How to keep food fresher for longer in the fridge

Knowing the right place to store food in the fridge ensures its freshness for longer. (Pixabay pic)

A well-organised fridge prevents mould and bacteria from forming and can help extend its life.

Refrigerating food correctly protects freshness and shelf life. The fridge storage safety chart below shows exactly how to correctly store food in the various compartments.

Keeping food in the refrigerator properly organised ensures it remains safe and fresher for longer. ( pic)

Meat rack

Processed meat or deli products such as smoked meat, corned beef, sausages and dairy products are best kept in the meat rack, where it is slightly colder but not freezing.

These products tend to be cooked and must be kept a safe distance from raw meat on the bottom shelf.

Top shelf

Opening the fridge allows warm air to enter and causes temperature fluctuations. The door is the most affected and the least is the top shelf where the temperature is most consistent.

The most perishable foods should be stored on the top shelf, such as leftovers and ready-to-eat food.

Bottom shelf

Raw foods such as meat, poultry and fish stay fresh longer in colder settings and should be kept in a place where cross-contamination cannot occur.

The bottom shelf is the coldest part of the fridge and is located there to prevent spillage of raw juices onto other foods, which can cause food poisoning.

Items should be wrapped or sealed tightly to prevent contact with other produce.

Vegetable and fruit drawer

The vegetable and fruit drawer, or crisper, is designed to adjust humidity according to the type of produce.

Leafy greens tend to like higher humidity whereas apples, grapes, berries, peppers and other thin-skinned produce fare better in low humidity.

It is also best to separate ethylene-producing fruit from vegetables to stop the gas from wilting the vegetables.

The vegetable and fruit drawer is designed to maintain the correct atmosphere for optimal storage. (Rawpixel pic)


Almost all food can be frozen, but knowing which foods freeze well and how to store them right can reduce food wastage.

Tofu, cooked pasta and meat, bread and beans require moisture-proof packaging to prevent freezer burn.

Storing ice cream and other high-fat content foods in the freezer is easier as they do not need much prep.

Freezer door

Frozen vegetables or leftovers should be sealed in airtight containers or ziplock bags to prevent contamination before being stored here.

Keep track of what is stored as the food quality reduces the longer it stays in the freezer.

Refrigerator door

Being the warmest area of the fridge, store food products with a longer shelf life. Bottled drinks, salad dressing, sauces, boxed juices and oil can go at the bottom of the door.

The top is good for storing high-fat spreads such as butter or margarine.

Since different fridges are set up differently, read the user manual before sorting the food or ask an expert for help.

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