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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

This morning while I was putting together my lunch for the day I noticed a few to-go-containers. Given that I am currently in the middle of my month long quest to not eat out I realized that those containers had to be at the very least 15 days old.
It got me thinking I need to clean out my fridge. Funny enough when I got to work and signed online I noticed that today is Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. I was curious what the origin of this day was but I wasn’t able to find too much information other then suggestions that Whirlpool originally promoted Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day starting in 1995 and was planned for the third Wednesday in November. In 2000 when the e-cards gave it the fixed date of November 15th which has stuck since. In 2004 Whirlpool declared April 4-10 Clean out your refrigerator Week but it seems to have been too late to change the date.  I also found other speculation that it was created just in advance of Thanksgiving to allow room for holiday leftovers.
Why is it important to clean out your refrigerator? The answer is simple. Food like everything has a shelf life even if refrigerated or frozen. The food is only safe and health to eat as long as it is stored properly. Proper storage is the most important thing. Improperly stored foods can become rancid or oxidize, making them more dangerous and can lead to other food spoiling or losing its flavor or texture.
Before I grab my gloves tonight to remove the potential biohazards in my fridge I thought I might share some interesting refrigerator facts.
1.    The ideal refrigerator temperature is between 34-40 degrees
2.    Food experts say that fresh poultry, homemade dips, ground meat etc shouldn’t be stored in the fridge for more than 2 days.
3.    Do not store food in the refrigerator in paper bags instead all food should be covered with foil, plastic wrap or in airtight containers.
4.    Some foods can stay longer in a fridge then others and they include raw eggs and cheese.
5.    Never put a hot pan or hot food in the fridge because it can raise the temperature of the fridge beyond the ideal levels. This can cause other food to spoil as a result of the warmth it releases as it cools down.
So guess what I plan to do tonight. That’s right I am going to clean out my fridge. There are a few suggestions on cleaning out your fridge. It doesn’t just involve removing the expired items.
1.    Take everything out of the fridge.
2.    Wash down and disinfect the inside walls of the refrigerator, the shelves, the draws and along the door seal.
3.    Wash everything going back in even the outside of jars;
4.    Vacuum both under the fridge and behind the fridge. Over time dust bunnies accumulate and can reduce the efficiency of the refrigerator.
So guess what I plan to do tonight. I am going to clean out my fridge of anything that is past its prime or nearly there that I don’t plan to use anytime soon is out for good. Wish me luck that I don't run into any USO's (unidentified shriveled objects).

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