The Essentials of Foods – Getting to Point A

Extending Your Food’s Shelf Life with Proper Refrigeration

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 grocery shopping and tipping most of your purchases into a landfill site.

The good news is lengthening your food’s shelf life is possible by simply improving your fridge habits or practices. The following are useful tips:

> A stuffed fridge is not going to have proper air circulation to be able to cool all of its contents enough. Bacteria that bring illness and those that increase the rate of spoilage grow more rapidly in a fridge that’s set higher than 40?F. In such a scenario, a fridge thermometer surely comes in handy.
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> To keep food away from pathogens and spoilage bacteria, make it a point that your fridge’s temperature is at least below 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. Take a temperature profile of your refrigerator by putting the thermometer in different areas so you know which are hot and which are cold. Foods that are less likely to freeze, such as your steak, may be better placed close to the bottom, back and walls, which are generally the coldest. Keep in mind that newer refrigerators usually have a more uniform temperature.

> Most foods that require no refrigeration – think apples, certain pastries, etc. – will last even so much longer if you actually put them in the refrigerator.

> 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, the fish should be wrapped in a plastic bag so it’s protected from the melting ice.

> Clean your refrigerator regularly to keep pathogens and spoilage bacteria from spreading to foods. Spills should be wiped up right away and the whole interior should be sanitized at least once every two months. And don’t forget to dust off the coils – dirty ones impede sufficient air flow.

> At least once a week or so, look in the fridge and find contents that may have been there too long, such as saucy leftovers, mold-covered fruits or old luncheon meats shoved to the back. Remember this: the less sugary food is, the faster it deteriorates.

> And in case you’re thinking of buying a new refrigerator, choose one with plastic or wire shelves – which are more convenient to clean – rather than wire racks.