Refrigerator food safety tips and leftover food guide
Who knew stuffing a fridge to the brim was not a good thing? Believe me we are guilty of stuffing the fridge to capacity.
The fact is a fridge that is three-quarters full functions at its best. Here’s what we found out…Shelves that are stuffed to the brim block the vents in the top of the refrigerator where the cold air is released. This prevents the air from getting to the other shelves. Leaving room on all your shelves is a necessity to prevent poor circulation which translates to food spoilage.
In addition to keeping the air circulating in your fridge you need to clean out your vegetable and meat draws on a regulator bases, at least once a month. These bins harbor and grow dangerous foodborne bacteria and other micro organisms that can cause stinky smells and even serious illnesses.
It’s important to keep your fridge clean and leave plenty of room for the cold air to circulate. What else should we know?
The inside temperature of your fridge should never go above 40 degree. The USDA considers the danger zone to be any temperature above 40. They also state that some bacteria double in number in as little as 20 minutes when a refrigerator temperature climbs above 40 degrees. This is especially true for meat. The really scary thing is that some pathogenic bacteria are virtually undetectable, what? What we mean is they can’t be tasted, smelled or seen. A good rule of thumb is to use a thermometer and put it on the middle shelves towards the back. This helps you to regulate the temperature in the fridge and keep your food safe. Did you know only 4 in town people are aware of this fact.
What about those leftovers sitting in the fridge? First, leftovers from a meal should not stay out of the refrigeration longer than two hours. In hot weather (80°F or above), this time is diminished to one hour. Here are general guidelines for storing leftovers:
Leftover Days it will keep
- Cooked or fresh veggies 3-4 days
- Cooked pasta 3-5 days
- Cooked Rice 1 week
- Deli counter meats 5 days
- Ham cooked and sliced 3-4 days
- Hot dogs opened 1 week
- Lunch meats, prepackaged opened 3-5 days
- Cooked beef, pork, poultry, fish 3-4 days
- Casseroles 1-2 days
- Cooked patties and nuggets, gravy and broth 3-4 days
- Seafood cooked 3-4 days
- Soups and stews 3-4 days
- Stuffing 3-4 days
We hope these refrigerator food saftey tips and leftover food guide help when it comes to protecting your food, family and your health.
Life is Delicious