A fresh approach to organising your fridge
We’ve all been there: You were really looking forward to that salad – but the bunch of leafy greens you bought a few days ago have already wilted in your fridge. If you’ve ever had to throw away recently-bought fruits and vegetables or experienced the eye-watering smell of milk gone bad, it might be time to rethink your fridge organisation.
The best way to organise your fridge is by paying attention to the items that are inside. But, before you start talking to your tomatoes, check out our tips below for a fresh approach to organising your fridge and getting the most out of the produce inside.
Smart grocery shopping
The journey to great fridge organisation happens before the products enter your home. When grocery shopping for perishable items, look for high quality food that is stored properly. For example, fresh and cured meats, fish and seafood, dairy products and some fruits and vegetables should always be kept in refrigerated displays.
On that note, try to minimise the amount of time refrigerated products spend in your shopping trolley or basket. If you’re shopping at a farmer’s market, try to get there early so you’re not picking up produce that has been sitting out in display all morning. This will help ensure the produce is as fresh as possible by the time it reaches your home.
Using temperature to organise your fridge
Before putting your groceries in the fridge, take note of the temperatures inside. While you should always keep your fridge between 0oC and 5oC, temperatures will naturally vary in different sections. It might help to use a refrigerator thermometer to find the coldest and warmest spots in your fridge.
The coldest shelves in your fridge – whether this is at the top or bottom of the appliance – should be reserved for:
- Raw meat and poultry
- Dairy products (milk, yogurt, creams, cheeses)
- Non-pasteurised fruit juices
- Any food you want to keep for a long time
The warmest section in your fridge is typically the door, where the following products are best kept:
- Pasteurised fruit juices
- Butter and soft cheeses (kept in an airtight container)
- Condiments and salad dressings
- Nut-based oils
- Anything high in vinegar and salt
Storing fruits and vegetables in your fridge
As fruits and vegetables get warmer, their respiration rate or “breathing process” increases, making the produce go bad quickly. The best way to slow down the respiration rate is through refrigeration. It’s also important to be aware of cold-sensitive products that are better stored on the counter at room temperature such as eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, bananas, citrus fruits, melons, peppers and aubergines. Some produce also do better in a cool, dark, dry and well-ventilated cabinet such as potatoes, winter squash, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic.
Once you’ve freed up space in your fridge by removing cold-sensitive products, you can then place fruits and vegetables in the high-humidity crisper drawers. Make sure you’re keeping ethylene-producing items away from ethylene-sensitive produce.
Ethylene is a naturally-occurring gas produced by fruits and vegetables during the ripening process. Ethylene can speed up ripening and cause decay in ethylene-sensitive produce. Ethylene-producers include apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, peaches, mangoes and tomatoes. Ethylene-sensitive produce includes artichokes, asparagus, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, onions, garlic and shallots.
If you’ve followed all our tips and are still finding it difficult to keep produce fresh in your refrigerator, it might be a sign that it’s your fridge – rather than your organisational skills – that’s the problem. If your fridge or freezer has seen better days, check out Curry’s range of freezers and fridges to help you get the most out of your groceries.