National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

A day dedicated to helping you clean out your refrigerator is a great way to get ready for the holidays.

It seems like there is a celebration for just about everything these days. Here is one that actually makes some sense, National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. It is designated on November 15 as perhaps a way to prepare your fridge for the upcoming holidays. Some sources tell us that the executives at Whirlpool Appliance came up with this idea years ago for an advertising campaign. Regardless of the source, this is a timely reminder to prepare your cold storage space for the upcoming increase in groceries, prepped food and of course leftovers.

It is important to remember this great invention is not designed to keep food fresh forever. There are actually guidelines on just how long leftovers should be kept, opened food etc. You may want to consult the app called The FoodKeeper or visit the website to learn more about just how long food is good for.

Here are some suggestions on how to get the refrigerator clean:

  • Dispose: Take everything out of the fridge and place it on your countertops. If you will be at this task for a while (more than an hour), have a cooler on hand for perishables. Check dates, looking for expired foods, wipe off those sticky bottles, get things organized!
  • Consolidate: Do this if you have two jars of pickles open, combine to save space – just make sure one of them has not passed its shelf life.
  • Dismantle: Remove shelves and drawers so you can give the inside of the appliance a good, deep cleaning with hot, soapy water. Wipe down the interior, wash the shelves and drawers. Let everything air dry before reassembling.
  • Keep it clean: Michigan State University Extension recommends removing any expired food from the refrigerator once a week and placing a box of baking soda in the appliance to help control odors (this has to be changed every three months).

Now that you have cleaned and organized your refrigerator, it would be a great time to set some new ground rules. Start by labeling and dating what is in your leftover containers, this way you know what you are saving for another meal. Time flies when we are having fun – something you might have tucked away in the refrigerator for another time has suddenly been saved for a couple of weeks, instead of a couple of days and is no longer a safe leftover. By labeling and dating, you will know what you have in the container.

You can also start an inventory sheet. This is helpful when it comes to using remaining leftovers and meal planning. Tips like these help reduce waste, save money and keep your family from experiencing a possible food poisoning. Keeping your refrigerator clean can also prevent bacteria from growing in it.

Don’t wait until National Clean out Your Refrigerator Day, make it a monthly event to treat your refrigerator well and it will take care of the foods you love.

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