Welcome to grocery shopping 2.0
Given the many anxiety-inducing precautions shoppers must take during the coronavirus pandemic, you hardly need health experts to urge you to keep food shopping trips to a minimum. Buy wisely, and take steps to make the food you get last longer.
One of the most fundamental ground rules for keeping refrigerated items fresh: “The colder the fridge, the longer things will last,” says Jonathan Deutsch, PhD, a professor of food and hospitality management and director of the Drexel Food Lab at Drexel University in Philadelphia. “Refrigerators should be between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit for both safety and quality—even a degree can make a difference for products like milk.” Everyone is home all day due to various states implementing shelter-in-place orders, which means there’s likely a lot more opening and shutting of the refrigerator door. This likely means that the food in the front and on the side of the refrigerator door may be well above 40 degrees, he says. So make sure your fridge is set cool enough and push things as far back from the door as possible.
Beyond that, Deutsch says, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the best way to store each food item. So, we rounded up all the expert tips we could find to help you make sure your food lasts longer and save you from having to make unwanted grocery store trips. You’ll also want to make sure you’re not doing any of these 7 things that shorten the life of your fridge.
Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.