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How to Store Food in a Fridge

Storage Terms

The storage of food in a refrigerator comes down to three points: space, temperature, and packaging. The right combination of the points ensures that the products will retain their properties. If you plan to store food in the freezer, the three factors mentioned above will be accompanied by the correct preparation of the product for fast freezing. 

Keeping food like meat, fruit, and vegetables in the freezer can be both short and long term:

Storage terms of food products in conventional compartments:

Freezer storage terms (10.4-0.4°F):

Product Storage Rules

The rules for keeping food in a refrigerator are as follows:

Correct food placement. Depending on the design of the fridge, the temperature regime of its compartments is different. This should be taken into account when placing food – dairy products are better stored on top shelves; lower shelves, the coldest ones, are for fish and meat products. There are also crispers (special drawers) for fruits and vegetables.

Consider the compatibility aspect when storing different products. Here are a few tips on what you should never store together:

Product Packaging

Products emit odors which then get mixed in the closed space of the refrigerator compartment. The problem can be solved by wrapping the products. For this purpose, paper bags, plastic wraps, and airtight containers are used, including those with special lids for vacuum storage. 

The following is recommended:

A fridge is cleaned at least once every two months. For this purpose, all products are removed; all the drawers/crispers, walls, and shelves are washed with soap and then dried. A special antibacterial mat can also be used for vegetable/fruit crispers.

Some fruits like apples, pears, bananas can be kept outside a fridge, especially in spring or fall, when the temperature is optimal. Potatoes can be kept in a paper bag (impermeable to the sun) on the balcony, otherwise, it will turn green and become harmful to eat. Make sure the potatoes are dry. If not, dry them before putting them in a bag. 

Don’t fill your fridge with canned food. Cans are airtight and unpretentious to the temperature. Moreover, heavy cans take up a lot of space and create a load for the blowing system, which prevents normal air circulation. Storing mineral water in a fridge or in french door refrigerators under 2000, can negatively affects its healing properties.

To better preserve fresh vegetables, greens, fruits, minced meat, and other products, some fridges have a special compartment which maintains zero temperature as well as a constant humidity level. That’s where products retain their flavor qualities better. You can also switch to a standard mode for storing chilled or frozen food. There are two types of such zones:

The “humid freshness” zone is the temperature zone that ranges from 32°F to 33.8°F, with 95% humidity. It’s perfect for storing vegetables, fruits, and greens. Some types of fruits and vegetables can be stored for up to several months there.

The “dry fresh” zone ranges from 30.2°F to 32°F, with humidity not exceeding 50%. Such conditions do not allow crystallization of moisture in products and, as a result, destruction of cell structure. The surface of the product may even have a thin crust of ice, but inside, the freshness will remain. Fresh fish, steamed meat, seafood, poultry, cheese, and sausages should all be stored under such conditions. During a week, “dry freshness” conditions are able to keep steamed meat or fish fresh, without losing the initial flavor and nutritional qualities of the product.

Product Freezing 

Foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are most often frozen for winter. Before placed in a freezer for storage, they are properly prepared. Remember that in freezers, rapid shock-freezing is used at low temperatures. Before getting into details, let’s consider a few basic recommendations:

The speed of freezing depends not only on the set temperature but also on the size of the products. They can be frozen in small portions, assuming that they are cooked immediately afterward. In this case, the smaller the portion, the faster it will freeze deeper. Therefore, if you plan to cook broth from meat, the latter should be chopped into small pieces. 

The products should be packed in cellophane bags, special food pouches, or containers. Plastic zipper bags are especially handy for freezing. Untight container lids should be sealed with a special tape that freezes to the package;

Any excess air should be removed from the bag before putting it in the freezer.

Freezing vegetables, fruits, greens, and mushrooms at home in the freezer should go as follows:

Make sure to mark all your product packages. If a large amount of food is stored for a long time, marking is essential to prevent product damage because of expiration. You can use special stickers, multicolored cards, or paper notes to mark the packets, i.e., indicate the content and date of freezing.

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