Storage – What Goes Where?

When it comes to storage, different food types have different needs. As well as a fridge and freezer, having the additional option of an unheated storage room or cellar is ideal.

When keeping food in the fridge, pay attention to the different temperature zones in order to ensure optimal conditions for the food in question. Food stored in the fridge also requires suitable packaging to prevent it from drying out and to keep germs and odours at bay. Anything that doesn’t need to be refrigerated - like flour, nuts and pulses, or baking ingredients such as cocoa - should be stored somewhere dry and dark. 

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When it comes to fruit and vegetables in particular, many of us are clueless as to what belongs in the fridge and what doesn’t. You can roughly deduce that native fruit and vegetables prefer the cold, whilst exotic varieties should be kept at room temperature. As with anything, however, there are some exceptions: figs keep longer when stored in the fridge, for example, whereas tomatoes and potatoes do not belong there at all. 

Storage – What Part of the Fridge?

Lots of foods need to be refrigerated, but it is important to remember that the temperature is not actually the same in every part of the fridge. Whilst there are now fridges that use ventilation to keep the temperature consistent throughout, classic fridges with different temperature zones are still the most common. 

  • Right at the top: around 8 °C: meal leftovers, butter and cheese.
  • In the middle: approx. 5 °C: dairy products such as yoghurt, cream and quark, as well as opened milk cartons.
  • Lowest shelf, above the glass pane: approx. 2 to 4 °C: meat, sausage and fish.
  • Vegetable drawer: around 9 °C: vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli and radish, as well as cold-resistant fruits such as apples,                    peaches and strawberries.
  • In the door: approx. 10 °C: eggs, drinks and sauces.

Some fridges also have a zero-degree zone. This extra compartment remains at zero degrees, which keeps certain foods fresh for even longer. In addition to temperature, the humidity level also has a part to play. Thus, there are often two zero-degree zones: one with around 50% humidity, which is ideal for storing meat and fish, and one with a humidity level of around 95%—ensuring that vegetables stay crisp and retain their vitamin content for longer. 

Storage – Tinned Food

Tinned foods are ideal for storage and will usually keep for years—often well past the use-by date. They are best kept in a dry, dark storage room that is not too warm. When buying tinned food, make sure the tin isn’t damaged or dented. If the lid bulges outwards, dispose of the tin immediately. Leftovers from opened tins should be placed in a storage container or glass bowl, covered and stored in the fridge. 

Storage – Freezing

Once frozen, most foods will keep for several months. Before freezing, however, they should be packaged as airtight as possible. It is then advisable to write both the date of freezing and the contents on the packaging. Once defrosted, use up promptly and do not refreeze

Storage – Tips

  • Some fruits and vegetables ripen after purchase and thereby secrete ethylene, which can cause other foods to spoil more quickly. 
  • Apples and tomatoes, for example, should be stored separate from bananas and lettuce.
  • Clean the fridge out regularly - ideally once a month - to prevent mold and other germs.
  • Before putting leftover food in the fridge, let it cool down first; cooling down directly in the fridge wastes energy.
  • Bread should not be kept in the fridge as this causes it to dry out; it is best kept in a bread bin, where it keeps soft and fresh for longest. 

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