Clean your fridge and save energy

Cleaning your refrigerator and keeping your food correctly stored



Have you taken a good look at the inside surfaces of your fridge, can you see all the nooks and grannies that food and liquid spillages manage to soil, just how hygienic do you think that is? In order to make the environment within the cabinet a cleaner place you will have to clean it regularly. Yes, it is a pain of a job, but which would you rather have, a pain of a job or a pain in the gut? How regularly is regularly? That depends on how neat and tidy you are and how much attention you pay when storing and removing items from your fridge. To clean your fridge means removing all the shelves and salad/vegetable trays, if you have an American style side by side type of fridge this is quite a task. No matter what type of fridge, be careful not to crack plastic boxes/handles/trims or break glass shelves, they can be expensive to replace. Once removed all the shelves and boxes should be washed in a mild detergent, one that does not oxidize metal parts, thoroughly rinse (you can use a solution of water/lemon juice or water/vinegar) or there are purpose made fridge disinfectant products, then allow to dry. Wash down the interior of the fridge liner in mild detergent again thoroughly rinsing and allow too dry off. Please don’t use your dishcloth for this “cleaning” of the fridge. It is hardly clean if you have been using it to wipe surfaces and pots in your kitchen sink area. Why not have a specific soft cloth, one you wash clean and keep just for this job.

Cross contamination of food within your fridge
A few simple steps to store food correctly

  1. Wash your hands when handling food, wash your hands in between handling different food product
  2. Wash utensils, spoons knifes chopping boards before you switch from food product to food product. Just because you have a favourite sharp knife, doesn’t mean you can use it to slice cheese and cut sausage links.
  3. Wrap all open food product, ensuring you don’t cross contaminate as in item 1 and 2 before you do.
  4. Store all liquids in a closed container.
  5. Do not store warm/hot food product, allow it to cool before placing in the fridge.
  6. Store your product leaving gaps in between to allow air circulation
  7. Remove excess cardboard from food product, that means put your eggs in the egg trays, don’t leave them in the egg boxes, remove the outer cardboard carton from yoghurts etc. These items take up space and you use energy to keep them chilled, for no reason.
  8. Ensure that food product does not touch the rear wall of the fridge compartment.
  9. Consult your user book, it will advise where to store different product, your fridge generally has 3 zones, Coldest, Cool, and vegetable, different produce should be stored in the correct zone. Generally common sense has to play a part. Meat product should not be allowed to drip onto other product, store in the coldest zone, which is usually just above the salad/vegetable boxes. Dairy food produce such as cheese and desserts should be in the cool zone which is above the coldest zone. Beer and soft drinks are usually in the top section of the fridge, it’s the warmest part, sometimes referred to as a “temperate” zone. Finally, keep the fridge door opening to a minimum when adding or removing food. The whole environment within the fridge is chilled to approx 4degrees, opening the door allows the cool air to tumble out of the bottom of the cabinet and warm air to rush in to replace it. You may have seen the effect when the Freezer door is open as the cold air condensates as it meets the warm kitchen air. You have paid for the energy used to chill that air, try to keep the door opening to a minimum, which saves energy.