It’s tempting to bung fresh food into the fridge without any thought after doing a big shop, but actually, paying attention to how you store items can help to make them last longer, and could even be beneficial to your health.
Top of the fridge
Many people use the top of their fridge for storing items such as bread, wine or other perishable goods. The warm air from a fridge rises to the top, however, and anything stored here is susceptible to getting mouldy or spoiled quickly. If you want to store items on top, opt for things such as kitchen appliances or cookbooks.
Temperatures in the upper section of the fridge are the most consistent here, so reserve items for this area that don’t require cooking. Drinks, ready meals, herbs and pre-cooked meats are ideal for the upper shelves, as are leftover dishes. If you are storing leftovers in the fridge, avoid placing them in the fridge immediately. According to the NHS cool leftovers down, ideally within 90 minutes, store them in the fridge and eat them within two days.
The lower shelves are the coolest section of the fridge, so dairy products, raw meat, fish and eggs are best placed here. Keep raw meat sealed and stored on a plate, to avoid bacteria contamination with other things in the fridge. According to Foodsafety.gov. it is important to always discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
The crisper drawers that come with most fridge freezers are perfect for storing fruits and vegetables, but store them separately. Some fruits, such as pears, plums and peaches, give off a gas that can cause vegetables to rot.
The door of most fridge freezers is a really handy storage area for bottles and cartons. Bear in mind, however, that this is the warmest part of the fridge, so some items might spoil quickly if stored here. Many people store eggs and dairy products in this part of the fridge, however, they are likely to suffer a shorter shelf life here, than if they were kept on the lower shelf. Keep the door of your fridge closed as much as possible, and maintain a temperature of between 0-4C, to prevent food going off and bacteria forming.
Avoid cramming items in the fridge, as this will not allow air to circulate and could cause food to go off quicker. It makes sense to get a fridge from a reputable supplier that serves your needs in terms of size, so that food can be stored conveniently and correctly for optimum freshness and health benefits.
What not to store
Keep bread out of the fridge, as it tends to dry out quickly. Strong-smelling foods can be absorbed easily by other items, such as eggs, so seal them tightly. Onions and potatoes are best stored in a dark cupboard, whilst tomatoes taste at their optimum when exposed to room temperature.