Food for Thought Blog

Tips for Refrigerator Food Safety

April 5th, 2021Food

Food safety is an important part of keeping you and your food safe. An area that might not come to mind when you think about food safety is your refrigerator. There are a few important things to remember when it comes to refrigerator food safety, such as: temperature, organization, cleaning, and length of storage.

In this blog post, we provide some simple tips to help keep you and your food safe.

Food Safety Considerations

Temperature

Refrigerators are an effective tool to help slow the growth of bacteria and micro-organisms that can make you sick, but they must be kept at the correct temperature. 4°C or less is the ideal temperature to keep your food safe. You should also regularly check the temperature of your refrigerator to ensure it is working correctly. To do so, place a food safe thermometer near the door which is the warmest part of the refrigerator. Additionally, avoid overloading your refrigerator which can make it more difficult for air to circulate and maintain the correct temperature.

Organization

How you arrange food in your fridge is important to prevent cross-contamination which can make you ill. Check out the diagramA photo of fridge safety to learn how to safely set up your fridge. 

Since most traditional refrigerators have crispers for fruits and vegetables, it is important to ensure any raw meat is in a sealed container to prevent juices from dripping.

Cleaning

Regularly cleaning your fridge is important to keep your food safe and prevent bacteria from growing. One of the easiest ways to keep your fridge clean is to wipe up spills right when they happen. Every so often you should also do a deep clean of your fridge. Start by removing the food from your fridge and placing items into a cooler. If you do not have enough cooler space, try to have the fridge cleaned in one hour or less to prevent food from spoiling. Next, clean all shelving, walls, and drawers with warm water and dish detergent followed by a rinse and food safe sanitizer. Use paper towels or allow to air dry before moving food back into the fridge.

Storage Time

The length of time food is stored is important for controlling bacteria growth. Check out the Keep It Cool Graphicfollowing chart to learn how long food is safe for in the refrigerator. Leftovers are important to note as they often are forgotten about. Try placing a label on leftovers with the date they were prepared so it is easier to keep track of how old it is. You should plan to either consume or freeze leftovers in 2-3 days.