Once again this week I have been working on the kitchen make-over. I did manage to clean our refrigerator out as well. It was demanding my attention. Actually it was screaming at us every time the door was opened. I thought that I would finally post my Tuesday tip for Refrigerator/Freezer and Storage with my Tuesday Tackle.
This week’s tip will be for the Refrigerator/Freezer and storage. This is a huge nemesis of mine in my house. We are a large family and it is rather difficult at times to find space for the food purchased as well as leftovers. Plain and simple it is an ongoing war with me, the refrigerator typically wins. Thank goodness we have a pantry or I would not have enough cupboard space for sure. One of my goals by the end of next month is to organize said pantry. It is driving me nuts since we are missing a door for the pantry everyone can see into this messy pit. Icky!!! Our poor pantry is used for more then food it is also home for canning supplies and appliances. Organization is needed there. In my house we also have someone that is overly paranoid of opened food so I have to have knowledge on this to comfort this person when she starts to worry.
Your food is properly refrigerated at temperatures between 35-40 degrees F or 2-6 degrees C.
Your food is properly frozen at temperatures between -4 and 4 degrees F or -20 and -15 degrees C. Your food also needs to be in an air tight container or sealed bag.
Your dry food should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark storage area. Your open bags should always be closed or transferred into an air tight storage container.
Dates stamped on containers have several different meaning; it all depends on what the date is stamped for. Regardless of what the date is on the container if the quality is not satisfactory to you simply by smell and taste, toss it out.
This can be found on perishables like milk, poultry, fish, and meat. This date is a record for the store to know how long they can keep the items displayed for that product. You should always try to buy the product before the sell-by date for these particular items. You can still store them at home for some time beyond the date on the container as long as you follow safe storage procedures. For instance milk that has been continuously refrigerated will usually remain drinkable for about one week after the sell-by date. You can also store group beef in your refrigerator for 1-2 days after purchasing it, even if the sell-by date expires during this time.
The Federal Government only required an expiration date on infant formula and some baby products at this time. You should never use any product that is past an expiration date.
Baby Food: Last 1-3 days in the refrigerator once it has been opened.
Pasta Sauce: Last 5 days once opened.
Mayonnaise: Last 2 months once opened.
Cheese: Last 1-4 weeks once opened. Softer cheeses generally have a shorter life then the harder cheeses. Your best sign for cheese is mold and smell for an ammonia odor.
Eggs: Last 3-5 weeks after you put them in the refrigerator. ***TIP*** never keep your eggs in the front of the refrigerator even if there are compartments fro them. They tend to spoil sooner there. You should always place the eggs, milk, and raw food in the back of the refrigerator because it is the coolest area inside.
Leftovers: Last 3-4 days
I found a website that was very informative on how long different types of food will keep. http://www.demesne.info/Home-Maintenance/Keeping-Food.htm I definitely plan on sharing this with my worrier in our house.
***TIP***Storing opened cans in the refrigerator used to be a big problem and may still depending on your can. If your can is made of steel (most are not any more.) or not lined with the plastic coating bacteria can grow in the cans and cause food poisoning.
Cleaning the Refrigerator:
You never want to use any harsh or abrasive cleaners inside or on the seal of your refrigerator. My mother would always use this home remedy solution when cleaning the refrigerator. It works great and it eliminates any odor if you have any. ¼ cup of baking soda to 1 quart of warm water. This will whiten and sanitize it as well as remove odor. If you use a soapy mixture make sure you rinse well and dry it off with a clean towel to remove all traces of soap. I always keep a box of baking soda opened in my refrigerator. I truly believe it does help eliminate odor. Simply replace every 3 months with a new box of baking soda.
This has been posted on 5 Minutes for Moms.