Summer Heat: This Is How You Can Best Organize The Fridge

When it’s hot in summer, it’s not good for our food at all. Fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and bread spoil faster than usual. Here’s how to store food properly now.

The summer temperatures make for a good mood, but unfortunately also for spoiled food. At temperatures above 30 degrees, bacteria and mold multiply much faster than usual. Peaches become mushy, the cream goes sour and the bread becomes mouldy. In the hot summer months, the correct storage of food is important so that the products do not spoil and dangerous germs do not stand a chance.

But food also stays fresh longer in the other months if it is stored correctly. Storing the fridge in a systematic way saves electricity and avoids unnecessary food waste.

Pay attention to cold zones when putting away the refrigerator

Important to know: It is colder at the bottom of the refrigerator than at the top. However, this rule does not apply to the fruit and vegetable compartment: the temperature in the closed compartment is eight to ten degrees, in the bottom compartment it is around two degrees. Perishable foods such as meat and fish should be stored in the lower compartment if possible. Fresh milk is also in good hands here.

What goes where in the fridge?

Fruit and vegetable compartment (8-9°): Local fruit and vegetables such as lettuce, herbs, mushrooms, brassicas, berries, grapes, cherries, etc.
Lower refrigerator compartment (2°): Perishable foods such as milk, cream, meat, and fish
Middle refrigerator compartment (5°): Prepared foods, as well as dairy products such as yoghurt and quark
Top fridge compartment (8°): jam, cheese, and eggs
Fridge door: This is the best place to store butter, drinks, ketchup, eggs, and sauces. The fridge door is warmer than the rest of the fridge, so this isn’t the place for perishables. The compartment in the door invites you to store milk in bottles or Tetrapaks. However, fresh milk is better stored in the bottom refrigerator compartment.

Food stays fresh longer when it’s hot

Food spoils faster than usual in summer. Use these tricks to treat fresh food optimally:

A cool bag is useful in summer for transporting milk, cream, meat, and sausages.
Only buy fresh groceries in small quantities.
Don’t wash berries and cherries before you put them in the fridge – they’ll spoil faster. Because washing not only removes dirt and chemical residues, but also the natural protective covering of the fruit. Fruits with small injuries can rot faster from the water.
Always sort out rotten fruit immediately so that the mold cannot spread to the neighbors.
The best way to store bread is outside of the refrigerator. But since it molds quickly in summer, you can store bread in an airtight container in the fridge on very hot days. Alternative: slice the loaf, freeze and thaw as needed.

What doesn’t belong in the fridge?

Fruits and vegetables with a high water content such as tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and melons do not belong in the refrigerator. Citrus and tropical fruits don’t like the climate in the fridge either. Apples, potatoes, onions and garlic are better stored (if available) in a cool cellar.

Tips for saving electricity in the fridge

Only open the refrigerator briefly and close it again quickly. If too much warm air comes in from outside, the refrigerator uses more energy.
Put the groceries in the fridge immediately after shopping. In this way, the cold chain is not interrupted for too long and the device does not have to use energy to lower the temperature of the goods again.
Always allow leftovers from lunch or dinner to cool before putting them in the fridge.
Set the refrigerator to the optimum temperature.
Have the refrigerator defrosted twice a year.
If you need a new device, pay attention to the energy efficiency.
Important dos & don’ts for storing food in the refrigerator
It is best to buy fruit and vegetables without plastic packaging. If this cannot be avoided, you should put fruit and vegetables unpacked in the refrigerator. The plastic packaging causes condensation to form, and the food molds faster.
Sausage and cheese should also not be stored in open packaging. Airtight boxes are more suitable.
Place old groceries in front.
The general rule is: Do not put food that has been opened, such as yoghurt, in the refrigerator without the lid.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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