Reducing Food Waste: Chill Out.
Around 70% of food waste in the UK happens at home. For instance, each day we pour the equivalent of 3.1 million glasses of milk down the sink.
The good news: thanks to one familiar household appliance, it’s not too late to make a difference. Find out how taking care of your fridge can help fight food waste.
Check the temperature
The ideal temperature for a fridge is between 0°C and 5°C. In the UK, the average fridge is set to 7°C: this means good food is going to waste because it’s too warm. Here’s how to keep your fridge nice and cool:
- Shut the fridge door! The temperature inside your fridge rises significantly each time the door is opened, and can take hours to return to the right temperature.
- Place a fridge thermometer inside your fridge and check the temperature regularly.
- Don’t put hot food straight in the fridge, as this will raise the temperature. Allow cooked food to cool at room temperature for at least one hour before placing in the fridge.
- Check out Love Food Hate Waste’s website for more tips on how to keep your fridge cool.
Clean your fridge regularly
- Giving your fridge a spring clean is pretty satisfying. Plus, it’s a great way to prevent any foods lurking at the back from going to waste.
- Clean your fridge thoroughly with hot water and a splash of washing-up liquid to prevent the spread of bacteria – once every three months is a good rule of thumb.
- Top tip: whip up a bicarbonate of soda and water paste to tackle stubborn stains.
- Expiration dates can be easy to miss; use a marker pen to write the expiry date directly onto food packaging or containers of leftovers.
- Store older foods in the front and fresher foods at the back. This way, you’ll know what needs to be eaten first in order to avoid waste.
Organise your food
Did you know that certain areas of the fridge are cooler than others? These handy tips will help you organise your food so it stays fresher for longer.
- Keep raw meat, fish and poultry at the bottom of the fridge, where it’s coolest. This will also minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
- Fruit and veg belong in the crisper drawers, one of the coolest areas of the fridge. Try and keep the two separate – some fruits emit gases which can cause veg to spoil.
- Dairy products can be stored in the middle of the fridge, where it’s slightly warmer.
- Cooked foods and leftovers should be stored on the top shelf. This will also prevent them from coming into contact with raw produce.
- Store condiments in the door. It’s the warmest part of the fridge, making it perfect for longer-lasting foods such as sauces and fruit juices.
Check out more tips on how to reduce food waste here.