Refrigerator dos and don’ts
Keep your food fresh and your fridge well-maintained with these refrigerator dos and don'ts.
Don't over-pack your fridge
You shouldn't over-stuff your refrigerator with food. A fridge that is too full doesn't have enough room for the cool air to circulate properly. Therefore, your food won't stay cool and fresh. If you are consistently over-packing your refrigerator, it might be time for a new one. Consider the LG Super Capacity French Door Refrigerator (Model: LFX31925SST, $3,200) with through-the-door ice and water. This 31-cubic-foot stainless steel refrigerator features three doors -- French doors on the top and the freezer on the bottom for added convenience.
Do clean your refrigerator regularly
Keep your fridge healthy and fresh with regular cleaning. If you spill something, wipe it up immediately. Use a mild, natural detergent mixed with hot water. Every week, throw out any food that has spoiled, wilted or smells funny. Give your fridge a deep cleaning once a month. Be sure to vacuum away any cobwebs, dirt and dust that have gathered on the grill or coils.
Do make sure your refrigerator is cold enough
Bacteria can grow rapidly in temperatures above 40 degrees F, especially when there is moisture involved. Therefore, you should make sure your refrigerator's temperature is set at 40 degrees F or below in order to preserve your food and avoid bacterial growth.
Don't put uncovered food in the refrigerator
Food and beverages should always be covered before putting them in the refrigerator. If left uncovered, they will dry out and the quality and taste will diminish. Some foods can also absorb odors from other foods, so they need to be covered tightly. Don't put hot food in your refrigerator right away. Allow it to cool down before covering and moving it to the refrigerator.
Do keep your refrigerator organized
If you just haphazardly toss food into your fridge, it's more likely that you'll forget about it and it will spoil. Use the produce and meat drawers for the proper items and keep everything organized. Place drinks on the top shelf and items you are going to consume quickly on the middle shelf. The bottom shelf can house foods that will be in the refrigerator for a longer period of time. Consider writing the date on the top of food containers with a dry erase marker. This will keep thing organized and you'll know when something should be discarded.