• Limit time at room temperature. Any food requiring refrigeration that has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours is trash.
• Give meat some space. Poultry, fish and raw meat need to be kept separate from all other foods. Store them in plastic freezer bags or bowls and keep them on the lowest shelf to keep any drips from contaminating other products.
• Give fridge foods a timeline. Make it a habit to check the contents of your fridge and throw out any foods that have been in there past their time. If you can’t remember how long something has been in the fridge, throw it away. The longer you let foods sit in the fridge the more likely they are to grow bacteria. Freeze foods you don’t plan on eating right away. Follow these timeframes to determine when food needs to go:
– Uncooked ground meat, poultry or fish: 1 to 2 days
– Uncooked steak, veal, lamb, or pork: 3 to 5 days
– Leftovers: 3 to 4 days
– Ready-made foods, like deli meats and macaroni salad: 3 to 5 days
– Eggs in shell: 4 to 5 weeks
– Open jar of mayonnaise: 2 months
The Best Way to Clean Your Refrigerator
Wipe up spills or leaks as soon as they occur. Any liquids that drip from foods can spread bacteria to other food in your fridge. Also, do a full on clean of your refrigerator once a month. Take every item out and wipe down each shelf, drawer and wall with a mixture of warm water and a little bleach or a disinfectant cleaner. As you replace items back in your refrigerator wipe down any bottles such as ketchup and mustard that have food on the outside. You’ll also need to get behind your refrigerator to vacuum or sweep the dust off the metal coils. This will help keep your refrigerator running efficiently.