Think your refrigerator is a safe haven for perishables? Depending on your settings, your cleaning practices, and the kinds of foods you store, you could be eating items that are long overdue. Follow these guidelines for fridge food safety:
Set your thermometer to 38˚-40˚ F for meats, eggs, produce, and dairy products.
Store items like salad dressings, sodas, or condiments in the door slots — never milk or eggs, which should be kept in their original containers, on the shelves. (Most condiments are good for about a year (check the expiration dates), except mayonnaise, which shouldn’t be used after 6 months from first being opened.)
Check that all vents in your fridge are clean and not obstructed by containers or food to ensure proper air circulation.
Place a dry paper towel on the bottom of produce bins to help absorb moisture and retain freshness.
Circle or highlight expiration dates on all products, and toss anything that’s beyond its use-by date. Store leftovers in air-tight containers with secure tops.
Consider attaching digital counters to products, which can eliminate guesswork about how long something’s been sitting.
Wipe down shelves regularly with soap and water — not chemicals, which could seep odors into your food.