What would we do without our fridges and freezers? From making jelly and ice-cream to keeping food edible for longer, it's definitely a lifesaver, especially in summer.
With temperatures steadily getting warmer, it's a good time for us to start thinking about fridge and freezer food safety! Thanks to the Australian Food Safety Information Council, we’ve got some neat fridge safety hacks to share:
- Get a fridge thermometer
The door is the warmest part, and the top shelf is the warmest shelf. Placing a thermometer below the top shelf, which is the warmest part of the fridge, will give a good indication of the temperature. You should adjust if it's warmer than 5°C.
- Be careful you are storing the right foods in the fridge
Often, people will miss a label that says "refrigerate after opening" or "use within 3 days." This is particularly relevant for sauces, fruit spreads, and some cordials prior to mixing.
- Store ready-to-eat foods on the highest shelf
These foods (such as salads, leftovers and desserts) won’t need as much refrigerating time and should be covered to reduce cross-contamination. And, by having them at arm’s reach, you’ve got easy access to those delish treats!
- Make sure juices and liquids can’t contaminate other foods
By packaging frozen meat in sealed bags or containers and placing them on a lower shelf, you can reduce the risk of getting food poisoning from drippings.
- Label and date frozen foods
It sure makes things easier when you suddenly remember that whole chook you bought a while ago!
- Freezing leftovers should be done quickly
Cool food on a bench until it stops steaming, then place in a container or bag in the freezer.
- Regularly clean shelves and handles
Not only do stains and spills look suspect, the leftover food could contaminate other foods.
And, last but not least, don't forget our personal favourite fridge hack that involves keeping food safe from the scariest of kitchen risks...children!
- Hide things you want to save for later in misleading boxes
Got a paddle pop you've mentally claimed but you know the kids have their eyes on? Hide it in a box for something they intensely dislike (an empty pack of frozen peas will do the trick!) and they won't go near it! Just make sure you don't forget about it…
Have you got any fridge/freezer hacks to share? Let us know in the comments below