Leave elbow room. Cramming all your items in one area of the refrigerator can restrict airflow, making your refrigerator work harder to keep the optimum temperature of 37° F.
Use your drawers. Leaving produce on an open shelf causes it to dry out and deteriorate. For that newly-picked sensation, use crispers to keep fruits and vegetables fresher longer. A general rule of thumb is to set crisper controls at high for vegetables and at low for fruit.
Put off bath time. Washing vegetables strips away their natural protection against drying, so wash them right before you use them rather than before you store them.
Give fruit its own room. Certain fruits give off ethylene gas, which speeds ripening. Store your vegetables separate from your fruits so you don't end up with overripe lettuce.
Keep it fresh. Fresh meat should be stored in a meat and cheese drawer where it is cooler. Once stored, remember to prepare meat within one to two days of purchase, otherwise freeze it for a longer shelf life.
Avoid drafts. Where air comes in is the coldest spot in your refrigerator. If you put fresh food there, it may freeze, especially delicate fruits or vegetables. Put fruits and vegetables in the crisper drawer, and don't put anything right in front of the air vent.
Don't get burned. As moisture evaporates from food it often changes into ice crystals, which can lead to freezer burn. To properly prepare food for frozen storage, use air-, moisture- or vapor-proof packaging such as zipper-style plastic freezer bags and remove as much air as possible before sealing.
Take your time. Putting too much warm food in the freezer at once can cause the food that's already in there to thaw. Add the warm food gradually, and don't put warm food in direct contact with already frozen food.
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