Hi! Hope everyone is doing well. The weather here has been crazy-80 degrees one day, 50 the next leaving my allergies to go WILD today. I’m glad I didn’t leave the grocery shopping for tonight because it would not have gotten done.
After I went shopping last week, I decided to organize and clean my refrigerator. In doing so, I had an idea for a blog post. Most people know that cooking is an important aspect of food safety, moreover, storage is another critical control point.
Obviously, temperature is crucial. Always make sure that the temperature in your refrigerator is 40°F or below. Some refrigerators nowadays have a thermometer built in. If not, you can keep an appliance thermometer inside. In order to keep the temperature at the safe temperature, you want to make sure that your doors have working seals. Keeping the door open for a long period of time (even cracked) will raise the temperature in the entire refrigerator. Make sure to discuss the important of closing the refrigerator food with your children. The noted “danger zone” for foods is 41 to 139°F. Any foods that are in that zone for over two hours should not be eaten. A refrigerator door that is not properly sealed may raise the temperature above 40 degrees, causing bacteria to grow on your foods.
Another cause for temperature change throughout your refrigerator is storing a large volume of hot food. For example, if you make a large pot of soup and don’t wait to cool it down before placing it in the refrigerator, it may very well increase the temperature throughout the entire space. Instead, place in smaller shallow containers so that it will cool more quickly.
Other than controlling the temperature of the refrigerator, it’s important to be aware of where foods should go. First, perishable items such as eggs should not be stored in the door. I keep my sauces, jelly, minced garlic, etc. there. The items in the door are most exposed to regular room temperature each time the door is opened.
Next, if storing or defrosting meat in the refrigerator, it should be in a sealed container or wrapped to prevent raw juices to get on the shelf. To be extra careful, I recommend keeping these on the bottom shelf so that they don’t drip on other foods (I have had what I thought were sealed storage bags leak and drip before).
Ready to eat foods should be stored above the meats. I use the second and third shelves.
My refrigerator has two drawers. I keep most of my vegetables in the crisper. I try to wash the fruits that need to stay refrigerated ahead of time and keep them where they’re easily accessible to us and won’t go to waste. Grapes in particular are kept up high so that Isaac doesn’t open up the door and eat them before they’re chopped. I usually use the Fruits & Veggies More Matters website for storage info on each fruit and vegetable. Fruits that don’t need to be refrigerated (such as apples) are stored on my counter in a bowl.
My upper drawer holds my cheese products and lunch meats so that they’re all in the same place and also not in the door.
Food safety is very important to ensure proper health, especially for young children, pregnant women, and those that are ill. Just remember that food storage in your refrigerator is an important part of food safety!
I hope everyone has a great remainder of the week! Tomorrow is my last day of the week. I took Friday off for parent teacher conference at Isaac’s school, which makes me very happy . Here’s a peek at dinners that I have planned for the week~
Wednesday (tonight): Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers by Wholesome RD (They were DELICIOUS!)
Thursday: Parmesan baked pork chops, Bowtie pasta with pesto, Roasted tomatoes
Saturday: Leftover Minestrone
Sunday: Creamed ground beef with toast + side of zucchini
Thank you for reading!