Have you checked to make sure you have space in your refrigerator for holiday leftovers? If not, this weekend may be the perfect time to give it a cleaning. This Sunday is National Clean Out Your Fridge Day, and we spoke with Shaelyn Gurzick, a registered dietician with Henry Ford Health System about things to keep in mind when stocking your fridge.
Gurzick said two things to keep an eye on are condiments and leftovers. Condiments tend to be a product you use a few times and forget about, so the expiration date can come up before you know it. Leftovers also tend to get forgotten, but Gurzick said one easy way to remember when to toss them is by simply putting the date you made it on the container with some tape and a sharpie. She said leftovers usually only last 3-4 days after they’re made, so keep an eye on when that date is coming up. If you want to cut back on food waste, you can always save your leftovers in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them.
Where you store the groceries in your fridge can also be very important. The side door is the warmest part of the fridge, so Gurzick recommends you put food there that won’t spoil as quickly like condiments. The upper shelves of the fridge are warmer, because they get hit with warm air every time the door opens. Because of this, she recommends you keep pre-cooked, ready-to-eat things like cheese, fresh fruits and veggies, and leftovers on these shelves. The bottom shelf is the coldest, and should be used to store meat, poultry, and fish because they are likely the highest safety risk foods you’ll have.
So keep in mind this Thanksgiving, you’ll want to defrost the turkey on the lowest shelf to keep it out of the temperature danger zone.
For more food tips from the Henry Ford Health System, check out the video above.