Is your fridge making you sick?
The fridge is one of the best inventions ever and certainly makes eating fresh food really easy. However it does need some care and maintenance to ensure it runs efficiently and does not cause illness. Is your fridge making you sick? Let’s find out!
Nobody wants food poisoning – it’s pretty nasty! There are a few things you can do to keep the family safe.
Keep your fridge at the correct temperature
It’s really important to make sure your fridge and freezer is in a safe temperature zone to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria. The fridge should be below 5°C and the freezer below -15°C. At these temperatures, it has been proven to significantly slow the growth of harmful bacteria and minimise food spoilage.
Check the seals on your fridge and replace as they get worn and are not sealing properly. High risk foods like dairy, meat and cooked rice and pasta should be stored in the shelves, not in the door which is the warmest part of the fridge.
Clean your fridge regularly and thoroughly
Cleaning your fridge regularly helps remove harmful bacteria that can spoil food and give you food poisoning. Just don’t clean the inside of your fridge – give the outside and the handles a good clean too.
“A study done on the average frost-free home fridge found that salad drawers alone contained an average of 7,850 bacteria units per square centimetre. To put this into perspective, the recommended amount of bacteria units per square centimetre for safe food preparation is between 0 and 10.” Australian Institute of Food Safety
Probiotic Vanilla Fridge Fresh is great for getting fridges clean and introducing good bacteria to your fridge. It’s also super safe to use around food because the ingredients are all natural and plant based. Use it to wipe up spills as they occur and for a good clean out once or twice a month. The vanilla scent (from real vanilla pods) helps neutralise any odours.
Keep an eye on use by dates
While you are cleaning out the fridge, check the ‘use by’ dates and dispose of anything out of date. Foods should not be eaten after their ‘use by’ date, but products labelled ‘best before’ are okay to eat for a few days after. The quality may be affected but they are generally safe to eat.
The smell test is always a good idea and look for signs of mould too! Leftovers should always be consumed within three days and heated thoroughly before consuming.
Let your food cool before storage
I am not sure this is widely known, but it’s important to not put hot food into your fridge. This can heat up the fridge and puts the temperature in the danger zone. It will also increase your power bill!
You can safely leave food to cool for up to two hours but you might want to divide it into smaller containers to cool quicker. When the food no longer has steam, it’s safe to pop in the fridge.
Is your fridge making you sick? How often do you clean your fridge? I hope these tips help!