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Culinary College

Food and Storage: Refrigerator and Freezer

Food and Storage: Refrigerator and Freezer


The refrigerator, one of the modern necessities of life. however who hasn’t gone into their kitchen, looked in the fridge, only to find the horror of spoiled food. In this article; I learned some minor; but helpful information concerning that kitchen mammoth.

Food & the Fridge, a Love Story? | @Emmmmerz http://www.emmmmerz.com/When in doubt, throw it out. If you’re not sure whether a food item has gone bad, remember that smelling or tasting the food is not a good indicator of safety. That’s because most harmful bacteria can’t be seen, smelled or tasted. The best policy is to simply throw it away.

NEVER refreeze foods that have been thawed.

Salt and soda water will clean and sweeten the inside of your refrigerator. It won’t scratch enamel either.

If you’re freezing cooked food, smaller containers will freeze and thaw faster, which can help protect against food poisoning. Marking the date on cooked food you’re freezing will help you keep track of what’s in your freezer.

Freezing at zero F (minus 18 C) or less stops bacterial growth (although it won’t kill bacteria already present).

When leaving for an extended time like a vacation or other long trip discard perishable food, turn off the ice maker and leave the refrigerator on.

Do not over fill the refrigerator because cold air can’t circulate freely to regulate the temperature.

Look for and use organizers that maximize shelf space — for example, shelves or dispensers that can be added to existing shelves to maximize the vertical space.

Maintenance is Key: Keep the seals on the door clean and check for cracks. You can do this easily with a sponge and a little elbow grease. If you have cracked seals you should consider replacing them. Clean the condenser coils at the back or bottom of your refrigerator at least once a year. You can use a vacuum to remove dust and debris from the coils and then gently wipe them with a rag.

  • Try to avoid putting warm leftovers in your refrigerator. Let them cool to room temperature and then put them in.
  • Refrigerators should stay at 40 F (5 C) or less. “According to surveys, in many households, the refrigerator temperature is above 50 degrees (10 C) Buy a fridge thermometer from your local supermarket, cooking store or department store so you know exactly what the temperature is inside your fridge
  • Store raw and ready to eat food separately with raw foods on the bottom shelves and ready to eat above.
  • Install your refrigerator away from the range, direct sunlight, registers, radiators, or any other heat source. Keep the refrigerator level. If it is not level the door might not close fully.
  • Defrost the freezer compartment whenever frost builds up to 1/4-inch thickness.
  • Store all sliced meats, dairy items (such as butter), and fresh produce in the proper drawers in your fridge. This helps them to last longer.
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A temperature of 40 F (5 C) or less is important because it slows the growth of most bacteria. The temperature won’t kill the bacteria, but it will keep them from multiplying, and the fewer there are, the less likely you are to get sick.

Take stock of what’s inside. Once a month, pull everything out and separate the better-for-you foods from the rest. Make sure you have more low-fat, high-fiber and low sugar foods than other types, and, if not, consider gradually reducing the number. Choose more low-fat and fat-free dressings, condiments, sauces and tablespreads instead of full-fat ones.

Wrap food properly and exclude as much air as possible. This will help to stop ice forming and prevent freezer burn.

Organize food items by size. Doing so will create a function for each shelf and make it much easier to locate your small, hard to see items. Store items in jars or bottles in the refrigerator door and bagged items in the freezer door.

To combat odors keep an open box of baking soda in the back corner. Vanilla extract will also keep your fridge fresh. Soak a cotton ball or paper towel, put it on a paper plate and wait for it to dry before removing.

A full refrigerator or freezer operates more efficiently than an empty one. This is because when the door does open, if it is full, there isn’t much area where warm air can enter. You can fill empty spaces with containers of water, which in a freezer has the added advantage of being able to hold a lower temperature in the event of a power outage. If you don’t have enough food to fill it, put plastic bottles filled with water in it or even scrunched up newspaper. It is harder on your freezer to constantly cool air than it is to keep a frozen object cold. If you find your unit is often half empty, decide if you actually need one or, if you are replacing it, think whether you need such a large model.

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Approximately 98 percent of a refrigerator unit is recyclable. But because of the way appliances have to be recycled, many recycling companies have to charge a fee to pick up and recycle your old appliances.

Remember that freezing will not improve foods, it will just keep them at their original freshness and quality. Freeze only top quality foods.

Line casserole dishes with heavy duty foil before assembling. Fill casserole, freeze, then remove foil wrapped food and seal in ziplock heavy duty freezer bag. Place in original container to thaw and bake.

Clean spills immediately, and clean the inside shelves and compartments regularly to prevent odor. Use baking soda to tackle tough food odors in the freezer.

To keep the door working properly, store the heaviest door items close to the hinge, and the lighter things close to the handle.

Produce: Store first, wash later. In most cases, it is better to wash produce just before eating. If washed prior to storing in the refrigerator, the moisture can accelerate spoilage. (Unlike most produce, lettuce and other leafy vegetables should be washed and drained before storing in a sealed plastic bag with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.)

FDA’s Food Information Line
1-888-SAFEFOOD (1-888-723-3366)
Recorded messages 24 hours a day, every day. FDA public affairs specialists available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

Store your food safely!

A Military Spouse stationed in the middle of nowhere. Emma loves to cook for her family (while dodging dirty dishes). She is blessed to be a stay at home mom with 3 kiddos. She is passionate about cloth diapering, car seat safety, breastfeeding, homeschooling, frugal living, babywearing, and her Christian faith. More Molly Messy than Susie Homemaker, she has been trying to improve her housekeeping and related skills.

2 thoughts on “Food and Storage: Refrigerator and Freezer

  1. Husan

    One of the most popular home freezers appears to be the chest type which is available in several sizes. The 6 cu feet freezer holds approximately 200 pound of frozen foods if stacked correctly.

    The 10 cu feet size will hold approximately 350 pound. Both these sizes will suit the smaller family. They keep everything fresh no matter how high the temperature outside, and give easy access to food.

    1. Emma Author

      Yes, I agree with your assessment as far as chest freezers go. We actually have a slightly smaller one (Around 5cf I believe), but it is so helpful in keeping costs down for food budgeting!
      Thanks so much for stopping by!


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