Refrigerator Cheat Sheet

Find out how to stock your fridge correctly.

Ever wondered where your grocery items are really supposed to go? When it comes to the refrigerator it can be tricky figuring out which foods to store where, and which ones to keep out of the fridge altogether. Dr. Jennifer Caudle, Assistant Professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine has revealed her tips and tricks for optimal refrigerator usage. Take a look below and print out this cheat sheet to keep on hand.

The temperature of storage bins on the door fluctuates, so avoid storing perishable foods in the door. Items great for the door are the following:

• Butter
• Condiments
• Juice
• Cooking oils
• Soda

Keep raw meat, poultry and fish, milk and eggs on the lower refrigerator shelf. The lower shelf is usually the coldest. Refrigerate dairy products near the back of the refrigerator (preferably) because it's colder. 

The upper shelves can be a warmer part of the refrigerator so store the following there: jam/jelly, leftovers (make sure they are transferred to several small containers so they cool faster), peanut butter, snacks, yogurt, etc.

Keep produce in crisper bins in the refrigerator which help retain moisture. Keep fruit in a separate crisper from vegetables. On many refrigerators, the humidity can be adjusted from 'high humidity' which is ideal for vegetables, to 'low humidity' which is best for many fruits.

  • High humidity drawer: Broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green onions, leafy greens
  • Low humidity drawer: Apples, ripe avocados, grapes, peaches, pears, ripe melon, peppers

If you have a meat/deli bin, make sure to use it for your bacon, cheese, and deli meats.

Don’t forget to store large amounts of leftovers in several small, shallow containers to cool faster.

Do not store the following foods in the refrigerator:

• Bananas
• Bread (freezer is okay)
• Coffee
• Garlic
• Onions (keep away from potatoes)
• Potatoes (keep away from onions)
• Tomatoes 


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