While we all look forward to the lavish feasting of Christmas, the festive season can be a time when we are at higher risk of food poisoning. Why? Well, because the weather is hot, the fridge is overloaded and we are often juggling dishes and ingredients that we are unfamiliar with storing.
But you can keep your food fresh and your family and friends in good health just by following a few simple fridge storage tips throughout the holidays.
The roast beast
A big roast is delicious on the table but needs to carefully stored in the fridge. Before it is cooked, once out of the pack for marinating, it needs to be placed near the bottom of the fridge into a covered tray, so the juices don’t drip on your fruits, vegetables or ready-to-eat foods like salads. It’s important to remember to refrigerate hot leftovers immediately in an airtight container and to make sure you use them within 2 – 3 days.
Hog the limelight
A delicious ham on the bone is usually the centerpiece of the Aussie festive season and with correct storage, you can be sure your hog will be the star for several weeks. Once you have removed your ham from the packaging, the easiest way to keep it fresh is by wrapping it in a pillowcase (or ham bag) that has been rinsed in water and wrung out tightly. Alternate with another pillowcase every couple of days and your ham will be very happy in the fridge.
Make some room
If there is not enough room in the fridge, remember that soft drinks and alcohol, pickles, jams and other acidic condiments do not require refrigeration to remain safe. Plus, drinks can be kept cold in an esky with ice.
The usual suspects
While you are going to be focused on keeping your festive food in tip-top condition, remember that all the usual family food will be competing for the same space. The fridge door will see a lot of action and fluctuating temperatures, so it’s wise not to store the milk or other quick-to-expire perishables here. Instead keep those items in a safe zone, like the middle shelf. Be sure to space everything evenly, so that air can circulate, make sure you wipe up any spills and keep any eye out for products that have seen better days.
Have a happy, safe and delicious holiday season!
- Set temperature between 0ºC and 4ºC to avoid growing harmful food bacteria.
- Leftovers can be kept for up to 4 days in the fridge.
- Don’t keep perishables in the fridge door where the temperature fluctuates.
- Don’t overfill or completely cover shelves as it prevents air circulation.
- Unpacked raw meat goes on super-cold bottom shelf in covered plate or tray to stop juices to drip.
- Open dishes may result in odours, dried-out foods, loss of nutrients and mould growth.
- Before a grocery trip, move older foods forward and remove expired items.
- Dairy and eggs should go in the top shelf where the temperature is the most stable.
- Keep fruit and vegetables in separate fridge drawers.
- Vegetables stay fresh longer in the high humidity drawer.
- Fruit belongs in the low humidity drawer.
- Don’t keep bananas, potatoes, onions and garlic in the fridge.
IF YOU NEED A FRIDGE UPGRADE THIS SEASON