How Clean Is Your Refrigerator?Mold, bacteria and spills in the refrigerator can put you at risk for food poisoning. Maintaining a clean refrigerator can help improve the safety and quality of your foods. For the best cleaning results, always refer to your refrigerator’s owner's manual, but here are a few simple refrigerator cleaning tips:
- Wipe up spills immediately, especially from raw meat juices. Defrosting meats on the bottom shelf in a covered container reduces the chance of a spill and cross-contamination.
- Scrub down the inside of your refrigerator (including shelves and drawers) using a clean sponge and warm soapy water. Rinse with clean water, then dry with paper towels or a clean cloth. Avoid using cleaners that may pass on taste to food or cause damage to surfaces.
- Frequently clean the refrigerator handle. That is the part of the fridge that gets touched countless times a day.
- Eliminate odors between cleanings by placing an opened box of baking soda in the back of the refrigerator. Change the box every three months.
- Keep the front grill free of dust to allow free airflow to the condenser for best cooling and efficiency. Also, clean the condenser coils with a brush or vacuum. Unplug the refrigerator when cleaning the coils.
What's in the Refrigerator?
- Sort through foods at least once a week. Throw out foods that have been "hibernating" in the fridge.
- Check expiration dates to help determine when to dispose of foods. But when in doubt, throw it out. What’s the difference between “use by” and “expiration”?
- “Use by" or "best if used by" date is not a safety-related date. It's the last date recommended for use of the product at optimal quality.
- "Expiration" date means don't consume the product after this date.