Use Your Refrigerator Properly


  During hot summers, many people like to grab cold drinks, ice creams, ice lollies or desserts from the refrigerator, which is generally believed that its low temperature is able to keep foods fresh and kill bacteria. However, if food is not properly stored or stored in the refrigerator for too long, foods can still show signs of deterioration, such as becoming sticky, moldy, dry or discolored. In fact, refrigerator is not “almighty”. Keeping foods cold in the refrigerator merely inhibits and slows down the multiplication of bacteria, but not completely killing them. Some bacteria, eg. Listeria monocytogenes, will remain viable at low temperatures. Therefore, you are advised to use the refrigerator properly to prevent the growth of bacteria on food.


Tips on how to use the refrigerator properly:

1. Foods of different kinds should be wrapped separately or stored in containers with lids to prevent cross-contamination in the refrigerator;

2. Always remember to place cooked food above raw food in the same refrigerator, i.e. ready-to-eat food or cooked food should be kept in the upper compartment while raw food should be stored in the lower compartment of a refrigerator;

3. Ensure the temperature of the refrigerator to be kept at less than 5°C and the freezer at - 18°C or below;

4. Canned food should be transferred to a non-metal container after opening and properly covered before it is stored in the refrigerator;

5. It is not necessary to put unopened sterilized food or unripe fruit in the refrigerator;

6. Allow leftovers to cool before refrigerating;

7. Food taken out of the refrigerator should be thoroughly cooked or reheated until the core temperature of the food reaches 75°C or above;

8. Food should not be stored in the refrigerator for a long period. In general, leftovers should not be stored in the refrigerator for more than three days;

9. Non-perishable food, such as beverages, can be kept on the door shelves;

10. The refrigerator should be sufficiently ventilated; avoid overstocking the refrigerator to maintain even distribution of cold air inside;

11. Keep the door closed as often as possible to prevent the rise of temperature inside the refrigerator;

12. Defrost and clean the refrigerator on a regular basis.