Refrigerator Food Safety Newsletter Date Food Safety for Families Hewlett-Packard Refrigerator Food Safety Carol Schwarz, Extension Educator and Julie A. Albrecht, Extension Food Specialist Dear Parents, Lead Story Headline Special of interest: What’spoints growing 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 water. Briefly highlight your point of interest here. Briefly highlight your point of interest here. Briefly highlight your point of interest here. Briefly highlight your point of interest here. 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 cooling. Inside this issue: Inside Story 2 ► Make sure you do not pack your refrigerator with too much food. Air2 needs to move around food to Inside Story keep it cold. Inside Story 2 ► If your refrigerator has Secondary a special drawer for meat, Story Headline 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 seafood This story can fit 75-125 words. and draw readers into the story. Decross-contamination. Inside Story 4 Your headline is an important part of ► It is best NOT to store perishable foods the the newsletter and shouldon be consid- Inside Story refrigerator 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 6 inside the refrigerator compartment. 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. story.Temperature This way, the headline will time help cause bacteria to grow, which and you keep the story focused. is why it is so important your refrigerator be cold enough andheadlines for you to not keep leftovers too long. Examples of possible include Product Wins Industry Award, New Product Can Save You Time!, Member- Page 2 Refrigerator Food Safety FightBac!® 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 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 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. 0 0 To Remove Refrigerator Odors Try the Following Tips. (Procedures may need to be repeated several times.) 1. Sprinkle fresh coffee grounds or baking soda in an open container or pan. Leave for several days. 2. Fill the refrigerator with crumpled up newspaper. Close the door and leave for several days. Remove newspapers and clean with vinegar and water. 3. 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.