A refrigerator or cold room needs to maintain a constant temperature to provide a safe environment for perishable goods. Too warm and the produce inside could be at risk from bacteria. Too cold and goods might start to freeze. Learn a little about refrigeration etiquette though and you’ll always keep fresh produce in the ideal setting.
Here are some tips to help you out.
Getting the temperature right
Do you know what the ideal temperature for a refrigerator is? Don’t feel bad if you don’t. Not many people do and this means there are thousands of domestic households that operate fridges at the wrong temperature.
Ideally the temperature inside your fridge should be 50C or less. Anything more and the food inside could be at risk.
Check the temperature gauge inside the fridge where fitted. Better still, buy a freestanding fridge thermometer to monitor the heat levels and keep it at the prime level.
Keep the interior clean
Good hygiene is essential for safe refrigeration. Keep produce in containers or wrap them up whilst they are being stored inside the fridge.
Make cleaning the interior of the refrigerator a priority on a regular basis. Wash shelves and wipe down the interior with an anti-bacterial cleanser suitable for fridges and freezers.
Aim for a weekly clean where possible to reduce the chances of infection.
Where to place items
There’s a right way and a wrong way to stock a fridge. Many kitchens get this wrong. Basically the order should follow this format:
- Top shelf – Ready to eat food such as yoghurts etc
- Middle shelf – Cooked meats, butters, cakes etc
- Bottom shelf – Raw meat, fish or poultry
- Salad drawer – Fruit and vegetables
Change your habit if needs be. Re-train yourself to stock the fridge in a particular way and it’ll soon become second nature.
Check use-by dates
You can normally store leftover food items inside a fridge for two to three days. Left for any longer and you should think about tossing the goods into the food waste bin.
Keep a close eye on use-by dates too. They’re not the same as sell-by dates. Get rid of anything that has gone past its use-by date. It’s simply not worth the risk.
This is basic refrigerator advice. Whether you use a commercial coldroom or have a domestic refrigerator at home, take care with food storage and feel free to use this nugget of advice.