Tips on How to Store Food in the Fridge to Prevent Waste This Holiday Season
Now that the holiday season is here, you’re sure to be making plans to spend it with friends and family. You’ve probably stacked up your kitchen with loads of goodies that you look forward to cooking during the parties and family dinners. Unfortunately, statistics show that Americans throw away 40 percent of the food they buy every year, particularly during the holidays. Do not be a victim this holiday– learn how to store your perishable food properly to preserve it longer. This will help you reduce waste and lower your grocery bills. Here are a few refrigerator storage tips to help you keep your food fresh.
Refrigerators have different compartments and different temperature zones. Therefore, you should plan on where to store each item to take full advantage of the different compartments and temperature zones. Let’s now see how best you can do this.
The doors are the warmest part of the fridge. Therefore, you should only store foods that don’t spoil quickly such as condiments, bread, cheese, and other items that don’t need consistent cold temperatures.
- The Top Shelves
The upper shelves are the second warmest after the doors and have the most consistent temperatures. Therefore, store foods that need to be chilled but not overly cold such as drinks, and ready-to-eat foods. You can also store herbs and berries.
- The Middle Shelves
Temperatures in a refrigerator reduce as you go down. You should store foods that are labeled “refrigerate after opening” and leftovers here. Fish, deli meats, cheeses, and eggs can also be stored here. Always ensure that you keep these items in airtight containers.
- The Bottom Shelves
This is the coldest part of the refrigerator and hence the best place to store foods that can spoil quickly. Therefore, keep raw and cooked meats here as well as vegetables and anything that you want really cold such as beer. When storing meat, keep it in its store wrapping and place it on a plate or an improvised bin to prevent bacteria from spreading to other areas.
- Crisper Drawers
Crisper drawers maintain moist conditions that help keep fruits and vegetables fresh. Therefore, store your tomatoes, leafy greens, green beans, and tender vegetables here. However, don’t mix fruits and vegetables in the same container.
Other Refrigeration Tips
Avoid overcrowding – Avoid overcrowding your shelves too much as cold air needs to circulate in the refrigerator to maintain consistent temperatures. Overfilling the fridge will result in warmer food and increased energy bills.
Don’t keep the door open for more than a few seconds – It’s very important that you always keep the door closed. Keeping it open for just 30 seconds can significantly reduce the interior temperature thereby affecting the food inside.
Store raw foods separately from ready-to-eat – You should always have separate reusable bags for raw foods and ready-to-eat foods. This will prevent bacteria from raw foods spreading to ready-to-eat foods.
If you observe these simple guidelines, you will be able to reduce waste and save on grocery expenses over the holidays. Above all, ensure that your fridge is in good working condition by conducting regular maintenance. Happy Holidays!