Storing food in your fridge is already a good way to keep it fresh. Generally, most perishable items will last longer in the fridge than in a cupboard or out on the counter. Still, there are certain things you should do to make food last even longer when it’s in your refrigerator. Some of these things relate to the way you store the food, while others relate to the fridge itself.
Ready to get started? Check out how to keep food fresher for longer:
Set your fridge to the right temperature
To begin, your fridge needs to be at the ideal temperature to keep things fresher for longer. Experts suggest that between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius is the way to go. This is the ideal temperature as it is cold enough for food to remain fresh, but not too cold. You will need to adjust your temperature now and then, but always keep an eye on it. Most fridges have systems where you can set the temperature and it will either cool or warm itself up depending on the internal fridge temp. Fluctuations tend to happen based on how full your fridge is.
What happens if you can’t seem to set your fridge to the ideal temperature? Well, you have a big problem on your hands as it can make your food perish a lot quicker. Here, companies like Melbourne Fridgeworks can be contacted to provide fridge repairs and maintenance. There could be an issue with your fridge that – once repaired – lets the temperature return to normal. Anyway, none of the other tips matter if your fridge temp is messed up.
Store meat, fish and poultry at the bottom
Why? Because it’s the coldest part of your fridge and these products need to be kept cold. There’s also less chance of cross-contamination with other products, which is a slight worry when there’s raw meat, even if it’s packaged. Some fridges actually come with their own meat drawer section that you can set the temperature to on your own. If this is available in your fridge, drop the temp to around 3 degrees Celsius, maybe slightly lower.
Don’t wash fruit and veg
Before you eat fruit and veg, you need to give it a good wash and scrub. This helps to remove any dirt from the produce, but you should never do this before putting things in the fridge. Some people try to be clever and wash before refrigerating, meaning they can simply take the food out and cook/eat it right away.
However, washing can leave dampness in the packaging that might generate mould rather quickly. So, while you’re cleaning the fruit/veg, you’re ironically reducing its shelf-life in the fridge.
Avoid overloading your fridge
This was very briefly touched upon before, but overloading your fridge is a terrible idea. Not only can it mess with the temperature, but it can also ruin the circulation. Basically, it prevents the cold from circulating around the fridge evenly. This leads to situations where certain items are extremely cold and others have barely received any coolness at all. As tempting as it is to overload your fridge, try to keep it as bare as possible at all times – your food will stay fresher for much longer!
Reseal open packets
Ever opened a packet of something and left it in the fridge? This happens all the time with things like cheese, lettuce, and so on. You open a packet to get one item from it and leave it open with the packet unclosed. Doing this will make the food go off so quickly as it is exposed to oxygen in the air. Instead, you should reseal the packet as soon as you open it. Consider wrapping the packet in clingfilm or using a peg to seal it shut again.
Store things in airtight containers
Some products – like leftover food items – should be stored in airtight containers. Again, this stops the food from reacting with oxygen, lengthening its shelf life. You can find so many containers that are suitable for this or think about using freezer bags. They work just as well, providing you can fully seal them off.
It’s not that difficult to keep food as fresh as possible in your fridge. Don’t assume that leaving stuff in the fridge is all you need to do to extend its shelf life! Try all of the techniques listed above, and you’ll soon waste less food and keep your products fresher for longer.