Besides helping to keep it neat, organising your refrigerator will also help in boosting its cooling efficiency; reduce consumption of power and helps in preventing cross-contamination that might lead to food-poisoning.
Maintaining an organised refrigerator is not difficult. Below are some simple guidelines that can help to maximise the shelf-life of your food and extend the life-span of your refrigerator.
I will also recommend some suitable products that is worth considering to aid you in keeping your fridge clean and clutter-free.
Wrap up your meats
Store your meat and poultry products in freezer bags. This will help to prevent any dripping that will cause cross contamination and food poisoning. For the freezer bags, be sure to label them clearly and the date of purchase. This will allow identification of the contents and also to keep track of any food that have been in the refrigerator too long.
A good brand to consider will be the vacuum-sealer food bags from Weston.
Group your fruits and vegetables
Bag each type of produce separately as they emit gases like ethylene that can cause other produce to deteriorate. Avoid washing produce before storage into the refrigerator as the dampness will cause it to mould and rot quickly.
Take note of temperature zones
Organise your food based on the temperature it needs to be cooked to. Items that need no cooking such as leftovers, herbs, prepared food and drinks should be placed on the top half of the refrigerator. The bottom half shelves can be reserved for raw food like eggs, dairy products and meats.
This separation will not only add to a organised fridge but also prevent cross-contamination between cooked and raw food.
Set the right temperature
The temperature of your fridge should be between zero degrees Celsius (0˚C) to four degrees Celsius (4˚C) whereas the freezer temperature should be at -18 degrees Celsius to prevent food borne diseases.
De-clutter your shelves
Check the expiry dates of your food items regularly. Move food items that have a closer expiry date forward in a “First In First Out” (FIFO) format to keep track of them before they turn bad and cause contamination to other food on the other shelves. This is also to prevent food wastage.
Space out your items to allow circulation of cold air throughout the fridge to allow them to keep cool.
Full wipe down
Schedule a thorough cleaning session every half a year. Switch off your fridge and wash removable parts such as shelves and drawers. For the inner walls, use dish detergent and a cloth to scrub and remove any grime and stain.
One good detergent to consider will be the Simple Green Pro HD Heavy Duty Cleaner.
To reduce cleaning time, place plastic mats that are easy-to-clean on the shelves. To keep them clean, you can just simply remove and clean the mats weekly.
Clean the condenser coils
Clean and remove the dust from your condenser coils at the back of the fridge annually. This will allow more efficient release of heat, reducing the strain on the fridge and power consumption.