Refrigerator Food Safety
Newsletter Date
Food Safety for Families
Refrigerator Food Safety
Carol Schwarz, Extension Educator and Julie A. Albrecht, Extension Food Specialist
Dear Parents,
Lead Story Headline
of interest:
in your refrigerator? Cleaning the
refrigerator is not first on our list of things to do but
it is important to keep food safe for our families.
Wipe up spills when they happen help prevent
bacteria (germs) from growing. Use hot, soapy
water to clean up any spill, then rinse with clean
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Briefly highlight your point of interest here.
Briefly highlight your point of interest here.
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Here are some good “chill” rules to
keep your food safe to eat.
► Refrigerate perishable foods right away. Store
hot foods in small, shallow containers to speed
Inside this issue:
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► Make sure you do not pack your refrigerator with
much food. Air2 needs to move around food to
Inside Story
keep it cold.
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► If your refrigerator has Secondary
a special
drawer for meat,
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Keeping the Refrigerator Clean
Once a week, check for
perishable foods that
should be thrown out.
Give the shelves a quick
wipe to keep them clean.
Keep fresh poultry and
ground meat up to 2
days, fresh meat up to 5
days, and most leftovers will keep 3 to 4 days.
Do you ever think about
your refrigerator? Most of
us just expect it to work,
keeping our food cold and
safe to eat. It’s important
to know the temperature ofCaption describing picture or
your refrigerator. It shouldgraphic.
be at or below 400F.
You can buy a refrigerator
thermometer at your local grocery or
hardware store.
use the drawer to keep raw meat, poultry, and
Inside Story away from3 other perishable foods to prevent
This story can fit 75-125 words.
and draw readers into the story. Decross-contamination.
Inside Story
Your headline is an important part of
► It is best NOT to store perishable
the newsletter and
be consid-
Inside Story
door. 5Eggs should
be stored in their
ered carefully.
carton on a shelf. Milk will last longer when stored
In a few words, it should accurately
the refrigerator
Inside Story
represent the contents of the story
ship Drive Exceeds Goals, and New
velop the headline before you write the Office Opens Near You.
This way, the headline
will time
help cause bacteria to grow, which
you keep
is why it is so important your refrigerator be cold
for you
to not keep leftovers too long.
of possible
Product Wins Industry Award, New
Product Can Save You Time!, Member-
Page 2
Refrigerator Food Safety
Bacteria (germs), viruses and parasites are everywhere in the environment! They are
organisms that you cannot see, smell, or taste. In fact, they can contaminate food and
cause life-threatening illness. Foodborne illness (food poisoning) can strike anyone,
especially young children, pregnant women (it endangers their unborn babies too),
older adults, and persons with weakened immune systems.
Cleaning the Entire Refrigerator
Turn off the refrigerator.
Throw out old or spoiled food.
Place perishable food into a cooler to keep it cold or frozen.
Remove shelves and drawers from the refrigerator and freezer.
Wash shelves and drawers with hot, soapy water and rinse with clean water
and dry with a soft cloth.
6. Wipe down the interior sides and bottom of the refrigerator and freezer.
7. Replace the shelves and drawers.
8. Put food back into the refrigerator or freezer.
9. Wipe off the exterior of the refrigerator with a soft cloth.
10. Wipe dust and lint from the front grill.
11. Several times a year, clean the condenser coil with a brush or vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and lint.
12. Turn on the refrigerator.
Listeria is a bacterium that can grow at refrigerator temperatures.
Pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune
systems are at greater risk of Listeriosis.
To help prevent foodborne illnesses from Listeria:
1. Keep the refrigerator at 40 F (4 C) or below.
2. Use ready-to-eat, refrigerated foods as soon as possible. Check labels for expiration dates.
3. Clean the refrigerator regularly.
To Remove Refrigerator Odors Try the Following Tips. (Procedures may need to be repeated several
Sprinkle fresh coffee grounds or baking soda in an open container or pan. Leave for several days.
Fill the refrigerator with crumpled up newspaper. Close the door and leave for several days.
Remove newspapers and clean with vinegar and water.
Wash insides of refrigerator with baking soda and water.
This newsletter was developed as part of the Food Safety for Families with Young Children Project, USDA‐CSREES Project 2008‐51110‐19237.
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