Spring cleaning your fridge? Send us 'before' photos
Bryan Kautz looks in his fridge in Toronto on Thursday, May 12, 2011. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:48AM EDT
Spring is the time for clearing out the cobwebs, organizing the basement and pulling out the mop and bucket to clean. But how about your fridge? Is it as clean as your now-sparkling windows?
The eyes might be the window to the soul, but if you really want to get a handle on someone, take a look inside their fridge. The cleanliness of their fridge probably says a lot more about their housekeeping habits -- and about them in general -- than you might think.
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There are those who are rule-followers, who don't wait for spring to start cleaning their fridge but who scrub it down every week. They diligently stick to every food safety rule out there, have all their leftovers clearly marked with the date, and live by the mantra, "When in doubt, throw it out."
There are the neat-and-tidy, never-a-thing-out-of-place types, who have everything in their fridge lined up in straight rows, with meat always on the bottom, and vegetables neatly arranged in alphabetical order.
And then there are those on the other end of the neatness scale, who have unidentifiable vegetables turning soft and mushy in long-forgotten plastic bags, Leftover something-or-others lurk at the very back of their fridges and could be used to discover new species of mould. Or they have jars of mustard that have been there since mail sent to 24 Sussex Dr. was addressed to "Mr. Jean Chretien."
If you're wondering how long food should be stored in the fridge, here's what the experts advise:
- The Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education says opened milk and yogourt should be consumed in three days, opened deli meat used up in five says and mayonnaise should be tossed after two months
- Any and all leftover food should be tossed after three days. And don't rely on "the sniff test." "Never rely on your nose, eyes or taste buds to judge the safety of food. You cannot tell if food is contaminated by its look, smell or taste," reads Health Canada's website.
- Raw meats, poultry and fish should be stored in plastic bags on the bottom shelf of the fridge, to prevent any juices from dripping down onto other foods, says Health Canada.
- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says that "Best Before" dates don't guarantee that a food is safe before that date, and don't necessarily mean that the food is unsafe after that date. They are merely suggestions about how long a food will taste "fresh," not whether it's safe.
How's your fridge looking these days? We'd like to sneak a little peek inside. Why not crack open the door and snap a picture for us.
We'd also like to see what the fridge at work looks like, too. Is it as well-organized as your place of business? Or is it the Land of Forgotten Lunches, where leftover things pile up for weeks until someone angrily sends out a note that they're taking no prisoners and clearing the whole thing out at 4 p.m.?
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