The refrigerator-freezer. It seems a simple enough tool. You open the door and place food inside. You open the door and take food out. However, there is much more to the American fridge freezer than basic mechanics and to use it healthfully there are rules that must be followed. Experts are now saying that people are getting sick from improper use of their own household fridge. The biggest infractions are in keeping too much food and improper internal storage of the food that is kept. The American fridge freezer companies are even admitting this themselves with a study by Electrolux showing that 2/3 of people surveyed do not know at what temperature their unit should be set.
The fridge compartment of an American fridge freezer should be between 33 degrees F and 38 degrees F. In this temperature range, any bacteria present will cease to multiply. Yes, many foods have slight amounts of bacteria present, especially meats such as chicken. The freezer should be set at 0 degrees F.
The fridge door should always remain shut unless something is going in or something is coming out. Standing with the door open can raise the temperature very quickly by 5 degrees or more, giving those bacteria time to multiply while the temperature lowers again.
Most contamination and food poisoning comes from meats. Bacteria love meat and it spoils the fastest of all food products. Raw meat should be kept separate from cooked meat. Raw meat should also be kept on the bottom shelves of the fridge. This keeps blood from spilling onto other foods.
Old food equals bad food. Always be sure to use the older food before the newer in proper rotation. This is wise for prevention of bacteria and for your pocketbook.
The American fridge freezer should always be clean. Food spots and sticky areas inside are breeding grounds for bacteria.
These few rules will ensure healthy eating.