STORING food incorrectly may be shortening the shelf life of your refrigerator items. Here are some surprising tips to keep your food fresher longer.
Ban bread, tomatoes and onions
Tomatoes will ripen nicely at room temperature, enhancing their flavour, according to an article in the London Telegraph. Storing bread in the fridge will dry it out, but it can be frozen for up to three months. Dark cupboards are better storage zones for onions, squash and potatoes.
Fruit may be good for you, but it’s not always good for your vegetables. Many fruits, including peaches, plums and pears emit a gas that causes vegetables to rot, so keep them in separate crisper drawers.
The ideal temperature for any fridge is between zero and 4 degrees Celcius. Within this range, bacteria that spoil the food will be prevented from growing. The most consistent temperature is found on the fridge’s top shelves, making them suitable for foods that don’t require cooking, such as herbs, pre-cooked meats, leftovers and other ready-to-eat items.
Inside the door is the warmest part of the fridge, making it less than ideal for eggs or dairy products but fine for any product that has natural preservatives, such as orange juice.
The lower shelves are coldest, so keep raw meat, dairy products, eggs and seafood down there. Raw meat and dairy products should not only be tightly sealed but also ideally stored on a plate, to prevent the spread of bacteria and maximise freshness.
Foods kept on top of the fridge are being exposed to increased temperatures, which can encourage mould to grow.
Flying in the face of conventional wisdom, that
stored in a cool, dry place, recent studies showed that refrigerating sparkling
wines almost completely prevented them going bad. Likewise, nuts and oils will
benefit from refrigeration. Champagne
Eggs, on the other hand, can absorb the smell of things around them via their porous shells, so you may want to think twice about keeping them around other foods in the fridge.
Overcrowding will inhibit airflow, so try not to cram everything in after a big shop or risk creating warm zones inside the fridge.
Never place opened cans back in the fridge, as the food can react with the metal.
Clean your fridge once a month to limit bacteria and odours.