Posts Tagged ‘refrigerator’

thermometerIt’s that time of year, when the sun comes out and we are ready to rid us from the winter blahs and make it all fresh and clean! How long has it been since you cleaned the refrigerator? This is a food safety issue that sometimes we overlook. Following are a few tips to get you started:

  • Start by checking the temperature. Make sure it is at 40° F or lower. Maybe it’s time to buy a new refrigerator thermometer to leave in the refrigerator.
  • Next, check the packages of food. Perishable foods should be wrapped or covered. Most foods will keep for 3-5 days. Notice the food that is found at the back of the refrigerator shelf has probably been there too long. Eggs should be stored in their original container and not on the door.
  • Wipe up any spills or dirt left on shelves. Don’t forget the door seals. Use clean, warm water. Avoid using detergents, abrasives or any chemical which could leave an odor.
  • Don’t forget to clean the front grill and condenser with a brush or vacuum cleaner. If it has a filtering system for water, now is the time to replace the filter.
  • Place an opened box of baking soda on one of the shelves to keep it fresh smelling. The baking soda will help to absorb odors left behind.
  • The outside surface of the refrigerator can be cleaned with a mild detergent or special surface cleaner depending on your refrigerator. And, don’t forget to clean the handle.

If food has spoiled and leaves a nasty odor, following these steps to clean:

  • Wash with equal parts of white vinegar and water.
  • Follow with a wash of baking soda and water, making sure to clean gaskets, shelves, drawers and doors.
  • For tough odors, place a cotton ball soaked with vanilla in a dish and set it on a shelf in the refrigerator. Keep it there for at least 24 hours. It will help to absorb lingering odors.

Source: homefoodsafety.org

Author: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.
Reviewed by: Melinda Hill, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

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