Need to get your refrigerator food safe and organized? Here are some tips on how to safely clean your fridge and to avoid waste & foodborne illness.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, refrigerating food at 40 degrees F or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Studies suggest listeriosis could be reduced by 70% if refrigerator temperatures are less than 40 degrees F.
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Safe Refrigerator Tips
- Check refrigerator temperature often, daily or at least once a week
- Refrigerate prepared food and leftovers within two hours of cooking.
- Divide leftovers into small, shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator. Cover when food is cooled.
- Don’t overload the refrigerator. Cool air must circulate to keep food safe.
Proper Refrigerator & Freezer Temperatures
Chilling stored foods to proper temperatures is one of the best ways to slow the growth of dangerous bacteria.
When it comes to protecting yourself and your family from foodborne illness, one of your most effective tools is the kitchen refrigerator. In fact, at room temperature, the numbers of bacteria that cause foodborne sickness can double every 20 minutes! Chilling foods to proper temperatures is one of the best ways to slow the growth of these bacteria.
To ensure that your refrigerator is doing its job, it’s important to keep its temperature at 40 °F or below; the freezer should be at 0 °F. Since few refrigerator controls show actual temperatures, using an inexpensive freestanding appliance thermometer will allow you to monitor the temperature and adjust the setting of the refrigerator and/or freezer if necessary. Buy one for the fridge, one for the freezer, and check them often.
Infographic: Refrigerator Food Safety