I have recently read website articles which discusses fridge hygiene in a straightforward way. Safe Food (2009) sees fridge hygiene as being fragmented into three areas, namely temperature, storage and cleaning.
Temperature plays a pivotal role in hygiene as the majority of pathogenic bacteria (bacteria that can cause food poisoning) cannot grow below 4 degrees Celcius. Therefore it is very important to ensure that your fridge stays below this temperature. Best way to test this is to use a thermometer, and be sure to test different areas of the fridge. Furthermore, Better Health (2012) points out that refreezing thawed food can be very risky as food-poisoning bacteria can grow in frozen food while it is thawing, therefore keep defrosted food in the fridge until it is ready to be cooked and cook it immediately once removed from the fridge.
Segregation and storage of different types of foods is also essential, particularly raw and cooked foods as cross contamination between raw and cooked can cause serious illness, especially within children, the elderly or people who have an existing medical condition.
Lastly, the website suggests cleaning techniques and cleaning habits that we should form to prevent poor fridge hygiene.
These techniques and habits include:
- Clean the fridge regularly, especially the fridge handle, shelves and storage compartments
- Wash all surfaces thoroughly with warm, soapy water, then rinse them clean.
- Dry surfaces thoroughly with a clean towel or kitchen roll
- Wipe up spills straightaway.
- Never use cleaning products that may leave a taste in food or damage the fridge.
- At least once a week, check for foods that have passed the ‘use by’ date, and throw them out