The best refrigerators keep your beverages cool and your food fresh. But over time, fridges may not perform as well as they used to. Did you know that following some simple storage rules can keep your food healthy?
Here’s how you can maximize the shelf life of your groceries in the fridge:
1) Keep the fridge running at its optimum level
Make sure your refrigerator’s temperature is set at 5°C or just below. You can check the accuracy of the fridge’s digital temperature display by routinely comparing it with an internal fridge thermometer.
It’s important to clean refrigerators regularly to ensure they are in good working order. Stainless steel fridges are easy to clean and germ-resistant, which helps maintain good hygiene in the kitchen. It’s also essential to allow air to circulate well in the fridge, so invest in a refrigerator for large families if you’re frequently overcrowding your fridge. Side by side refrigerators offer ample space for storage while fast cooling refrigerators are particularly efficient in keeping food fresh.
2) Keep an eye on the expiration date
No matter how well you store food, it can’t last longer than its “best before” date. Some foods expire quicker than others and can even cause food poisoning when consumed. While most packaged goods come with clearly marked expiration dates, it’s useful to label your own Tupperware with the date the food item was cooked or purchased so that you don’t forget.
Also, American design double door refrigerators offer ample shelving space for you to store condiments and beverages, which is useful for keeping them in your sight and preventing them from expiring.
3) Freeze foods you don’t intend to consume in the near future
The freezer will keep most foods bacteria-free for a long time. You can put almost anything in the freezer, including yoghurt, cheese (except soft cheese), milk, meat, fish, peeled bananas (though you should wrap them or place in an airtight container before freezing), baked goods, rice, and bread.
However, foods with high water content, like pineapples, beets and tomatoes, don’t retain their shape once they are defrosted, but they are not harmful to eat and can be used in any dish.
To freeze food properly, place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in freezer bags before placing in the freezer. If not, the freezer’s cold air will dry it out your food.
4) Eggs are best stored in the fridge
The fridge is the best place to store eggs as it keeps them at a constant temperature. However, eggs may also be frozen after cracking the eggs and storing their yolks and whites in separate plastic containers or freezer bags. Eggs can also be beaten before freezing, which makes for faster preparation of omelets and scrambled eggs after defrosting. Boiled eggs can be kept in the fridge for a week and may also be frozen.
5) Storing meat requires attention and care
Meat needs to be refrigerated very carefully to avoid food poisoning
Uncooked meat should be stored in tightly closed containers on the bottom shelf of the fridge. It’s advisable to keep it separate from cooked meat and other consumables in the fridge to prevent bacteria from spreading.
If you don’t intend to use the meat immediately, freeze it before its expiration date. If raw meat has been taken out of its packaging, its expiration date must be labelled on the container. You can portion out the meat before freezing so that you can later defrost just enough meat for your meal.
Meat can be frozen for up to six months. Wrap the meat properly before placing it in the freezer or freezer burn may make it tough and inedible.
Before cooking frozen meat, defrost it well and keep the liquid from touching or getting mixed with other food items. You can use the microwave to defrost if you’re cooking immediately or thaw it out in the fridge so that it doesn’t get too warm. You must eat defrosted meat within 24 hours of thawing. When cooking the meat, make sure it’s cooked through.
Defrosted meat can’t be refrozen without cooking it first. Cool the cooked meat before putting it in the freezer.
6) Leftovers can be stored to reduce food wastage
Leftovers can be refrigerated, but they have to be consumed within three to four days, after which they should be thrown out. The food may not look or smell like it has gone bad at this point, but there could be enough bacteria in the food to make you sick.
To store leftovers correctly, cool them within two hours of cooking before portioning them into meal-sized containers and putting them in the fridge or freezer. If the food was stored in a tin can, transfer to a plastic or glass container to prevent the food from developing a metallic taste.
When reheating leftovers, make sure to heat well and try not to reheat it more than once. The more times leftovers are cooled and reheated, the higher the risk of food poisoning.
Fridges can last anywhere between 10 to 20 years but when you notice that food is going bad quicker than expected and other issues like a hot motor or excessive condensation are occurring, it may be time to invest in a new model. Mabe offers a variety of refrigerators to suit every kind of household.