We often take the fridge for granted. As one of the most significant inventions in human history, it has allowed us to extend the shelf life of our food significantly. Today, modern fridges have various compartments, including multiple shelves, drawers, and freezer.
Some end up just treating these compartments as extra space, storing their food randomly throughout. But that’s not the most effective way to go about things. Each part of the fridge has its own role, even if it isn’t explicitly labelled. If you want your food to stay fresh for as long as possible, here’s a short guide on where and how to store various types of food.
The main compartment is the area of the fridge where you store most of your food and is made of several shelves. Generally, the shelves can be divided into the top and bottom halves.
Cold air sinks to the bottom of the fridge, so it’s no surprise that the top shelf will be the least cold. Upper shelves also have a more consistent temperature, so it’s great for storing food that spoils easily.
As such, it’s the perfect place to store ready-to-eat foods, which are foods that you can eat straight away, or after a short time in the microwave. This can include dairy products, cooked meats, salads, and other leftovers.
Lower shelves, conversely, are the coldest part of the main compartment. Raw meat, poultry, eggs, and fish should be kept here for short-term storage. If your fridge has a dedicated drawer for these items, you should store them there instead. This prevents them from dripping onto your cooked foods, which can cause contamination.
As a general rule of thumb, you want to keep raw food and cooked food separated. This is because bacteria from raw food may be transferred onto the cooked food, in a process called cross-contamination. And since you won’t be cooking the cooked food again, the bacteria aren’t killed before you consume it.
To further minimise the chance of cross-contamination, you should keep each meal or type of meat in separate plastic containers with lids.
Many fridges have extra shelves on the inside of the fridge doors. These add some extra space for you to store miscellaneous foods, but the temperature is often not very stable. Feel free to place frequently-accessed and non-perishable foods here, like drinks, snacks, or condiments. But avoid placing foods that quickly spoil, like milk, in the door shelves.
Your fridge may have a drawer at the bottom that is separated from the main compartment. This is generally meant to be a dedicated compartment for your fruits and vegetables. Having a dedicated drawer means that the temperature can be kept relatively stable, extending the shelf life of these temperature-sensitive foods.
Lots of fruits and vegetables are served raw. So, just like with the ready-to-eat foods, you mustn’t store meat together with your fruits and vegetables.
Of course, most fridges these days come with a built-in freezer. Other than the obvious mainstays, like ice, ice-cream, and other frozen products, you can also use it to extend the shelf-life of ingredients that you won’t be using any time soon.
If you realise that you accidentally bought more chicken thighs than you can use by the next day, you can place it in the freezer, so it doesn’t go bad for the time being. And once again, remember to keep them packaged in enclosed plastic containers!
Knowing how to best use your fridge can save you a lot of time and money. With proper storage techniques, your food will remain safe and fresh until its time to whip them out for dinner. If you need some storage containers for your raw food, there are plenty of reliable plastic container suppliers in Singapore.
Here at Supply Smiths, we have an assortment of high-quality plastic containers that can serve all your food packaging needs.