How long you can keep a food item for is also determined by the way you are storing your items in and out of the refrigerator. To increase the shelf life of your food follow these refrigerator storage tips.
Shelf life (noun):
def. - the length of time for which an item remains usable, fit for consumption, or saleable.
Storing non perishables
There are 3 good rules to follow when dealing with non-perishable food: keep them dry, out of the sun, and in a cool place. Non perishable items tend to have extended shelf lives of months to years due to the way they have been processed to limit spoilage. But, it is still good to follow these three basic steps to make sure you are keeping that shelf life
The creation of the refrigerator and freezer made it possible for us to keep perishable foods for days, weeks, and months longer than we were originally able to. By reducing temperature you lower the chance and rate of growing pathogens as well as chemical processes within the food that cause natural deterioration.
Here’s the best way to utilize your fridge.
Photo by National Resource Defense Council
The freezer should be set to a temperature of 32 F or below to ensure that food is truly frozen. Try not to over pack your fridge or let too much ice build up; this reduces its efficiency by decreasing air flow and using more energy.
The top shelves of the fridge are warmer than the ones directly below. This area is best for food that have already been cooked. This is also a great place to keep refrigerated snacks, yogurt, and drinks. The temperature in your fridge should be set to 40 F or slightly below.
The lower shelves are the coolest place in the refrigerator and best for items that are not cooked and very temperature sensitive. Food like meat, fish, and poultry that must keep cool at all times are best in this area on the very bottom shelf. While dairy items and eggs can be placed on the middle shelf. It is also a good idea to organize food in the fridge based off of cooking temperature to reduce the risk of illness by cross-contamination. Check out our food safety article to find out how.
The main function of the drawers at the bottom of your fridge are to help control humidity and air flow. By creating a closed section of the fridge, like the crispers, you increase humidity. Uses these drawers to your advantage. Use one to create a high humidity environment with less airflow which is best for greens carrots and broccoli. Use the other to create a low humidity environment with increased air flow which is best for items like pears, grapes, mushrooms, and berries.
Every time the refrigerator door is opened the items on this shelf get exposed to the most amount of heat because they are the least insulated. This makes this area the warmest part of the fridge. This also makes it the least desirable spot for anything thing that is easily perishable and sensitive to temperature fluctuations. But, it's perfect for condiments like pickles, canned peppers, mustard, ketchup, soy sauce etc.
Follow these tips to keep yourself healthy and keep your food longer.
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