Doing a weekly food purge saves room in your fridge. It can also save you from a stomachache—or worse. While this may seem like you don’t have much going on, the fact of the matter is your fridge can only store so much. You need to keep things balanced and ensure that you are not wasting time and jeopardizing your health by storing food which should have been discarded a long time back! Apart from doing the old sniff test, spotting mold, and checking expiration dates, assessing what to toss in your kitchen can be a great, big mystery.
Social Diary is going to give you a major overview on how you can manage your fridge better. It is quite basic and time to start tossing out things that aren’t worthy of your consumption. Let’s look into how you identify:
Will you get sick if you use the uncovered can of onion paste which was opened days ago? Or could you be harming your feline if you neglect to put a lid on her half-empty can of cat food? Probably not…but don’t expect those products to have the same punch when you pull them out again for dinner. Think of your fridge as a giant food dehydrator—anything directly exposed to air will quickly dry out and probably take all the flavor with it. So this is probably one of the main reasons as to why your mom keeps on telling you to cover all your food properly before placing it inside the fridge.
Also when it comes to storing your fresh produce, you need to draw the line somewhere on that too. This may seem like a no-brainer, but how many times have you poked through that carton of blueberries or strawberries to remove the offenders and eat the rest? Not always a good idea. Sure, you can pick out one or two of the offending berries, wash the rest in clean, cold water, and you should be fine, but don’t try to salvage individual berries by cutting away the spoiled portions. Throw out the entire bad strawberry—even if it’s half moldy, and make sure there are no other moldy ones around it. To get the most out of your purchase, you should be storing your fruit in an aerated container that elevates berries from any moisture that may have dripped down and regulates the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide to reduce spoilage. Another neat trick to make your berries and flesh fruit to last longer is to rinse them in a mixture of vinegar and water to get rid of mold spores and bacteria. This will not spoil the taste and does work great!
Also are you in the habit of munching on something a little and then storing it back into the fridge? Is it common in your household to enjoy a few forkfuls of your favorite chicken salad for lunch, then pop it back into the fridge? Here’s the thing, you need to put thoughts of food waste aside and toss the lot and these will be contaminated with pathogens. Always keep food pristine by transferring individual portions with a clean serving spoon, and throw out the dip unless you’ve had a food cop watching the bowl for all four quarters. To avoid waste, set out only half the dip to start, and keep the rest safely in the fridge until needed. Because refrigeration temperatures slow or stop the growth of microorganisms, it’s important to note that temperatures matter. That means quicker-to-spoil dairy foods—like sour cream, buttermilk, and cheese—are best stored on shelves, where they’re less susceptible to warm temperatures caused by the constant opening and closing of the door. Better bets for the door include water bottles, soda cans, and even sturdy condiments, which tend to be manufactured with preservatives that can stand up to those temperature fluctuations. To keep things neat and tidy, consider clear door organizers that make it easy to see everything at a glance. While you’re at it, check out these other kitchen organizing ideas you won’t know how you ever lived without.
Do you like indulging in homemade salads? Unlike commercially prepared salad dressings, which can be kept for one to three months after opening, homemade salad dressings (or ones you purchase fresh from a restaurant or deli) are far more perishable—their shelf life is in the one- to two-week range. Keep a track by using a permanent marker to label the container or bottle with the date of purchase and date of opening, but you can also use these handy premade labels, which dissolve in water so they won’t ruin your storage containers. This will reduce food waste and will also help rotate and use refrigerated foods. Adapting these simple habits will allow you to make use of your refrigerated foods for a good amount of time.