In 2011, researchers from the odor control company Microban Europe discovered some potentially harmful bugs lurking in refrigerators, like E.coli, salmonella and listeria.
Tests on 30 different salad drawers found an average of 7,850 bacteria colony-forming units per square centimetre (cfu/cm2), and in some cases it found 129,000 bacteria per cfu/cm2!
Currently the standard European Commission recommendation for safe and clean food storage and preparation is 0 to 10 germs per cfu/cm2. This means that our fridges could be harming us. It’s a good job there are plenty of ways to avoid those germs and keep your fridge clean:
The right placement
Where you place food in the refrigerator is very important. Make sure that you keep raw meat on the bottom shelf to avoid juices dripping onto other foods, and to separate your fruit and vegetables. This is vital because fruit emits ethylene and this gas can make vegetables go off quicker.
The right temperature
Fridges at a temperature of 41°F or higher can allow microbes to grow. It’s best to keep your fridge between 32°F and 40°F, and to keep your freezer at 0°F. Leaving your fridge or freezer door open for long periods of time is a bad idea too, as this can increase the temperature.
The right cleaning schedule
This one might sound obvious, but it is important to stay on top of cleaning your fridge. Every time you go grocery shopping get the antibacterial wipes out and give your fridge a good clean before putting the fresh food in. This will also give you the opportunity to throw anything out that might be going off, and help protect your new food. It is also important to deep clean the fridge monthly with hot soapy water and a scouring sponge to remove any build up or spillages.
Do you have any other tips for making sure that your refrigerator is free from nasty germs? Get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know!