Perishable foods are foods that spoil quickly and need to be stored properly to stay fresh and keep germs from multiplying. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood are perishable foods. We tend to waste perishable foods because they go bad before we eat them. Food is a large part of a family’s budget, so wasted food is wasted money. Let’s talk about how to store perishable foods so they have the longest shelf life, stay safe to eat, and limits food waste.
Most perishable foods need to be stored in the refrigerator. (There are some fruits and veggies that should be stored at room temperature instead.) The temperature of your fridge should be between 32°F – 40°F. Use a refrigerator thermometer to check the temperature of your fridge. Keep the fridge clean and evenly space the contents so air can move around easily.
Arrange your fridge so that ready to eat foods are at the top, and foods that might cross-contaminate other items (raw meat, poultry, or seafood) are at the bottom. It’s a good idea to store raw meats in a bowl or tray to catch any leaks, especially if your veggie and fruit bins are underneath the bottom shelf. This is my biggest pet peeve of refrigerator design!
Condiments should go on the door shelves since this is the warmest part of the fridge. Even if there’s a spot for them in the door, keep milk and eggs inside the main part of the fridge where the temperatures are cooler and they’ll last longer.