Reduce Refrigerator Energy Use and increase Food safety
Posted by Norman Fong
Some easy energy savers. Per the FDA – Set your refrigerator’s thermostat to 40°F degrees , this might be a little high though. Our local Utility company PG&E suggests from 35 to 38°F. Set the freezer to 0 to 5 degrees. Use an inexpensive refrigerator thermometer to measure the actual temperature. I have found 38 °F works better for us.
- Do not overfill your frig as cool air needs to circulate freely to keep everything cool. Glass keeps food colder longer, so try to use more glass.
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent bacteria from growing
- Keep refrigerated items in covered containers or sealed storage bags
- Check expiration dates on food, when in doubt, throw it out
- Do not forget about cleaning the coils on your fridge every 6 months. Do this religiously if you have pets.
- Never allow raw meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or produce that requires refrigeration to sit at room temperature for more than two hours. The limit is one hour if the air temperature is above 90°F. Cars can become really hot.
- Leftovers need to be refrigerated or frozen within two hours. Putting hot food in the refrigerator does not harm the appliance. Make sure you zap left overs until the internal temperature is at least 165°F.
- Keep food in the refrigerator while it’s been marinated, otherwise act. Could grow at room temperature
- Remove items placed on top of your refrigerator. They may be causing it to work harder than normal.
- Move your refrigerator if it is located near a window, oven, or any place there is heat.
- Unplug and recycle your second refrigerator and/or freezer. It costs a lot money to run and most utility companies will pay you money and remove it for free.
- More tips on refrigerator safety from the FDA
- Ask Karen is a USDA site that answers food safety questions
- USDA has a meat and poultry hotline, (888) 674-6854
Sell by and Expiration Dates on Food
Manufacturers give stores and consumers a guideline on when an item is fresh with these dates. These Expiration Dates are not a safety gauge. Only infant formula expiration dates are a safety mark.
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