A Clean Sweep for the New Year!
The Key to an Organised Fridge Freezer
I am known for my “Fridge Freezer Management” – all of my family laugh at just how pedantic I am when it comes to storing stuff in the fridge and freezers…..it’s not just about how it looks and how easy it is to get to stuff, but as I have owned and run a restaurant in the past, it’s all to do with hygiene and safety too. So, just in time for New Year, and in wake of Christmas, I would like to share some basic key tips about how to have an organised fridge freezer, it’s all basic common sense, and as an avid fridge manager, I know it will make all of your lives easier!
The Key to an Organised Fridge Freezer
For some of us, it is hard to keep track of what’s going on with the food in our fridge freezers, especially with a large family. However, help is at hand! Here we take a look at ways to organise your fridge freezer, maximise its space, and in the long run, save you time and money.
Why organise your fridge freezer?
Most of us are guilty of just bunging our newly-bought food straight into the fridge, rarely giving it much thought. However, clever and thoughtful storage will allow you to put the space you have to good use, even if it is limited. Not only that, but it will prevent over-buying and reduce the amount of food thrown away due to being out of date. 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year in the UK – it’s such a waste!
Sort out your storage:
Organising your fridge is all about increasing its usability, and making it practical for every-day life. Effective storage is especially important if you’re limited on space in your kitchen. A combi fridge freezer is the most efficient way to store your food without losing too much floor space. Try the range from LG: www.lg.com/uk/combi-fridge-freezers.
Start off by dividing the contents into particular food groups, and where possible, have one shelf for each group. Where you put them will often come down to personal preference; however, the general rule of thumb is that dry, ready to eat food is kept on the upper shelves, while raw, uncooked food (such as meat) should be lower down. Cross contamination can occur with raw meat, so it is essential that it is well wrapped, and placed away from cooked meat and any food that will be eaten raw, such as fruit and vegetables. Another great way to simplify things is by storing products that are frequently used in easy to reach places; items such as milk, eggs and juice can be stored on the inside of the door.
That includes the freezer:
Contrary to popular belief, frozen food can’t be kept indefinitely. Many foods have a limited freezer life and need to be eaten within a specific time-frame, or else the flavour of the food can be impaired. The food must be labelled, including the date frozen, and what it is. Again, place similar foods grouped together, this way you can find what you are looking for at a glance. It’s also good idea to “flat pack” food, rather than use plastic containers, as this will provide more storage space. You’ll find suitable freezer bags in a range of sizes at a supermarket like Sainsbury’s.
The importance of rotation:
Much of what we have in our fridges is perishable, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, and dairy products, meaning that most have relatively short use-by dates. Therefore, it is important to rotate your food: any new items (with longer dates) should be placed at the back, moving older items (closer to their expiry date) to the front, to be used up first.
Let technology help out:
Despite the above help, organising your fridge is not always easy, especially if you have hungry teenagers delving in whenever they feel like it. If you find yourself at the supermarket unsure of what’s left in the fridge, then a tiny device called the Insider could be the answer to all your problems. Situated in your fridge, the Insider takes a shot of its contents every time the door is opened; data can be accessed remotely, which means that you can quickly see what needs replacing. It’s still in its infancy, but early feedback for the Insider indicates that it will work more efficiently if your fridge is organised, so one more reason to get your food stored in an orderly fashion!
Don’t ditch the left-overs:
Left-over food is cost-effective, and it is perfect for those days when you don’t have time to cook from scratch. However, the food needs to be stored correctly (either covered, or in containers), and care needs to be taken with certain cooked food, such as rice, as it can only be kept for a short while. The remainders of tinned food should be stored in containers, and not the originally can, as the tin will start to corrode as soon as it hits the air.
Left Over Legends Recipes:
Maintaining your fridge freezer:
As well as organising the layout of the fridge freezer, it is also important to maintain it regularly to ensure optimum performance. The temperature of the fridge should be set to between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit; if it is too warm, produce will go off quicker, and if too cold, nutrients could be lost and quality impaired. Regularly cleaning the fridge (including the condenser coils, situated at the back), and ensuring that door seals are not loose (preventing the loss of warm air, and reducing energy costs), will help keep the fridge working efficiently.
The freezer part of the appliance needs to be kept at 0 degrees Fahrenheit; if it is any warmer, the possibility of dangerous bacteria growing increases. Tips to maximise efficiency, and reduce running costs, include not holding the door open too long, and keeping the freezer as full as possible. The best way to maintain your freezer is to defrost it at least every six months, as this ensures that the freezer continues to work effectively.
*I was paid to write this and this post has been published in collaboration with LG*