The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Food in the Fridge for Maximum Freshness

Refrigerated foods, if not stored properly, will still easily spoil. Thus, take note of the following to keep your refrigerated foods fresh.


1. Sort Before You Put It in the Fridge

The first thing you need to remember is to sort your food before putting it in the fridge.

For meat and fish

First, wash the meat or fish and pat it dry. Next, divide each portion of food into a corresponding zip-lock bag or food storage container.

Dividing the food will help you avoid having to defrost large amounts of food at once, which can affect the quality of the food the next time you use it.

Finally, place the divided food in the refrigerator’s fresh food compartment (2-4 degrees Celsius) if you want to use it within 3-5 days, or in the refrigerator’s freezer compartment (around -18 degrees Celsius) to use within 3 months, or even up to 12 months, but the sooner you use it, the better.

Sorting food helps keep the refrigerator organized, neat, and clean.

For vegetables

Do not wash vegetables before storing them unless you need to use them right away. Remove any wilted or bruised parts, especially do not let the vegetables get wet.

Then, divide the vegetables into manageable portions in a zip-lock bag or plastic bag (with ventilation holes) and place them in the refrigerator’s vegetable compartment. This compartment is specially designed with the right temperature and humidity to keep vegetables fresher.

For fruits

With fruits, sort them into 2 groups: fruits with the skin intact and fruits with the skin removed.

For fruits with intact skin: Remove any damaged stems or spoiled fruits, then use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the surface of the fruit. Finally, place the fruit in a zip-lock bag with ventilation holes and place it in the refrigerator’s fresh food compartment at 3-5 degrees Celsius.

For fruits with the skin removed: Store in a sealed food storage container with a lid, place in the refrigerator’s fresh food compartment at an optimal temperature of 3-5 degrees Celsius, and consume as soon as possible.

For cooked food

For cooked food, let it cool before placing it in a food storage container, then seal it and place it at a temperature of 2-4 degrees Celsius. The reasonable usage time is within 3 days. You can also divide the food into smaller portions before storing it for easier use.

Do not store food in the refrigerator without wrapping it in a bag or dividing it into containers.

2. Do Not Overfill

Overcrowding the refrigerator can affect the circulation of cold air, causing the food to cool unevenly. This will cause food to spoil easily due to insufficient cooling.

3. Clean the Refrigerator Regularly

The environment inside the refrigerator can still have mold and bacteria from food if you do not clean the refrigerator regularly.

Cleaning the refrigerator helps the refrigerator’s motors to rest while removing any remaining food residue. Cleaning also removes odors and creates a fresh atmosphere inside the refrigerator.

4. Do Not Keep Food for Too Long

Many studies have shown that the longer meat and fish are stored in the refrigerator, the more their nutritional value decreases and the more harmful substances they can produce.

Furthermore, the freezing and thawing process loses up to 1/3 of the soluble fat in meat.

On average, each freezing-thawing cycle can reduce food nutrients by up to 20%. Accordingly, depending on the type of food, consider how long to store it in the refrigerator.

Food should be consumed as soon as possible.

5. Set the Correct Temperature

Each food group needs to be stored at the right temperature, especially vegetables, which are usually stored in the fresh food compartment at 1-4 degrees Celsius.

Fresh food such as seafood, meat, and fish can be kept at 1-3 degrees Celsius or in the freezer compartment at -18 degrees Celsius.

Frequently asked questions

Dividing food into portions helps avoid defrosting large amounts at once, maintaining the quality of the food. It also makes it easier to use and ensures you only take out what you need, keeping the rest fresh.

Meat, fish, and seafood can be stored in the fresh food compartment at 1-3 degrees Celsius or the freezer at -18 degrees Celsius. Vegetables are typically stored at 1-4 degrees Celsius in the vegetable compartment. Fruits with skin intact are stored at 3-5 degrees Celsius, while skin-removed fruits are stored at an optimal temperature of 3-5 degrees Celsius but should be consumed soon. Cooked food is best stored at 2-4 degrees Celsius and consumed within 3 days.

Overcrowding affects the circulation of cold air, causing uneven cooling. This can lead to food spoilage due to insufficient cooling.

Regular cleaning of the refrigerator is important to remove mold, bacteria, and food residue. It also helps eliminate odors and creates a fresh atmosphere inside the fridge. Aim to clean it at least once a month and always wipe up any spills immediately.

Studies show that the nutritional value of meat and fish decreases over time, and they can produce harmful substances. Additionally, the freezing and thawing process can result in a loss of soluble fat. On average, each freezing-thawing cycle can reduce food nutrients by up to 20%. It’s best to consume these foods as soon as possible.
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