| Inspiration | How to reduce food waste in your fridge
How to reduce food waste in your fridge
Do you want to reduce food waste? Are you sick of finding forgotten leftovers and meat in your fridge? Well, we’ve got the tips for you to make sure your fridge food makes it to the plate rather than the bin.
Three ways to organise your fridge:
- Store covered meat at the bottom of the fridge on a tray or plate. This way juices can’t drip down and spoil other food. Also, be sure to store meat in the coldest part of the fridge (often the back) and keep it separate from cooked or other ready-to-eat foods.
- Keep cooked food or leftovers that need to be eaten first toward the front of the fridge. Even better, make space for a leftovers shelf so you know exactly where your leftover are. In big households throw a sticker on with your name so no one dares to take your leftovers to work.
- Regularly tidy, clean and check the contents of your fridge. This isn’t only great from a hygiene perspective, but it can also inspire meal ideas – like finding a nearly expiring tub of sour cream and deciding it’s beef nachos night.
Three ways to keep your fridge at the perfect temperature:
It sounds obvious but slip ups can happen! So, be sure to:
- Regularly check your fridge temp, it should be between two to five degrees Celsius. Most harmful, food poisoning nasties can’t grow at these temperatures.
- Don’t put hot food in the fridge, it can raise the temperature of the other foods in the fridge. Try covering leftover hot food and let it completely cool down on the bench before transferring to the fridge.
- Check fridge seals, especially if your fridge is older than ten years.
How long can raw meat be kept in the fridge?
As long as the temperature of the fridge is ideal, beef and lamb products can be stored up to the use-by date on the label.
If you popped your fresh meat in the freezer on the day of purchase, after thawing, follow these rules for storage:
- Cuts of raw beef or lamb such as roasts, chops and steaks can last in the fridge up to five days if packaged/sealed.
- Mince and offal will last for two to three days if packaged/sealed.
- Corned beef in an unopened vacuum-packed bag can last from five to seven days. Use your fridge to defrost meat overnight. It’s the safest way and keep it from spoiling on the bench.
Also, did you know you can freeze raw meat up to its use-by date if it’s been chilling properly in the fridge? And more good news, defrosted meat can be refrozen if it’s been stored in the fridge correctly.
How long can leftovers and cooked meat stay in the fridge?
Time to chat leftovers! Delicious, cooked meat and leftovers should be eaten within two to three days of being in the fridge (but only one day for people with low immunity). When you’re reheating, make it extra steamy and don’t reheat more than once.
Cutting down food waste is really important, but we’ve got to keep food safety top of mind too. Trust your instincts! Give your leftover a good look and sniff. If something seems off, don’t hesitate – toss it out. Click here for more tips on thawing and freezing meat.
https://www.csiro.au/en/research/production/food/Refrigerating-foods (link provided on the FSANZ page)
Posted by Beef + Lamb New Zealand