A clean kitchen isn’t as sanitary as it can be until the refrigerator is clean. Many of us probably are not cleaning that fridge as often as we should be. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your refrigerator will save you money and save you and your family from food-borne illness.
Begin maintaining your refrigerator with these tips:
Keep Your Fridge Running Cold
One of the best ways to prevent food-borne illness, also known as food poisoning, is to keep your refrigerator at the proper temperature. To prevent and slow the growth of bacteria such as salmonella and Escherichia coli your refrigerator should be at or below 40ºF and your freezer at or below 0ºF. Your fridge’s user manual will have detailed instructions on how to adjust the temperature.
The older a refrigerator gets the more important it is to accurately check the temperature regularly. You may need to invest in an appliance thermometer to get an accurate reading of the temperature inside your older refrigerator.
Keep Food Stocked Properly
Don’t stick food in the refrigerator and forget about it. And don’t place food just anywhere in the refrigerator. Follow these tips for your food’s safe-keeping.
• Take out the trash. Get rid of molded, foul-smelling and otherwise spoiled foods right away.
• Don’t overcrowd. Place food so that each item has enough space for air to circulate. Foods placed too closely together may not reach the correct temperature.
• Pay attention to labels and instructions. Food labels often have instructions on refrigerating certain products. Read and follow all instructions on foods as soon as you unpack them. Refrigerate or freeze foods right away that require it and throw away any food that has been unrefrigerated for too long.