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Hands up if your raspberries seem to go mouldy and your spinach starts to wilt the moment you put them in fridge.
Well, have you ever considered that the reason may actually been down to you?
A food guru has warned homeowners that their groceries could be going off so quickly because they’re being stored wrong. Pictured, stock imageCredit: Getty
According to Chris Beasley, Head of Operations for Smart Cover, there’s a right and a wrong way to organise your fridge to make your food last longer.
So, have you been organising your groceries all wrong?
“One rule of thumb is to avoid overfilling your fridge,” explains Chris. “Stacking stuff on top of each other will prevent air circulating between your goods and cold air getting everywhere that it needs to.
“This means your fridge has to work harder and your food will go off quicker.”
He adds: “Keeping your fridge organised will also help you find items quicker, meaning the door isn’t open as long and your appliance won’t need to work as hard keeping everything cool.”
MEAT AND FISH
The expert notes that all fridges have warmer and colder sections because different foods actually store better at different temperatures.
“Meat and fish produce needs to be kept cold so you want it to be stored in the chilliest section of your fridge,” he says.
You can keep an eye on the temperature of your fridge by buying an inexpensive thermometer to check it’s actually as cool as you want it to be, optimising how long food will last for.”
“Most people will find the coldest area is in the back of the fridge because when you open the door the warmer air hits the front first.”
FRUIT AND VEG
The expert goes on to say there’s also a special reason your fruit and vegetables have their own drawers at the bottom of the fridge.
“Fruit and veg should be stored in their dedicated compartments because this part of the fridge isn’t as dry as the rest, meaning it should keep everything fresher for longer,” he says.
And when it comes to keeping salad fresh for longer, Chris has a great top tip.
“Open bags of salad tend to turn quite quickly, so some people like to add a piece of kitchen roll or a paper napkin to soak up some of the excess moisture, thus keeping them fresher for longer,” he says.
Most people store their milk in the door of the fridge, so it’s easy to access and can be kept upright.
But Chris warns that this might not be the best place to ensure it keeps fresh for longer.
Eggs store best at consistent temperatures, which is why you might find they keep better on the top or middle shelf of your fridge
“Door compartments are actually warmer than the rest of the fridge,” he warns. “If you find your milk isn’t lasting very long, try storing it in the main storage area instead.”
Drinks and condiments are among the items suitable for the fridge door, according to the expert.
“Condiments and sauces tend to have a longer shelf life and don’t need to be stored at a specific temperature in the fridge, so they will usually last okay in the door or on the top shelf,” Chris explains.
“The same goes for bottled drinks. It makes them easier to store and more convenient to reach if they are in the door, too.”
While many fridges have space for eggs in their doors, Chris notes that this isn’t necessarily the best place for them to be kept.
“Eggs store best at consistent temperatures, which is why you might find they keep better on the top or middle shelf of your fridge,” he says.
Leftovers, whatever the food, need to be stored in a particular way to ensure they don’t spoil other items in the fridge, according to Chris.
“If you have cooked food that is suitable to store as leftovers, make sure you leave it to properly cool down beforehand,” he says.
If you find your milk isn’t lasting very long, try storing it in the main storage area instead
“If you put hot or warm food in the fridge before it’s properly cooled this will increase the temperature in the rest of the fridge and could lead to other items spoiling quicker.”
GROCERIES STORED OUT OF THE FRIDGE
“You can also keep food out of the fridge that doesn’t need to be there, such as bread, apples and bananas, which take up a lot of room and don’t need to be refrigerated to last.
“Bread can instead be frozen, and you can defrost sliced bread as and when you need to use it.
“This will leave you with more room for things that need to be kept in the fridge and means it won’t be full to bursting, which again makes your fridge work harder and pushes bills up.
“Anything you’ve opened that is safe to keep refrigerated should be kept in a sealed container to optimise taste and keep it as fresh as possible, thus reducing food waste and saving money.