Refrigerator Food Storage guide is prepared for easy and quick understanding of our blog readers.
Readers are advised to refer to gov websites for in-depth details, like
How to Store Food in the Refrigerator
Basic purpose of refrigerator is to preserve food items. Bacteria may grow in perishable foods within two hours, hence it is necessary to prevent bacteria growth by keeping them in cold temperature where this growth is slowed down.
Proper care shall be taken to avoid any odors and bad smell or formation of mold.
If you follow these guidelines the food can be as fresh and you will get it like just prepared.
Refrigerator Food Storage Guide
- Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours.
- Do not over stuff the fridge :
To maintain low temperature of each item, cold air flow must be maintained around, remember over stuffing the fridge will prevent this from happening.
- Maintain fridge temperature between 40 ˚F and 32 ˚F
- Ensure to put the leftovers within 2 hours, in face during summer make it happen within an hour or so.
- Store the leftovers in shallow clean containers which will allow them to cool faster
- Best way is to use an airtight, leak proof clear containers or wraps.
- Stuffed Turkey:
If you store complete stuffed turkey, it may not cool in expected time, best way is to remove the stuffing and refrigerate it in a separate container.
- Canned food [once opened]
Any open can food like cranberry sauce or other foods, shall not be left inside can, since residual metal on the rim may leach into food and leave a metallic taste.
Meat, Fish, and Poultry storage
- Use same store wrapping to refrigerate fresh meat, fish, and poultry.
- Do not re-wrap, since it may increase the risk of exposing the food to harmful bacteria.
Dairy items storage
- Packaged containers can be kept as it is for
Cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, milk, and cream
- Opened packaged container food items
Once opened and used partially, for itmes like milk or sour cream, remove them from container and keep in tightly covered pitcher or bowl with plastic wrap.
- Packaged hard cheeses can be kept as it is in the store wrapping
Once opened from package, wrap them in wax paper, foil, or loose plastic.
- Plastic milk bottles looks better option than the cardboard cartons
- Packaged containers can be kept as it is for
Fruits and Vegetables storage
- Keep fruits and vegetables separate.
- Keep them in perforated or unsealed plastic bags to maintain a moist environment still allowing good air circulation.
- Don’t wash them before refrigerating it, the dampness can accelerate mold growth and rot more quickly.
Should strawberries be stored in the refrigerator ?
- Yes, if you are planning to eat them second day after you buy then place for them is in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator
- Remove the berries from the original container, and then store them as whole and unwashed in a partially closed container (preferably with perforated top) lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. They can last up to 5 to 7 days.
- If you want to store strawberries for more than a week afer bringing them home, then you can freeze them. Remember to remove the stems, then freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid. Store in an airtight container or ziptop freezer bag, make sure that they are dried before doing this.
For writing this guide, comprehensive reference taken from the federal food-safety website
Further we have consolidated guidelines from various resources about how long you can store food items in refrigerator, hope that will be useful too.
How long do leftovers last in refrigerator?
- Cooked meat or poultry – 3 to 4 days
- Chicken nuggets or patties – 3 to 4 days
- Pizza – 3 to 4 days
Eggs storage time
How long do Raw eggs in shell last in refrigerator?
- 3 to 5 weeks
How long do hard boiled eggs stay good in the refrigerator?
- 1 week
Complete egg storage in refrigerator guide
Pies storage time
- Pies [Pumpkin or pecan] – 3 to 4 days
- Pies [Custard and chiffon] – 3 to 4 days
Ham storage time
- Fresh (uncured) Ham, uncooked – 3 to 5 days
- Fresh (uncured) Ham, cooked – 3 to 4 days
How long can breast milk stay in the refrigerator?
Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in
- Insulated cooler with ice packs for up to one day.
- Refrigerator – store in the back of the refrigerator for up to five days in clean conditions. However, use or freezer storage within three days is optimal.
- Deep freezer – store in the back of a deep freezer for up to 12 months. However, using the frozen milk within six months is optimal.
How long can ground beef be in fridge? [Hamburger & Other Ground Meats]
- Hamburger, ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb, & mixtures of them – 1 to 2 days
Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork
- Steaks – 3 to 5 days
- Chops – 3 to 5 days
- Roasts – 3 to 5 days
How long is potato salad good in the refrigerator ?
Potato salad shall be refrigerated to 70º F in 2 hrs or less and then to 41°F in 4 hrs or less.
Note : If the potato salad was held in excess of 41°F for over two hours, then discard.
If the you made potato salad and then refrigerated right away, then it should easily last 3-4 days.
If the salad was made during a picnic and then placed back in the refrigerator? Then probably you should not store it maximum one day more.
Further if you have used home made mayo then better to throw it off.
[Please refer to USDA guidelines for more details.]
Foods you shouldn’t keep in the fridge [Reference]
Its not that everything kept in refrigerator will last long, in face some foods may lose their taste, texture or simply turn black after refrigeration ! So here is list of things that does not go well in fridge.
- Tomatoes in refrigerator
tomato’s texture and colour can also be affected by cold temperatures
- Potatoes in refrigerator
May change the potato’s starch into sugar, affecting texture and color. Refrigerated potatoes will taste sweet once cooked.
- Onions in refrigerator
If bought peeled or pre-cut you can refrigerate them, however ensure a low humidity setting to keep them dry
- Bread in refrigerator will make it hard and stale.
- Bananas in refrigerator
Banana is a tropical fruit, not designed for cold hence when refrigerated its digestive enzymes leak out of the cells, turning the unripe banana’s skin into completely black !
However you may try Putting ripe bananas in the fridge and you will be able to keep them safe & ripe for a few days
- Garlic in the fridge
Can make it mouldy