Know where to put what in your refrigerator

Do you throw out any food from your refrigerator? Know where to put what can help you can stop this and save money in the long run.

Americans waste large amounts of food every day. One way this food loss could be prevented is by knowing where to put what in your refrigerator.

Michigan State University Extension offers eight tips on where to put what in your refrigerator that can help you save food and money.

  1. The top shelf of your frig is the warmest. Keep ready to eat foods like drinks, desserts and foods that have preservatives on that top shelf.
  2. The middle shelves are the place to put dairy products to extend their shelf life. The temperature in the middle of your refrigerator is more consistent and even small variations can make dairy products spoil sooner.
  3. The bottom shelf, or the meat drawer, is where you should keep your meat. The bottom shelf and meat drawer are the coldest parts of your refrigerator. Raw meat can keep considerable longer here. When meat is on the bottom shelf or in a meat drawer it can’t leak onto lower shelves. Always put meat on a plate or in a bowl in case it should leak out of the sealed package.
  4. The vegetable bin is of course the best place for vegetables. You can often regulate the humidity of a vegetable bin. Vegetables like high humidity and fruits like low so do not put fresh fruits and vegetables in the same drawer. Produce also gives off a gas that makes other fruits and vegetables ripen quickly. Fruits produce the most gas.
  5. The temperature of the storage bins in the door is the most unstable. The temperature of the storage bins in the door fluctuate more than the temperature in the cabinet. Because of the changing temperature don’t store perishable foods, like eggs, in the door. Eggs should be stored in the carton on a shelf. Keep foods like your ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickles, jams and jellies in the door.
  6. Label foods with the date that you put it in the refrigerator. That way you can quickly see how fresh it is and if it is getting past its storage time and plan to use the food before it is too old.
  7. Keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees or a little below. Have an appliance thermometer in all of your refrigerators and freezers. Refrigerator/freezer thermometers are specially designed to measure the temperature of the air.
  8. Don’t overload your refrigerator. To keep food safe in a refrigerator the air must be able to circulate. That is why the shelves don’t go all the way to the sides of refrigerators.

Take a good look at your refrigerator and see if you have food in the right areas so that they keep their quality the longest. Food thrown away is money thrown away and none of us likes that. 

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