Extending Food Shelf Life with Correct Refrigerator Practices
According to estimates, people waste no less than 200 pounds of food every year – either they throw items that have ceased to be appealing, or simply allow things to perish in the fridge. Imagine buying a week’s worth of food and just having to throw them into a landfill site.
The good news is prolonging your food’s shelf life can all start with an improvement in your refrigerator habits and practices. Here are tips that can help:
> A stuffed fridge will not have good air circulation that adequately cools everything inside it . Illness>causing bacteria, as well as those that cause quick spoilage thrive more in a fridge with an above>40?F temperature. A fridge thermometer comes in handy in this scenario.
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> To impede the growth of pathogens and spoilage bacteria, the temperature in your fridge must at least never exceed 40?F. The best temperature for prolonging your food’s shelf life is 36>37?F (not too cold that your drinks are crystallizing or your lettuce leaves are freezing).
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> Know which parts of your fridge are cold and which are hot. Some foods freeze sooner than the rest. Move the thermometer around the fridge from time to time to know which parts are hot or cold. Close to the back, bottom and walls are typically the coldest and where you should place foods which are not probably going to freeze, like a steak. Note that the temperature is usually more uniform in more modern refrigerators.
> Apples, some cakes and other foods that don’t require refrigeration will last even longer if they are refrigerated.
> If you keep raw fish in your fridge for longer than a day after purchase, put some ice on top so it stays fresh and tasty. Of course, you have to wrap the fish in a plastic bag to protect it from the melting ice.
> Clean your fridge from time to time as a way to prevent the spread of pathogens and spoilage bacteria among the foods. You should wipe off spills right away, and the whole interior should be sanitized at least ince every month or two. And remember to dust off the coils as dirty ones prevent enough air flow.
> At least weekly or so, check the refrigerator and look for anything that may have been there too long, especially old luncheon meats, moldy fruits or any leftovers pushed to the back. Remember this: the less sugary food is, the faster it deteriorates.
> And just in case you’re planning to buy a new refrigerator, get one with glass or plastic shelves – which are much easier to keep germ-free – instead of wire racks.