HOW TO STORE AND ORGANIZE FOOD IN FRIDGES CORRECTLY SO IT LASTS LONGER

From the food containers you use to the fridge shelves you choose, how you store food in the fridge has far bigger impacts than you think.  It lets you enjoy the best flavours that nature has to offer, preserve ingredients for longer — and more importantly, it helps you minimise food waste.
How to store and organize food in fridges correctly
Here is a quick guide on how to store food correctly in a fridge:
  • Set the temperature in your refrigerator below 4°C (40°F);
  • All foods should be wrapped, covered or in containers;
  • Don't overload your fridge;
  • Quickly put food in fridge. Don't leave them in room temperature more than 2 hours;
  • Clean your fridge regularly, about 1 time/weel;
  • Throw away moldy food or discard it in a bag.
  • In the top and middle shelf (refrigerator compartment): this is for foods that can be consume immediately like dairy products, ready meals, canned foods, leftovers, cooked meats and salads.
  • In the bottom shelf (Freezer compartment): you should store raw meat and fish in containers, which prevent them from touching onto other foods.
  • Vegetable drawer: this is where to store washed fruit and vegetables.


AEG refrigerators
— whether fridge freezers, upright fridges, or upright freezers  — are equipped with the latest cooling innovations to make food storage effortless. Adopt a sustainable lifestyle by simply using this appliance and knowing how to properly store food in the fridge.

How to store raw and cooked meat in the fridge 

 

how to store and organize

1. How long can I store meat in the fridge?


While meats can be frozen for months, it’s best to consume them immediately to savour them at their best, lest they get freezer burn. Freezer burn happens when frost buildup sucks up too much moisture from food, leaving it discoloured, shrivelled and bland tasting. 

AEG refrigerators with No Frost technology help to slow this down and prevent frost-damaged meats. Regardless, it’s better not to test the limits of their expiry dates.

 

Refrigerator

Freezer

RAW MEAT

Seafood

 

1-2 days

Fatty fish: 2-3 months

Shellfish: 3-6 months

Lean fish: 6-8 months

Pork

Any cut: 3-5 days

Ground pork: 1-2 days

Roasts: 4-12 months

Chops: 4-6 months

Poultry

1-2 days

Thigh / Breast / Wings: 9 months

Whole: 1 year

Beef

Any cut: 3-5 days

Ground beef: 1-2 days

Roasts: 4 - 12 months

Steaks: 6-12 months

Ground Beef: 3-4 months

COOKED MEAT

Seafood

 

3-4 days

4-6 months

Pork

2-3 days

2-3 months

Poultry

3-4 days

2-5 months

Beef

3-4 days

2-3 months

2. What containers to use for meats?


Store cooked meats in plastic wraps or containers with tight-fitting lids. For raw meats, keep them in their store wrapping since replacing it increases the risk of contaminating your kitchen. Double the seal by putting them in reusable silicone pouches or airtight plastic containers.

This further protects your meats from moisture and keeps them fresher. It also prevents cross-contamination, spills, and odours. Keep smells at bay in AEG refrigerators with CleanAir technology, which uses a carbon filter to absorb odours and reduce smell transfer between food.

Read more Tips for energy saving in fridge here to use it more effectively.

3. At what temperature should I store meat in?


The fridge temperature should be less than 5°C, while the freezer should be below -15°C — enough to inactivate bacteria, mould, and yeasts. To precisely track and adjust temperatures, AEG refrigerators have intuitive electronic touch controls that allow you to easily ensure food safety.

Temperature is also affected when you frequently open the refrigerator.  AEG refrigerators with Cooling 360° distribute cold air evenly to stabilise temperature and humidity, protecting the food quality for longer.

Discover more about AEG cooling technology to know how we keep your food last longer and fresher.

AEG cooling tech

4. Can I refreeze meat? 


Refreezing meat isn’t recommended as it affects food safety and quality. Meat won’t be as fresh because of excessive moisture loss when freezing it twice. Likewise, it can potentially cause food poisoning as meat is reintroduced to bacteria twice in the re-thawing process.

Avoid refreezing raw meat by only buying what you can finish in a week or two. Portion out just enough for one meal, or if possible, cook all the thawed meat and just freeze the cooked leftovers. These have a better chance of surviving.

5. Where should raw meat be stored in the fridge?


It’s best to have a refrigerator that has a freezer compartment at the bottom or on the side, or to have an upright freezer. This ensures complete separation of raw and cooked meats to prevent contamination and reduces the risk of meat juices dripping over your food. 

How to store fruits and vegetables in the fridge

 

AEG taste

1. What fruits and vegetables should not be stored with each other?


Fruits with high-ethylene gas content, like apples and pears, should not be stored with other produce like leafy greens. Ethylene gas is naturally emitted by some fruits, which causes other produce to ripen or spoil faster.

2. What temperature should fruits and vegetables be kept in?


As a rule of thumb, room temperature hastens ripening and spoilage, while high humidity in a refrigerator slows these down. AEG refrigerators, both fridge freezers and upright fridge, have a crisper drawer that maintains a high humidity level, so your fruits and vegetables are kept fresh for longer.

