What better way to usher in the new season than to refresh your kitchen?! This Spring, be sure to add your family’s refrigerator to the cleaning list. Here’s why:
Most of us know that a few simple, easy steps – wash, seperate, cook, and refrigerate – go along way in keeping our families safe and free from food borne illnesses. But, did you know that mold, bacteria, and spills in the refrigerator can put you and your family at risk? Maintaining a clean refrigerator is just as important as cooking food to the proper temperature or keeping your ready-to-eat foods separate from raw meats.
Here are a few simple refrigerator cleaning tips:
- Clean refrigerator spills immediately, especially those from raw meat juices. Hint: Defrost meats in a covered container on the bottom shelf to reduce spills.
- Wash the inside of your refrigerator with a clean sponge and warm soapy water, rinse with clean water, and dry with a clean cloth. Don’t skip the shelves and drawers!
- Regularly clean the refrigerator and freezer handles – they are touched the most.
- Place an opened box of baking soda in the back of the refrigerator to combat odors. Hint: Swap the box every 3 months.
- Dust the front grill to allow free airflow to the condenser for best cooling and efficiency.
- Unplug the refrigerator and clean the condenser coils with a brush or vacuum.
Sorting through foods each week is also an important step in maintaining a clean refrigerator and preventing food borne illnesses. Check the expiration dates, and dispose of expired, rotten, or spoiled food. When in doubt, throw it out!
While it’s important to regularly clean your refrigerator, many of us put off washing the inside, dusting the front grill, and cleaning the condenser coils. This Spring make cleaning your refrigerator a priority!
For more information check out the How Clean Is Your Refrigerator? article, where you can also find helpful links to the refrigerator safety inspection and refrigerator organization video. Happy Spring Cleaning!
Special thanks to dietetic intern Katie Jones for her contribution to this post.