When you think about getting a refreshing drink or a bottle of beer then the first image comes to your mind is that you are opening your fridge and looking at your desired item. But let’s change the scenario a little bit, means now you have to take off your eyes from the object you were looking and gaze at the other items in its vicinity. You will find spillage from the raw meat or your half eaten spaghetti from last night is competing with your Chinese takeout for space. Apples are lost in the pile of tomatoes and green leafy veggies are having a long face. How we can forget the plethora of smells existing in your fridge? All these things can either give you an image of modern art painting or make you sick. Is this only the smell which is intolerable or there is more which can flip the content of your stomach by causing food poisoning. Why your fridge is making you sick?
You are not interested in knowing about it
If that is not the case then why have you not set the temperature properly? According to a survey made by Electrolux (fridge maker), two third of users have no idea about the temperature settings. The temperature of fridge should range from 1 – 4 degree Celsius. The bacterial growth slows down at this temperature range and your food also remains fresh. Some of the most common bacteria found in fridge are campylobacter and E. coli. These are generally found in food items such as undercooked meats, unpasteurized milk and dairy products, unpasteurized apple juice and raw vegetables. Setting the temperature on above mentioned value will surely slow down the growth but damage the other edible items by freezing them. If you have an older model which lacks a temperature gauge then you can check the temperature with a thermometer time to time by putting it on the shelf for some time. You should also change your habit of checking out the fridge while trying to decide what to eat because in that moment outer heat enters your fridge and raise its temperature.
You don’t care for it
Like you care for your loved ones and yourself, you should also care for your fridge. If you think that making your fridge spotless from outside will prevent the bacterial buildup inside it then you are mistaken. Even sparkling clean fridge harbor million of bugs inside it due to damaged and rotten food. Raw meat is also one of the reasons of bacterial growth. A weekly cleaning can prevent any bacterial build up and development of foul smell in it. You can use hot soapy water or vinegar – water mix to clean the interior of fridge while use vacuum cleaner to clean the dust collected in grille and motor which reduces the appliance performance.
You don’t know how to handle it
This is the biggest problem with majority of the fridge users. They just don’t know what to place where and becomes victims of food poisoning due to a ridiculous ignorance of knowledge. Let’s see how the things should be in a fridge so next time you won’t fall sick because of it.
Meat at the bottom
Raw meat can cause spillage of blood and other animal juices which can drip onto other items if it is kept on the uppermost shelf. Cover the raw meat properly, put it in a container and keep it on the bottom shelf. Another precaution you must take is not to keep raw meat and cooked meat side by side. Cooked meat has no bacteria because it is killed in the cooking process but the raw meat does contain bacteria and it can easily transfer the live bacteria to the cooked meat kept it in its vicinity and contaminate the food. Such event can increase the risk of food poisoning.
Replace old with new
Storing food for long time can reduce its nutritional value, affects its color, texture, flavor and cooking time. Therefore it is very important to use the old items first and replace them with new supply. You can store the new stock at backside and bring the old stock in front so that it can be eaten first. This habit will also prevent any food such as fruit or veggies from damage means there will be no bacterial growth.
A packed fridge is not a symbol of abundance but it can be home for many bacteria. How? Well, the cold air which keeps the food fresh and slow down the bacterial growth needs to circulate evenly inside the fridge but overstuffing prevent such essential circulation and allow bacteria to flourish. The other problem of packed fridge is that you have to distinguish between fresh and old which takes time and hot air will enter your fridge in that duration and raise its temperature which will further makes a friendly environment for bacterial growth.
Separate veggies and fruits
Although, fruits and veggies are very dense with nutrition but fruits emits ethylene while veggies don’t. This difference matters a lot when you keep both of them together because this ethylene gas can enhance the spoilage of veggies and you will be left with wilted and rotten produce which you will definitely like it. Another point is not to wash fruits and veggies before storing as bacteria loves humidity and washing can cause decaying of fresh produce. Wash fruit or veggie just before eating.
Store eggs in carton
You must feel tempted to use those sculpted egg shelves but storing eggs in carton has its own advantages. Expert says that keeping eggs on the egg shelves can expose them regularly to heat whenever you will open the door and thus decreases the shelf life while you can easily store them in back of the fridge by putting them in a carton where they won’t perish easily. Use those egg shelves to keep lemons, it will also look good!!!
Milk products at the back
Store the milk container and milk products at the back of fridge where it is coldest to avoid any bacterial build up. Never drink from the container or put back the used milk into the container as it can spread bacterial infection.
These were some small changes which can make your fridge healthy and keep your stock fresh. Fill your fridge with healthy food and it will certainly reflect in your health or especially in your waist line!!! Maintenance of the fridge is equally important for its consistent performance. Therefore, clean it regularly and throw away any damaged or decaying item. Follow the simple tips mentioned above and enjoy its benefits for long!!!!