisture from escaping, which can cause them to wilt.
- Don’t overcrowd: Overcrowding the fridge can restrict air flow and cause produce to spoil more quickly. Make sure there’s plenty of space between items and don’t stack produce too high.
- Use within a few days: While storing fruits and vegetables in the fridge can extend their shelf life, they still won’t last forever. Plan to use them within a few days of purchase for best flavor and nutritional value.
By following these guidelines, you can help extend the shelf life of your fruits and vegetables and keep them fresh and delicious for longer.
How to Store Leftovers in Fridge
Storing leftovers in the fridge is a great way to save time and money, as it allows you to enjoy meals for several days. However, it’s important to store leftovers properly to prevent bacterial growth and keep them safe to eat. Here are some guidelines for storing leftovers in the fridge:
- Cool leftovers quickly: Allow leftovers to cool to room temperature for no more than 2 hours before storing them in the fridge. This will help prevent bacterial growth.
- Use airtight containers: Store leftovers in airtight containers or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This will help prevent them from drying out and picking up odors from other foods in the fridge.
- Label and date: Label the containers or wraps with the name of the food and the date it was stored. This will help you keep track of how long leftovers have been in the fridge and avoid eating them if they’ve gone bad.
- Store on the top shelf: Store leftovers on the top shelf of the fridge, where the temperature is the coldest and most consistent. This will help keep them fresh for longer.
- Use within 3-4 days: Most leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. After that, they may start to spoil or lose flavor. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Reheat properly: Reheat leftovers thoroughly before eating. Use a microwave or oven, and make sure the food reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) to kill any bacteria that may have grown.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your leftovers stay fresh and safe to eat when stored in the fridge.