If you have clean your refrigerator recently, but do not know what is the best way to put everything in again and organise efficiently? Does it really matter where things go?
How Professional Kitchens Organise the Refrigerator?
When organising the refrigerator, we like to use professional and restaurant kitchens as models since they organise their fridges with food safety in mind. Their way of doing it is to organise based on the temperature the foods need to be cooked to.
Things that need no cooking to be safe to eat (Example: prepared foods or leftovers) are placed at the top, then everything else is organised downwards based on the temperature it needs to be cooked to, with the foods needing to be cooked to the highest temperature (like chicken) being at the bottom.
When organised this way, any cross contamination that occurs won’t be a problem because the food that’s contaminated has to be cooked to a higher temperature than the food sitting above it that dripped down.
So how do we adopt their way of organisation? Here’s the strategy that uses the same principles, tailored to the configurations of a home refrigerator:
- Upper Shelves: Leftovers, drinks, and ready-to-eat foods (like yogurt, cheese, and deli meats).
- Lower Shelves: Raw ingredients slated for cooked dishes.
- Door: The refrigerator door is the warmest part of the fridge, so only condiments should go there. Don’t put eggs or milk in the door, as they should be placed in a colder part of the refrigerator.
- Drawers: These can be tricky. Since they’re designed to hold produce at specific humidities, it makes sense to store fruits and veggies there. But they’re usually at the bottom of the fridge, so we risk contaminating our fresh vegetables if we put meat on the shelf above.
- If you have two drawers, make one of them exclusively for veggies and the other exclusively for raw meat.
- If one drawer is above the other, use the lowest drawer for meat. If they’re side-by-side, either drawer would be fine. Clean the drawer you’re using for meat often.
- Need both drawers for fruits and veggies? If it’s unavoidable to put raw meat above other foods, improvise your own meat drawer by using a clear plastic bin that will catch any accidental drips and keep the meat safely away from everything else.
What other refrigerator organisation tips do you have?