Checking the temperature and seals of your fridge regularly will help you to save power and cut carbon pollution. Image courtesy of DECCW NSW.
When was the last time you checked the temperature control on your fridge? Making the most of your food involves ensuring your fridge and freezer are in good working condition, with their seals intact and their temperatures set at the right levels. You will also save power.
Here are our top tips for getting the best food storage from your fridge and freezer.
- keep your fridge at a temperature of 3-4 degrees Celsius. Buy a fridge thermometer from your local supermarket, cooking store or department store so you know exactly what the temperature is inside your fridge
- keep all perishable and cooked food in your fridge. Storing these in the fridge will prevent harmful bacteria growing and reduce the rate of spoilage. In turn, you will waste less food.
- store raw and cooked foods separately
- avoid overcrowding food in your fridge. Air must be able to circulate around the food and the fridge to keep it cool
- avoid eating food that has been out of the fridge for more than two hours.
- frozen foods should be put in the freezer as soon as you return home from the shop. A temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius almost completely stops deterioration
- avoid freezing large serving sizes of food in your freezer. Instead, store in one to two serving sizes. This way, the food will freeze faster and it will be easier to defrost what you need when you need it
- it is important to cool leftovers (that are to be frozen) quickly. Leave meals on the bench to cool only until the steam stops rising. You can place hot food directly into the container which you will be freezing. Smaller containers will allow the food to cool faster
- wrap food properly and exclude as much air as possible. This will help to stop ice forming and prevent freezer burn
- avoid overcrowding your freezer. It is important that your freezer remains at the correct temperature to prevent food from deteriorating.
There are some great materials and utensils available that are suitable for the freezer and are designed to help keep your food in better condition.
Here are a few of the most useful:
- plastic wrap/cling film: multipurpose cling film is suitable for freezing
- aluminium foil: heavy-duty foil is recommended for freezing because it is less likely to tear. You can use foil as a lid for containers, and to wrap bread and cakes as well as other solid items
- containers: plastic containers with airtight lids are perfect for storing liquids, including soups and semi-solid foods like casseroles
- labels: always label your food items with the date, item and quantity before freezing. Self-adhesive labels work really well.