How to store food in the refrigerator: on which shelves and in which containers

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The vari­ety of prod­ucts on the shelves of the store does not leave any­one indif­fer­ent. Stock­ing up with whole carts of pro­vi­sions, we do not always think about how long the next yogurt or banana will have to lie at home. What is not eat­en, expired or miss­ing, goes straight to the trash can, along with the mon­ey spent on it. To avoid such loss­es, you need to know how to store food in the refrig­er­a­tor for max­i­mum ben­e­fit.

Operate the refrigerator correctly

There are some rules for stor­ing food in the refrig­er­a­tor, most of which are writ­ten direct­ly in the book­let attached to this house­hold appli­ance:

  • do not put hot in the refrig­er­a­tor;
  • close the door tight­ly to avoid tem­per­a­ture loss­es and over­heat­ing of the refrig­er­a­tor;
  • if you have a refrig­er­a­tor with a no frost sys­tem, it also needs to be com­plete­ly defrost­ed (along with a freez­er) at least once a year;
  • cut water­mel­on, milk and oth­er prod­ucts that cre­ate con­den­sa­tion when cooled — cov­er with a lid or cling film;
  • audit prod­ucts week­ly, throw­ing out expired, rot­ten and sour;
  • after the revi­sion, wipe the refrig­er­a­tor with a soapy cloth to destroy odors and harm­ful bac­te­ria that have appeared.

What is the mean­ing of these rules — cor­rect oper­a­tion will keep the equip­ment in prop­er con­di­tion. And this will pro­vide the prod­ucts with the nec­es­sary stor­age envi­ron­ment.

Where to store food

Prop­er stor­age of food in the refrig­er­a­tor also implies sep­a­rate pack­ag­ing, thanks to which:

  • the smells of dif­fer­ent prod­ucts will not mix and be absorbed;
  • the top lay­er of food will not be weath­ered and its appear­ance will remain ini­tial­ly beau­ti­ful;
  • the fresh­ness of food will last longer.

As soon as you bring your pur­chas­es home and take them apart, you need to get rid of plas­tic bags — they are only for trans­porta­tion. Spe­cial food bags can be used to store veg­eta­bles and fruits. The remain­ing prod­ucts are trans­ferred to new pack­ag­ing.

But the pack­ag­ing must be able to choose. You can store food in spe­cial food con­tain­ers: cheese, sal­ads, but­ter, fresh berries; in such plas­tic box­es it is good to freeze veg­eta­bles and fruits. Their ergonom­ic shape allows you to place many dif­fer­ent prod­ucts on the shelves, they are easy to clean and con­ve­nient­ly fold into each oth­er when not need­ed now.

To pre­vent the for­ma­tion of a slip­pery light coat­ing on sausages and sausages, they are wrapped in food paper or foil. In this way, you can also pro­tect sliced ​​​​sausage or cheese, but­ter, ready meals in an open dish from weath­er­ing.

You can also store food in glass­ware. This stor­age option is suit­able for almost every­thing, but it is sim­ply nec­es­sary for dairy prod­ucts: milk, kefir, yogurt imme­di­ate­ly after open­ing must be poured into a glass jar or bot­tle. Washed and dried fresh herbs will last longer in a jar.

Food in the refrigerator

Glass trays are use­ful for:

  • but­ter;
  • cot­tage cheese;
  • open canned food (the can is oxi­dized, so canned food must be shift­ed after open­ing);
  • ready meals.

Ordi­nary glass plates in a home refrig­er­a­tor are not very con­ve­nient — their round shape does not allow ratio­nal use of space on the refrig­er­a­tor shelves, there­fore, in the orig­i­nal pack­ag­ing in which the prod­uct was pur­chased, they can be stored:

  • eggs. We leave it in the pur­chased tray, because in the refrig­er­a­tor door they con­stant­ly expe­ri­ence a tem­per­a­ture drop when open­ing and clos­ing and dete­ri­o­rate from this;
  • sour cream up to 2 days. If dur­ing this peri­od you have not eat­en it, then the plas­tic cup will begin to “share” its chem­i­cals with sour cream;
  • veg­etable oil. Refined oil is stored in the refrig­er­a­tor, and unre­fined oil in its orig­i­nal con­tain­er is best stored in a dark place.

Product shelf life

Not all prod­ucts are pack­aged with an expi­ra­tion date. There­fore, you need to know this infor­ma­tion in advance in order to prop­er­ly plan your pur­chas­es and stocks. The stor­age stan­dards for even sim­i­lar prod­ucts vary, for exam­ple, sauces: may­on­naise (due to fat con­tent) can be safe­ly stored for a month, but open ketchup will begin to release tox­ins in a week.

How long can you store food direct­ly in the refrig­er­a­tor:

  • raw meat — up to five days;
  • fish — up to two days;
  • ready minced meat — 1–2 days;
  • sausage, ham — a week;
  • boiled meat — 4 days;
  • eggs — a week;
  • hard cheese — 21 days (if a white coat­ing appears, it is cut off);
  • but­ter — a month;
  • milk, con­densed milk — 5 days;
  • fruits and veg­eta­bles — up to 3 weeks;
  • berries — up to 3 days;
  • greens — 1–2 days.

Most of the prod­ucts can be frozen, and this sig­nif­i­cant­ly increas­es their shelf life. Eggs in the shell do not freeze, and sep­a­rate­ly pro­teins and yolks can be frozen for a year. Also, con­densed milk is not frozen, but con­fec­tionery rolls, pies after freez­ing taste like fresh­ly baked! Do not freeze watery fruits and veg­eta­bles (water­mel­on, pota­toes, radish­es, etc.) and dairy prod­ucts.

