The taste and health of your family depend on the way you arrange the products on shelves of your refrigerator. In order to extend the validity of your food, we should keep them in the appropriate conditions (not always in a fridge).
- Kitchen cabinets and countertops, where there is a room temperature is an excellent place for loose products, vegetables, and fruits.
- We keep bread in a haversack, in paper bags.
- Groats, rice, and pasta should be poured to closed jars or transparent containers. Flour and breadcrumbs absorb moisture very easily. That is why we store them in containers with tightly sealed lid.
- Fridge is a place for food that can get easily spoiled. We shouldn’t stuff products very much.
Order in your fridge
Upper shelf – we keep here juices, milk, cakes, home-made preserves, open jars with jams, and all other products that are marked as “keep in the fridge after opening” on the packaging. The temperature amounts at 8 C.
Middle Shelf – products with short expiration date: cottage cheese, butter, cream, sliced sausage, etc. It is also great for the containers with already cooked dishes and pots with dinner. The temperature in here is around 4-5 C.
Lower shelf – It is the coldest in here (approximately 2 C), so we can store here fresh meat and fish that won’t lose its nutritional values in that temperature.
Lower drawers – vegetables and fruits. It’s around 10 C in here and quite large humidity (a bit like in cellar). We can store here lettuce or chives for several days. Just make sure that they are not too tightly packed. You can put here yellow cheese in sealed containers – here are great conditions for them to mature
Side shelves – horseradish, mustard, sauces, ketchup, drinks, vegetable oil, eggs (unwashed can be stored for even two or three weeks; their shell is covered with natural protective layer, which does not bypass microbes). It is the warmest place in the entire fridge with the temperature ranging between 10 and 15 C.
Several good advices
- Do not store prepared dishes (soups, stews, dumplings) longer than 2-3 days in the fridge.
- Keep food tightly wrapped in parchment, foil, or closed in special containers. Foil insulates from air very well and it does not transmit fragrances. However, it makes mold grow faster. However, parchment provides worse protection against drying and loss of aroma (ham is best wrapped in breakfast paper and then put in a breakfast bag).
- Freeze only things we will cook or fry immediately after unfreezing. There are microbes that appear during unfreezing that can cause food poisoning – they die in high temperatures. Do not freeze anything twice.
- Do not freeze meats, particularly pate and brawn, steak tartar, cheese, and ready to eat products. Once unfrozen, they lose their taste and consistency. They are not suitable for reheating.
Cleaning the fridge
The food is safe only in clean refrigerator. There will be no more bacteria spreading around and accelerating the process of food spoiling, which is very dangerous for our health.
Once a week
We should make a thorough inspection of collected food. We should check expiration dates and the look of open products. If they are spoiled, we throw them away. The ones we should eat first should be placed in the front.
Every two weeks
Clean the fridge. We should get out all the content from shelves and drawers. The interior of refrigerator has to be cleaned with a sponge dipped in water and dish soap. Clean seals with the use of soft cloth and water only. Detergents deteriorate the condition of rubber. We wash the shelves and drawers removed from the fridge. In the end, we wipe it dry with paper towels.
Once per quarter
We should disconnect the fridge from power and move it away from the wall. Then, we wipe the dust that managed to collect under the bottom and the back of the fridge. Thanks to that, our refrigerator cools better and consumes less electricity. We clean a built-in fridge only from the bottom. We just move the plinths and vacuum there thoroughly.
Containers for food storage
In the fridge there is relatively dry air. To keep food dry, store it in containers, special parchment paper, plastic or aluminum foil.
Foil insulates very well. It keeps water vapor, air, and fragrances away from the products. But because of that, it makes the mold to develop faster.
Paper; however, has poorer protection against drying and loss of aroma. The slices of ham should be wrapped in a breakfast paper and then put in the clean breakfast bag.
Pots and dishes with prepared meals should be tightly closed in order to store them in the fridge. Most of new models of refrigerators offer automatic defrost. That is why steaming food that accelerate the frosting of the back wall will no longer reduce the cooling effects.
For safety, do not freeze meats, especially pate, steak tartar, brawn, or other ready to eat products. We shouldn’t be freezing things twice – serious poisoning is real!
Defrosted products need to be prepared and eaten. It is safe to freeze products for 3-12 months. It is best to check the information you can find on the label. You can also look at the instruction of your refrigerator.
In the freezer, unlike in the fridge, products have to be placed tightly in order to ensure effective work of the freezer. Then, set the temperature on -18 C or lower.
- Cress will stay fresh longer if we put it to the bowl of water and put it in the fridge after washing.
- Lemons can stay in the fridge for up to one month, as long as they are kept in the jar with cold water.
- Mushrooms we keep in the fridge will stay fresh much longer if we wrap the bowl with them with carefully damp cloth.
- The lettuce will regain its firmness after bathing it in cold water with the addition of two spoons of lemon juice.
The hidden power of spices
We can find moths and other pests in the containers with flour, groats, or rice. These insects can be scared away thanks to strong smell of spices. That is why, it is worth to keep bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon or vanilla sticks in the kitchen drawers. The head of garlic and citruses are also very effective. In order to enhance the effect, you can puncture an orange or a mandarin with cloves.
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While storing foods in the fridge remember always that ready to eat foods shall be stored in the top shelf of the fridge. Also, food items such as diary products, ready meals and packaged foods shall be stored in a tight container to to avoid contamination caused by outside air.