This article isn’t so much about what you put into your refrigerator, it’s about how to keep those food items fresh, clean and bacteria free. If you can’t remember the last time you gave your fridge a thorough wipe down, or if it’s stuffed so full you aren’t sure what’s in it – it’s time for an overhaul.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends cleaning your fridge once a week, and it’s not as difficult as it may sound.
First of all, your refrigerator needs to be cold enough. Set it to below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The academy says this will keep your food fresh and slow the growth of bacteria – which if not under control can mean a breakout of foodborne illness. If your fridge doesn’t have a built-in thermometer, place an appliance one inside.
Leftovers are generally okay in your fridge for about four days. After that, it’s time to say sayonara. Make sure you wrap leftovers in an airtight container. Every week, scour your fridge for expired foods and beverages.
Making sure your food is fresh means better tasting food and a reduced risk of being exposed to food poisoning. If it doesn’t look fresh – it probably isn’t.
The most daunting part of keep your refrigerator safe is giving it a thorough cleaning with hot soapy water. This includes washing all of the shelves and compartments, and wiping down any bottles or containers that may have leaked or dripped. Let the surfaces dry before putting the food back.
Whenever there is a spill, clean it up right away to prevent the spread of bacteria. An open box of baking soda changed monthly will keep your fridge smelling fresh and clean.