Kitchen Clean-Up: A guide for keeping a clean and orderly refrigerator
By Brittany Anas
We know that healthy-eating habits are honed in the kitchen. Studies show we are most likely to succeed at our weight-loss goals when we eat most of our meals at home. (When we eat out, we tend to gorge on big portions, and eat meals higher in fat and sodium).
So, think of your kitchen as your ally in healthy living. We know a lot of you have made New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier and to get more organized, so we’re marrying the two with a series of how to keep an organized and clean kitchen — starting with the refrigerator because all to often it becomes host to, uh, science experiments. Check back later this week for tips on organizing your pantry, kitchen cleaning tips and how your table settings could help you lose weight.
We’ve tapped the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for safe refrigerator tips and Bed, Bath and Beyond for some storage and organization strategies. (Money-saving tip: Earn up to 5 percent Cash Back on your purchases from Bed, Bath and Beyond when you shop with ShopAtHome.com).
- Give your fridge a good clean out. Sort through all of the contents and purge the items that are expired are that you suspect have gone bad. Use a warm soapy sponge to clean the shelves. Rinse it with clean water and then pat it dry with a paper towel. Tip: Every time you go grocery shopping — or once a week, whichever comes first — check for expired items.
- Set the temperature at 40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent harmful bacteria from growing.
- Know the shelf life of common items. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a good guide for leftovers:
Cooked fresh veggies: 3 to 4 days
Cooked pasta: 3 to 5 days
Cooked rice: 1 week
Deli meat: 5 days
Ham, cooked and sliced: 3 to 4 days
Hot dogs, opened: 1 week
Lunch meat, pre-packaged and open: 1 week
Cooked beef, pork, poultry, fish and meat casseroles: 3 to 5 days
Cooked patties and nuggets, gravy and broth: 3 to 4 days
Cooked seafood: 3 to 4 days
Soups and stews: 3 to 4 days
- Use newspaper to absorb odor. We all know the box of baking powder trick for absorbing bad odors. But did you know that a scrunched up ball of newspaper will do the trick even better? If you’ve got a stinky smell in the crisper, wash it out with a water and vinegar solution.
- Get organized. Save space and keep condiments organized with a few simple solutions — like the Fridge Binz Condiment Caddy or water bottle holders. A set of three refrigerator liners will protect shelves from leaking jars, cartons, fruits and veggies.
Read more articles about Bed, Bath and Beyond here.
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