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 Upgrade Your Refrigerator By Rajaa Chahine

The fridge is where most of the food at home is stored. It needs to be clean and have some kind of order. Here’s how Certified Health Expert Rajaa Chahine suggests you organize your fridge to keep your family healthy, to save time, to reduce waste, and ultimately, save money.

Cleaning Your Refrigerator

It’s best to keep a refrigerator clean by wiping out any spills as soon as they occur and giving it weekly quick cleanings, Every week you should be checking for foods to use up quickly, or to throw out, wiping up any messes or spills and giving the outside of your fridge a wipe down too. Think of how many times those door handles are touched each day!

Start with the refrigerator first.

Remove everything from the refrigerator. As you are taking the food out, check for expiration dates, rotting food, or anything you know your family just won’t finish throw it out.

Clean the inside. 

Starting from the top shelf working down, use warm, soapy water to wipe down all the shelves, walls, drawers, and door compartments. If the shelves and drawers are removable, it might be easier to take them out to clean. Don’t forget the door seals!

Organize Your Space. 

Before you place the food back inside, arrange your shelves so they are at the right height for you to organize your foods.

Line Your Shelves and Drawers. 

Place folded paper towels in the bottom of your produce drawers to help absorb any condensation, drips, or to collect crumbs.

Organizing Your Refrigerator

Invest In Clear Containers.

Go ahead and remove the packaging around your fruit, eggs, cups of yogurt, cans of sparkling water, etc. Then, use clear matching containers to corral and organize your items by category. This will help your fridge look more uniform and ensure that you can see exactly what's available.

Upper Shelves: Leftovers, drinks, and ready-to-eat foods (like yogurt, cheese, and deli meats).

Lower shelves: Dairy and meat products. You should keep such items on the bottom shelf of your fridge near the back. This area is generally the coldest, keeping these products freshest for the longest. This also helps juices from meat from contaminating the entire fridge in the event they drip.

  • You should also wrap meat products carefully, especially raw meat, in plastic wrap to prevent contamination.
  • Place wrapped raw meat in a bowl, dish, tray, etc., to catch any leaking juices.

Door: The refrigerator door is the warmest part of the fridge, so only condiments should go there. Don’t put eggs or milk in the door, as they should be placed in a colder part of the refrigerator.

Drawers: If you have two drawers, make one of them exclusively for veggies and the other exclusively for raw meat. If one drawer is above the other, use the lowest drawer for meat. If they’re side-by-side, either drawer would be fine. Clean the drawer you’re using for meat often.

Food Storage Tips

To keep food lasting longer in your fridge, here are a couple of good tips:

Fresh Produce

Keep berries lasting longer by washing before you place them in the fridge with just a bit of vinegar mixed with water. Make sure you let them completely dry before storing them in a plastic or glass container.

Remove any vegetables from the plastic bags they come in. Sort for any rotting piece and place the rest in containers or vegetable bags. Mushrooms tend to store best in paper bags or wrapped around a paper towel.

Wash and dry your lettuce and fresh greens. Store romaine lettuce wrapped in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag. If your greens are already pre-washed, remove them from the package and give them a quick wash and let dry. Store in a glass bowl or container with a lightly damp paper towel over them.

Delicate herbs, like parsley, cilantro, or green onions tend to store best in a container of water but wrapping them in a damp paper towel and placing them in a vegetable bag also works.

Place a box of Baking Soda opened on a shelf to help absorb the smells but clearly label the date and remember to change it out every 90 days. You can also combat smells with fresh ground coffee.

What are your tips for keeping your fridge fresh, clean and organized?

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

November 22, 2021 — Mint Basil Team

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