What’s the big deal when it comes to organizing your refrigerator for holiday meals, does it really matter where things go? Yes, it does. Here are some tips for organizing your fridge based on food safety and the temperature foods need to be cooked.
- Prepared foods or leftovers (things that need no cooking to be safe to eat) should be placed at the top of your fridge with everything else organized downwards based on temperature required for cooking. Chicken, for example, would require the highest temperature for cooking and therefore, should be placed at the bottom of your fridge. The reason for this is to avoid any cross contamination. With food that requires a higher cooking temperature stored at the bottom of your fridge, the risk of drips or spills from this food onto other foods is virtually eliminated.
- On your upper shelves, store leftovers, drinks, yogurt, cheese and deli meats.
- On your lower shelves, store raw ingredients you plan to cook later.
- Because the refrigerator door is the warmest part of the fridge you’ll want to store condiments there. Avoid storing your eggs or milk here. Place milk and eggs in a colder area of your fridge.
- Storing fruits in vegetables in your refrigerator’s drawers make sense since drawers are designed to hold produce at a specific humidity. Only problem is drawers are usually at the bottom of the fridge and so you risk contaminating your fresh produce if you put meat on a shelf overhead. A possible solution to this would be to store produce in one drawer and raw meat in another. If you need both drawers for produce, consider using a clear plastic bin to store raw meat, one that will catch any accidental drips and keep meat away from other foods.