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How to Properly Store Food in the Fridge

By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Properly Store Food in the Fridge

Don’t treat your refrigerator as a closet for keeping food. In reality, it is a high-tech device in which you can keep your snacks, meals and condiments in optimum conditions. Your fridge has different compartments, and each one is designed to serve some specific purpose. Each compartment has a different temperature zone, which means that if you store something in the wrong place, you might not take full advantage of this modern appliance. Here at OneHowTo.com, let’s talk about how to properly store food in the fridge.

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Upper shelves

Your fridge's upper shelves receive the most constant temperature conditions. Foods that are not to be cooked are kept in this portion, such as drinks, leftovers, and ready-made foods like hummus, deli meats and tortillas. You may also keep the herbs fresh by keeping them upright in a jar and covering them loosely with some plastic bag. Berries can also be kept here for easier access.

How to Properly Store Food in the Fridge - Upper shelves

Lower shelves

If you want to properly store food in the fridge, you should know that the lower shelves have the coldest of temperatures, so they are ideal places to keep your seafood, dairy, eggs and raw meat. In order to prevent spreading of the meat’s bacteria, assign a separate section in your lower shelves to keep your meat only.

How to Properly Store Food in the Fridge - Lower shelves

The doors

Doors do not receive as much cooling as other parts of the fridge do, due to which they are the warmest parts. So, they should be reserved for things that spoil the last, such as juices and condiments that can tolerate enough temperature fluctuations. Since the doors are opened often and get easily warmed, do not store dairy and eggs here.

How to Properly Store Food in the Fridge - The doors

In the freezer

Obviously, the freezer is designed to store frozen things. So, ice, frozen fruits, vegetables, stock and meat go in this compartment. You may also store a number of other things in the freezer which you can use later, like pasta sauce, eggs and tortillas. You may even freeze bread for as long as 3 months in the freezer. Do not use glass jars in the freezers, as they may break. Use stackable containers made of plastic, or plastic freezer bags which you can lay flat. Click here to know How to Clean the Freezer.

How to Properly Store Food in the Fridge - In the freezer

Crisper drawers

Crisper drawers aim at maintaining moist conditions to keep your fruits and vegetables preserved. But don’t make the mistake to jumble all of the items together. Some fruits like peaches, apples, pears, cantaloupes and plums produce a chemical known as ethylene, that is helpful in ripening them properly. Unfortunately, this chemical may promote over-ripening in other items also, thus causing them to sprout, yellow or limp. So, it is advisable to keep fruits and vegetables separate from each other. Click here to know How To Keep Vegetables Fresh In The Fridge.

How to Properly Store Food in the Fridge - Crisper drawers

Overall

One overall tip is to never crowd the shelves of your fridge too much, except the freezer. The freezer works at its optimum conditions when it is fully packed. Proper flow of cold air is needed in other parts of the fridge. Otherwise, inconsistent temperatures may create pockets of warmth and heat in different parts of the fridge. Properly storing food in the fridge will be helpful in reducing your energy bills as well.

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