Refrigerator temperature

The shelf life of food in the refrig­er­a­tor depends on the tem­per­a­ture main­tained in it. Stor­age con­di­tions are pre­scribed on each orig­i­nal pack­ag­ing, includ­ing rec­om­mend­ed degrees above or below zero. To clar­i­fy at what tem­per­a­ture food retains its ben­e­fi­cial trace ele­ments and fresh­ness, the table will help:

Prod­uct Rec­om­mend­ed tem­per­a­ture
Fish 0°C
Milk, sour cream, cot­tage cheese, etc. +1°C
Meat +1°C
Eggs +1°C
Cooked meals that have under­gone heat treat­ment +2°С
Bread and con­fec­tionery +3°С
Veg­eta­bles and fruits +4°C

Giv­en the diet that your fam­i­ly is used to, the tem­per­a­ture for stor­ing food in the refrig­er­a­tor should range from + 2 ° C to + 4 ° C. In the freez­er, the tem­per­a­ture is also not the same, in each box it increas­es, which affects the safe­ty of food in dif­fer­ent ways:

  • at ‑10°C (the “warmest” box) bread, fruits and veg­eta­bles, but­ter, seafood are frozen;
  • -15°C is the opti­mal tem­per­a­ture for semi-fin­ished prod­ucts — dumplings, dumplings will not change their taste, and the dough will not freeze;
  • the cold­est draw­er (from ‑17°C) is intend­ed for stor­ing meat prod­ucts, hard crys­tals do not destroy the tex­ture of meat fibers.

How to prop­er­ly store food in the door and on the shelves of the refrig­er­a­tor (dia­gram):

Food storage scheme

Rec­om­mend­ed:

Distribute on shelves

Each shelf, like a sep­a­rate king­dom, has its own tem­per­a­ture and is intend­ed for a spe­cif­ic list of edi­bles. Know­ing how to prop­er­ly place food in the refrig­er­a­tor on the shelves, you will save space, elec­tric­i­ty (the more clogged the refrig­er­a­tor, the more elec­tric­i­ty it con­sumes) and your mon­ey, because there will be less spoiled and dis­card­ed food.

The shelf next to the freez­er is the cold­est, espe­cial­ly under the wall of the refrig­er­a­tor. It is bet­ter to store per­ish­able prod­ucts here: dairy, con­fec­tionery with cream, sliced ​​​​sausage, boiled pork and cheese.

The same shelf ensures the cor­rect stor­age of food in the refrig­er­a­tor: raw meat and fish, only if you cook them with­in a day. By plac­ing a piece of meat close to the back wall under the freez­er, you will get rid of the need to freeze it for one day.

New mod­els of refrig­er­a­tors have a spe­cial “zero shelf”, usu­al­ly remov­able. It main­tains a tem­per­a­ture of 0 ° C, half of it has a humid cli­mate for greens and veg­eta­bles, the sec­ond half is dri­er for meat and fish.

How to prop­er­ly place food in the refrig­er­a­tor on the mid­dle and bot­tom shelves: ready-made soups, cere­als, stews and stews can be placed here direct­ly in pans, prefer­ably not alu­minum ones. Also in the cen­ter can be equipped with a spe­cial shelf for wines.

In draw­ers, at the very bot­tom, we store veg­eta­bles. We sort them into spe­cial pack­ages, because some veg­eta­bles emit sub­stances that affect the safe­ty of neigh­bors. Now there are spe­cial mats for a con­tain­er with veg­eta­bles, you can put veg­eta­bles on them with­out bags.

As for the door, here the tem­per­a­ture is con­stant­ly chang­ing — when the refrig­er­a­tor is open, the prod­ucts locat­ed in the door are at room tem­per­a­ture. When the refrig­er­a­tor is closed for a long time, the tem­per­a­ture in the entire refrig­er­a­tor is equal­ized. There­fore, the rules for stor­ing food in the refrig­er­a­tor are as fol­lows: we store sauces, mari­nades, veg­etable oils in the door, we hide but­ter, juices in tetra packs and open canned food from oth­er odors under a spe­cial lid.

The refrig­er­a­tor is not a panacea for all food, there are foods that can­not be stored in it or they sim­ply do not need to be cold. For exam­ple, jams, pick­les and canned food will sur­vive per­fect­ly in the clos­et, at nor­mal tem­per­a­tures. Choco­late and sweets, even putting them in the refrig­er­a­tor door, you will get with a white coat­ing.

What foods should not be stored in the refrig­er­a­tor, because they spoil faster there:

  • heat-lov­ing trop­i­cal fruits;
  • “our fruits” — apple, grapes, pear;
  • per­sim­mon and pome­gran­ate;
  • pota­to;
  • gar­lic and onions;
  • toma­toes and zuc­chi­ni;
  • pump­kin;
  • bread (it is bet­ter to freeze);
  • olive oil;
  • hon­ey;
  • hot sauces.

Hav­ing dealt with the terms and rules for stor­ing food, it’s good to get the skills to orga­nize the space inside the refrig­er­a­tor. A large num­ber of pots, jars and plates of each can lead to a stu­por. Don’t miss out on these deli­cious sal­ads! In the video, mas­ter vir­tu­osos in orga­niz­ing space talk about how to prop­er­ly and com­pact­ly fold food in the refrig­er­a­tor and what tricks to use in the process.


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