It's National Clean Out Your Fridge Day. Here are 5 things you can do to help keep your refrigerator a safer, cleaner place to store food.
1 Don’t place raw meat on the top shelf. Cross-contamination is one of the biggest causes of food-borne illness. Raw meat on the top shelf can drip onto items below it, which can be contaminated with campylobacter and other bacteria. What are the chances of this? Well, a recent survey revealed that 97% of chicken samples harbored dangerous bacteria. So there’s that.
2 Keep your drawers—and the rest of your fridge—clean. E.coli. is often found in the dirt in which vegetables are grown. Before veggies are washed, this dirt can cling to crevasses and flake off into your crisper drawer. So be sure to wash your crisper drawers (and your entire fridge) with soap and warm water, or spray them with a 50:50 solution of water and distilled white vinegar and wipe down.
3 Crisp and separate. Store veggies and fruit in separate crisper drawers. Fruit emits ethylene gas, which hastens vegetable spoilage. And as raw food becomes moldy, it releases mycotoxins into the air. While most mycotoxins are harmless, some are poisonous and can cause organ damage.
4 Keep it cool. A properly cooled fridge slows down the decomposition of food and the breeding of bacteria. Experts recommend you keep your fridge between 30 and 39 degrees. But beware, certain bacteria, such as listeria, aren’t even slowed down by the cold. Listeria is most often found on soft cheeses and cold cuts—which is why many doctors recommend pregnant women try to avoid them altogether.
5 Try lining your shelves with a CleanCutting Sheet. Before you place meat in the fridge to thaw, line the shelf with a CleanCutting Sheet. This provides a barrier between the raw meat package and the shelf, catching any juice that may accidentally drip. If you notice moisture, simply toss the germs with the CleanCutting Sheet. This can cut down on cleaning time!