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Spring Clean à la Fridge

For most, “spring cleaning” is the act of excitedly tearing apart the house on a cleaning rampage. Well, that’s my reality of it! What about the fridge? Is that part of your spring ritual? If not, this is the year! If you’re like me, your fridge is likely bulging right now with extra jars and bottles of food and condiments from the winter holidays. For some, it may look a pack of hungry wolves just went through it. For others, it may look like the inside of a neatly organized and labeled filing cabinet. Either way, having a clean fridge and following safe food handling practices at home can help prevent foodborne illness.

Eliminate bacteria!

First remove everything and discard anything that is expired or questionable. Properly cleaning your fridge surfaces helps eliminate bacteria and reduces your risk of foodborne illness. For added protection, use a bleach solution to sanitize. Mix 5 mL (1 tsp) of household bleach to 750 mL (3 cups) of water in a labelled spray bottle.

Pack lightly!

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about your suitcase! Try not to jam pack your refrigerator with food – cold air must circulate to keep food safe.

Keep it cool!

Make sure your refrigerator is set to 4° C (40°F) or lower and your freezer at -18°C (0° F) or lower.  This will keep your food out of the temperature danger zone, (between 4° C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F)), where bacteria can grow quickly.

Giving your fridge a spring makeover will help you avoid any dreaded foodborne illness and ensure you have the right foods on hand for healthy meals. Happy cleaning!

Jenn Giurgevich is the founder of Spark Nutrition & Health, a virtual nutrition consulting business.
Visit www.sparknutritionandhealth.ca for more information.


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