3. What container should I use for fruits and vegetables?

 

What container should I use for fruits and vegetables?
Produce stored at room temperature thrive best with more air circulation, so placing them in an open bowl will do. In contrast, refrigerated ones should be placed in sealed bags to prevent them from wilting and to protect them from ethylene gas.

Here’s a quick guide:

 

Conditions

Vegetables at room temperature

Potatoes and sweet potatoes

In an open container in a pantry for a dark, cool, humid environment. Light induces sprouting.

Garlics and onions

In an open container on the countertop for a cool, dry environment. Moisture hastens spoilage. Refrigerate when cut.

Vegetables in the refrigerator

Root vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, rutabaga, ginger)

In sealed plastic bags in the crisper drawer. Cut off leafy green tops which can absorb moisture from vegetables.

Leafy greens (lettuce, bok choy, kale, spinach, asparagus)

Oher cruciferous greens (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower)

In sealed plastic bags in the crisper drawer. Avoid storing with apples and pears.

Fruits at room temperature

Citrus fruits (lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges)

Stone fruits (peaches, mangoes)

In an open container on the countertop to ripen. To keep longer, store in the crisper drawer, separate from high-ethylene producers.*

*except for grapefruits and oranges

Fruits in the refrigerator

High-ethylene fruits (apples, pears, kiwi, nectarines, plums)

In sealed plastic bags, separate from vegetables. Can be stored with non-ethylene-sensitive fruits like berries and oranges.


How to keep bread fresh  

 

How to keep bread fresh
Freezing bread is one of the best ways to keep it fresh because it slows down the staling process and reduces the risk of mould for up to two to three months.

Simply put your bread in an airtight freezer bag. Reheat in your oven or toaster to revive its springiness and chewiness, no defrosting needed if you’re in a hurry.

If you can’t finish the whole loaf, cut it into slices before freezing and put wax paper in between for easy preparation of sandwiches or toasts. Don’t refreeze bread.

Should you keep bread in the fridge?

Putting bread in the fridge is not recommended. In cool temperatures, starch molecules recrystallise quickly, which makes your bread stale and dry at a faster rate than if it is stored at room temperature. While it will still be safe to eat, it’s not worth settling for a stale flavour.

How to store breast milk in the fridge 


Step 1: Start clean


Wash your hands thoroughly and ensure all components of your electric pump are sanitised. Label the milk bags by date and time of pumping for easy tracking. Remember: First in, first out.

Step 2: Store breast milk in small batches


Since milk expands when frozen, don’t fill the bags to the brim — not more than three-quarters full or 60ml. This also makes thawing easier and minimises waste if your baby can’t finish all of it. Do not refreeze breast milk.

Step 3: Chill or freeze breast milk


Place the bags in the back of your fridge or freezer because these are the coldest parts of your refrigerator. Also, keep them away from raw meats to avoid contamination.

How long you can store breast milk in the fridge depends on where you put it:

Area

Temperature

Duration

Room Temperature

25°C or colder

Up to 4 hours

Refrigerator

4°C

Up to 4 days

Freezer

-18°C or colder

Up to 6 months


Step 4: Warm or defrost breast milk


To warm milk from the fridge, place the bag in a bowl of warm water or run it under warm water. To defrost frozen milk, you can do the above methods or gently thaw it in the fridge overnight.

Any leftovers can only be refrigerated for 24 hours, or kept at room temperature for two hours. Never microwave it or use boiling water to reheat because it can scald your baby and affect the nutritional content of the milk.

Small, yet revolutionary changes


According to UN Environment Programme statistics, roughly one-third or 1.3 billion tons of food produced in the world goes to waste bins every year, while World Food Programme reported that millions of people still starve. Often, the solution to a big problem lies in the small changes.

It can be as simple as learning how to properly store food in the fridge, creating irresistible dishes for clean plates, or using an AEG refrigerator that allows you to easily keep ingredients fresh for longer. You will be helping the world in more ways than you think.

RXB56311NG
521L Side by Side fridge with Frost free function, Black Glass
4,8 (191 reviews)
  • Premium black glass finish
  • Electronic touch control
  • Fast freeze function

FAQs about how to store food in fridge

  • What is the best fridge temperature in Celsius for South Africa?
    According to experts, you should keep your fridge at a temperature between 0°C and 4°C to prevent the growth of listeria, a harmful bacteria that causes food poisoning if your fridge is set at temperatures above 5°C.
  • Is a fridge colder on 1 or 5?
    Some fridges use a setting scale from 1 to 5 to show how the power can be set instead of the actual degree. The higher number means a colder fridge, so 5 will make your fridge the coldest.
  • Is 5°C fine for a fridge?
    For food safety, the ideal temperature setting for a fridge is 3°C, while the coldest part of the fridge should be between 0°C and 5°C. Therefore, you should check your fridge temperature frequently with a thermometer to ensure that your fridge is below 5°C.
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