There are many things to consider before we store our food in the refrigerator….
- Store food in ways to prevent cross-contamination. (wrap food properly and store in air tight containers).
- Label your prepared food with name of product and date, that will make it easy to find and know when to use it, or toss it.
- The temperature of the inside of the refrigerator should be 41 degrees F or lower.
- If we don’t know when the food was prepared or what exactly it is we should always consider this …. If in doubt toss it!
- Store refrigerated raw meat, seafood and poultry separately from ready -to -eat food.
- If we cannot store ready- to- eat food and raw meats separately, do not worry just make sure that ready- to -eat food is stored above the raw meat, seafood and poultry.
- Its’s a good practice to place raw meat, seafood or poultry on a plate or tray, that way the plate or tray will catch any juices that may be dripping.
- Use the FIFO method (First in- First out) meaning, make sure to store the food in the refrigerator following this method, that way you can store the items that have an earlier expiration date on the front and the newer items in the back This is also a great way to keep track of what you need to use first saving a lot of waste and money in the long run.
Top Shelve: Any ready to eat food such as, desserts, gelatin, puddings salads, condiments, etc.
Middle Shelve: Whole meat, roast, steaks, pork loin, pork butt etc.
Middle shelve 2: Any ground meat (it generally has too many juices in the package)
Lower Shelve: Any poultry, such as eggs, whole chicken, chicken legs, breasts, thighs etc. (remember that poultry can spread salmonella)
Drawer 1: Cold cuts and cheese
Drawer 2: Fruits and vegetables
Side Door: Store like items in the same shelve. Butter, spreads and jams in one shelve, another one with milk, creamers, cream etc., another shelve with juice, drinks etc. Use your judgement as to what works for you.
There are many sizes and styles of refrigerators out there and it may be that what was outlined above does not suits you well. It’s ok, there are always many ways to skin a cat …. So please organize it the best way it suits you and your family, however try to follow these guidelines as to raw foods and ready- to- eat foods in my opinion the most important one to prevent cross contamination and a future illness.
There are so many great ideas and storage solutions out there to make your life much easier and practical. So, give it a try specially when it comes to and area in our lives that is a constant… Our beloved refrigerator.
Certified Expert Organizer
Great tips! I’m off to make a few changes in my fridge now!