Like every year since 2019, the anniversary established by WHO, FAO and Codex Alimentarius aims to increase awareness of the effects that a poor diet has on our health. For this occasion, we have identified ten tips for best preserving food in the refrigerator, avoiding waste and the proliferation of microorganisms

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If it is true that, as Ludwig Feuerbach said, “we are what we eat”, it is equally true that nutrition has a decisive impact on our health, our body and our mind. For this reason it is important to prevent food-related risks and promote the health safety of the foods we consume. Like every year since 2019, 7 June is celebrated as World Food Safety Day which, established by WHO, FAO and Codex Alimentarius, aims to raise awareness of the effects that a poor diet has on our health. For this occasion, we have identified ten tips for storing food in the most correct way and avoiding waste, starting with the arrangement of food in the refrigerator at home. Let’s see them together.

How to store food in the refrigerator

Cold represents the main ally for perfect food preservation and, therefore, an essential element also for our food safety. Preserving food in the right way allows you to maintain its organoleptic properties and nutritional characteristics, limiting the proliferation of microorganisms on their surface. Here are some tips for using your refrigerator correctly, avoiding contamination or waste:

1. Put the food in the fridge immediately after shopping

It is important to quickly place food in the fridge or freezer immediately after shopping, to preserve its freshness and prevent bacteria from proliferating, especially in the warmer months.

2. Check the fridge temperature

It is advisable to keep the refrigerator temperature around 4-5°C and to place the appliance away from any heat source.

3. Each area of ​​the fridge has a different temperature

We must keep in mind that not all the shelves that make up our fridge have the same temperature. The coldest part is the one at the bottom, just above the fruit and vegetable drawer, where 2°-4°C is usually recorded. The “hottest” areas are the shelves on the door and the drawers at the bottom, where there are around 10°-15°C. The intermediate shelves fluctuate between 4°-5°C and 8°C.

Suedtirol, Seiser Alm, bei der Rauchhuette, Milchprodukte, Milch,

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4. Every food in its place in the fridge

Considering that not all shelves do not have the same temperature, it is necessary to know the correct arrangement of food in the fridge.

The top shelf it is intended for eggs, desserts, cheeses, yogurt.

There central part of the fridge is suitable for sauces, desserts based on custards and creams, cooked vegetables, sauces and in general all foods marked “keep in the refrigerator after opening”.

In the lower part meat and fish should be stored in the fridge. Meat has different storage times depending on the cut and composition: if minced it should be consumed within 24 hours, if it is chicken or turkey within 48 hours, and if it is cold cuts or fresh meat generally within 3 days. The fish (eviscerated and washed) must be consumed within 24 hours.

The drawer at the bottom, one of the “hottest” parts of the fridge, is ideal for fruit and vegetables that can be damaged by temperatures that are too low.

While in the door products that only require light refrigeration should be included: soft drinks, butter, mustard.

5. Consume foods by the expiration date

The date shown on the food packaging (with the words “use by”) allows you to understand when a food must be consumed. It is important to check the date when purchasing and when storing at home.

6. Don’t put hot foods in the fridge

After cooking, it is important not to immediately put hot food in the fridge, but wait for it to cool to room temperature, usually a couple of hours. The heat could create condensation and cause a rapid rise in the temperature of the fridge.

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7. Clean the fridge regularly

Keeping the refrigerator clean allows it to function perfectly. To do this you can use water with bicarbonate of soda or vinegar, but it is important to always consult the instruction booklet.

8. Don’t stock too much

It is important not to exaggerate with the quantity of food in the fridge: if there is not enough space between one food and another, the right storage temperature will not be ensured. Furthermore, too abundant stocks can increase the risk of food waste.

9. Use clean containers

Food must always be placed in clean containers, equipped with lids or wrapped in cling film, to prevent them from losing moisture and flavour.

10. Beware of contamination

It is always advisable to separate raw foods from cooked or ready-made ones, to prevent any microorganisms present in the former from being transferred to the latter.

epa09581246 A man undergoes Gluco meter random blood sugar test during free diabetes awareness camp on the occasion of 'World Diabetes Day' in Bangalore, India, 14 November 2021. The walk was aimed to create awareness about diabetes and free access to diabetes care and prevention .  14 November is observed as World Diabetes Day. EPA/JAGADEESH NV

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