The Road towards a Healthy Use of a Domestic Refrigerator
Research shows that the most efficient way to store food in refrigerators is at 4 degrees Celsius or below. It minimizes the risk of food borne illnesses, such as listeriosis, which can be reduced by 70% if the temperature inside the refrigerator is kept at the required level. This is only the first step to a healthy use of your fridge. Read on to learn more.
As mentioned above, your first consideration when using a home refrigerator is maintaining the proper temperature. Make it a habit to check it regularly, including the freezer as well. The temperature range in the fridge should be 4 degrees and below and in the freezer about -18 degrees Celsius (-0.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
Only about 9% of consumers have a thermometer in their refrigerators, so if you’re not one of them, make sure you get yours as soon as possible. It should be placed in the warmest part of your fridge, and the first check should be after about 24 hours. If it shows more than 4 degrees, you need to adjust the control dial of the refrigerator, as explained in the manufacturer’s instructions.
There are certain situations when the thermometer might show a temperature higher than 4 degrees, which can be indicative of a possible problem. It can happen when the refrigerator is more than ¾ full if the door wasn’t properly closed for a more extended period of time, you had recently put hot food inside or the automatic defrost cycle was activated.
One practical thing to learn is not to overload your fridge. If it’s more than ¾ full, the air can’t circulate freely around the food to keep it fresh and safe. Food leftovers should also be kept covered or closed in small, shallow containers and stored at least two hours after cooking so that they don’t raise the temperature inside. All the raw meat, seafood or poultry should be stored on the bottom shelf in containers to prevent the juices from dripping onto other foods.
Food storing and placement options
Some refrigerators offer unique features such as adjustable door bins, glass shelves, drawers and crispers which are designed to make food storage more convenient and give a more optimal placement of fruits, vegetables, and dairy.
Food comes in a variety of packages so shelves should be adjustable to accommodate them. Shelves made of tempered glass are beautiful and easy to clean. Some refrigerators have sealed glass shelves to hold in the spills and make cleaning more accessible, while others have pull-outs to give better access to the products kept at the back.
One of the best and most popular features offered by contemporary appliances, as the new line of Miele refrigerators, is specialized compartments. These are sealed crisper drawers that provide optimal storage for fruits and vegetables. They are equipped with a control mechanism so that each drawer’s humidity can be customized since there are vegetables that require higher humidity levels, while some fruits need lower humidity conditions.
One of the useful tips to bear in mind is not to store perishable goods such as eggs, in the fridge door. Eggs should be stored in cartons on lower shelves as the temperature of storage compartments in the door fluctuates more than in the rest of the fridge due to the frequent opening and closing.
Cleaning and maintenance
Finally, a crucial step in keeping your food safe is proper cleaning and maintenance. Spills should be wiped off immediately, surfaces cleaned thoroughly with hot soapy water and then rinsed.
Odors are a frequent problem inside fridges, and to eliminate them, there’s a simple trick: keep an opened box of baking soda inside. It’s not recommended to use solvents, abrasives, and strong cleaners as they can leave a chemical taste on the food and cause damage to the inside surfaces.
When it comes to food safety, safe storage and proper organization are only the beginning. But, sticking to these tips and pieces of advice, you will keep your family safe and your budget secure from unnecessary food waste and expenses.