Picture the contents of your fridge.
Do you keep your milk in the fridge door? Where are your cooked foods located? The way you organise the fridge and where you store your food could have a considerable impact on how long your food stays fresh for.
According to WRAP, each year, UK households throw away an enormous 7.3 million tonnes of food, 4.4 million tonnes of which is avoidable. Organising your fridge contents could save you money and help your food last longer.
How to organise your fridge
What should be kept in your fridge door?
Contrary to popular belief, the door of the fridge is not the ideal place to keep milk. The drawer is the warmest part of the fridge and so it is best suited to natural preservatives like condiments, pickles and jams. Butter doesn't have to be kept in the fridge, but if you do prefer to keep it cool, then the fridge door is an ideal storage space, as it won't keep it overly cool.
Which food should you keep in the fridge drawers?
Vegetables should be stored in the drawers at the bottom of the fridge, which will keep them nice and cool and therefore fresher for longer. Drawers are ideal for storing fresh veg and herbs because it keeps them away from the base and walls of the fridge, where they are at risk of freezing and going soft. The drawers will protect them from ambient odours in the fridge, and shield them from meat juices.
Handy Hint: You should never keep tomatoes in the fridge, because it massively reduces their flavour and sweetness.
What should you keep at the bottom of the fridge?
The safest place to store raw meat in the fridge is on the bottom shelf, as it is the coldest part of the fridge. Reserving the bottom shelf of the fridge just for raw meat prevents the juices from contaminating other food, and ensures it doesn't come into contact with other fresh produce. This can only be guaranteed on solid glass or plastic shelves, as slatted racks do not prevent leaks.
What should be kept in the middle of the fridge?
If you can keep your milk properly sealed, it is actually much better to store it in the middle of the fridge than the fridge door. Keeping milk, cheese, and yogurt in the middle of the fridge allows them to stay cool with a good air circulation.
Handy Hint: Eggs do not need to be kept in the fridge, and can remain just as fresh if kept in a bowl outside the fridge. What is most important is keeping the eggs at a constant temperature. If you want to keep them in the fridge - where they can last a little longer - keep them in the main body of the fridge where the temperature is constant. Do not store eggs in the fridge door, even if there is an egg rack, as the constant opening and closing of the door does not keep the temperature regular, and can make eggs go off faster.
What should you store at the top of the fridge?
The higher shelves are the best place for cooked foods, cured meats, and leftovers that don't need cooking. Keeping cooked food higher than raw food prevents contamination through spillages.
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