Improper food storage in the fridge can impact the flavor and health benefits negatively and force you to toss it out. Instead you can organize your fridge based on functionality and food safety to get the most out of your groceries.
The fridge can help groceries stay fresh for many days but it cannot maintain their goodness indefinitely.
That is why it is important to place things where they are visible, and therefore ready to use before their expiry date or before produce goes bad.
An organized fridge can make healthy eating easier, so here is how to get started:
• Place temperature stable items like juices, dressings, condiments in door compartments. This is because every time you open the door, the temperature fluctuates, so temperature sensitive items like eggs should not be placed here.
• Keep snacks, ready to eat foods and leftovers on the upper shelves of the fridge within easy reach and not hidden away behind larger items. Keep portion controlled snacks handy so you can grab them quickly instead of staring into the fridge and wondering what there is to eat. That will likely make you head for the pantry and grab a pack of chips instead.
• Ideally dairy should be placed towards the back of the shelf where the air vent is located, as this is the coldest spot in the fridge. A carton or bag of milk placed at the back of the fridge will benefit from chillier temperatures while one placed in the fridge door will take a hit every time the fridge is opened.
• Eggs also need to be placed in a steady cold temperature on the middle or top shelf of the fridge. Keeping eggs in their carton preserves freshness and prevents odors from other foods from being absorbed.
• When storing foods like cheese which can absorb other aromas, keep it in a separate enclosed space, away from other aromas and tastes. You can tightly cover opened cheeses or place them in easy to see bins separately. When stored properly, hard cheeses can keep up to a few months in the fridge and soft cheeses for one week.
• Putting fruits and vegetables in front where visible can be very helpful for eating healthy. Placing healthy foods at eye level can be key to success when trying to lose or maintain weight.
• If storing vegetables in the crisper, keep them out of bags as they will spoil faster if kept tightly covered.
• Where possible, clean and cut up freshly bought produce and put in easy to see, portion size containers for grab and go. When it is right there ready to eat, you are likely to make a healthy choice.
• Rotate groceries regularly as new items are bought and bring the older items to the front to be eaten first. This step will help reduce food spoiling and wastage.
• Do not overstuff the fridge as putting too many groceries makes it harder to see what you have. And if you cannot see it, you won’t eat it.
Take some time to organize your fridge today!