Somehow, we rarely hear and talk about the proper ways of putting the food in the fridge. That is a shame because if we knew a thing or two about it, our pockets would be slightly thicker and our bodies slightly healthier. That’s right, storing food properly in the refrigerator can save us a good amount of electricity and money, as well as prevent contamination.
Since this might be your first article on this topic, we will give you a concise and clear overview of where to put food in the fridge to minimize any possible confusion.
Where to put food in the fridge?
If we keep in mind that every shelf has a different purpose, we can make our fridge work better and keep our food fresh for longer. This is why a good organization, along with the right temperature in the fridge, can make a big difference.
Regardless if we are talking about the professional or household fridge, the same rules apply. It is recommended to keep our fridge at around 4 °C, or 39°F. (https://greatist.com/eat/ultimate-way-organize-your-fridge#why-refrigerate) Also, it is good to know that the upper shelves have the most consistent temperature, and the lowest ones are the coldest. An essential piece of advice is always to put the new food behind the older one, also known as the “first in, first out” rule. (https://lifehacker.com/how-to-fifo-your-entire-kitchen-1846000765) Finally, we should clean and defrost our fridge regularly.
The top shelf, including the second one if you have a bigger fridge, is intended for food that needs no cooking, such as leftovers, cakes, dairy products, packaged food and salads. We should tightly seal all the food and make sure to use it within 2-3 days. You can also keep your herbs here, preferably in a glass filled with water for longer freshness. (https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/food/a552355/organising-your-fridge-right/)
Middle and lower shelves
On the lower part of the fridge, you can store your meat, eggs, fish and poultry. Also, always keep them in a separate container to avoid contamination. It is vital to keep vegetables or any other ready-to-eat food to come in contact with raw meat. (https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/food/store-food-refrigerator)
Some people even designate one specific shelf only for raw animal products – certainly a clever habit worth incorporating.
The bottom drawer
This part of the fridge is best for fruits and vegetables. The ideal practice would be to keep them separated from each other. However, sometimes that’s not possible due to the limited fridge space, in which case you can use any plastic containers and make your own small compartments. (https://greatist.com/eat/ultimate-way-organize-your-fridge#making-the-most-of-your-fridge)
We constantly open the doors of the fridge, so it is only logical that this part is the warmest one. For this reason, it is recommended not to keep open milk or any other easily perishable liquid or food as they can get spoiled too quickly. Instead, use the doors for water, long-lasting juices, drinks, sauces, dressings and seasonings. (https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/food/a552355/organising-your-fridge-right/)
The freezer is a life savior when we cannot use the food within the expiration date. Frozen food can last up to 4 months, and we can freeze almost anything. Only keep in mind that if you want to freeze the eggs, the shell might break. Similarly, glass containers are not the best match for freezers as they might crack easily.