Certain kitchen habits are wasteful and expensive. When we’re busy, our best intentions get trumped. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
- I bought fresh produce over a week ago and it’s lost in my fridge.
- That leftover casserole should still be good.
- The expiration date has some time left on it.
- I don’t know what’s really in my fridge.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to take action on the most important part of your kitchen…the refrigerator purge:
1) Open your fridge door.
2) Pick a shelf. Pull everything from it, and answer the following questions about each item. Repeat throughout fridge and freezer:
- Does it look and smell pleasant?
- When was it made?
- Is is still safe for consumption?
The rule of prepared foods…when in doubt, toss it out. If it doesn’t look or smell pleasant, the fate is obvious. If something looks/smells ok, but you don’t know when it was made (or if it’s safe), cut your loss. It’s more costly to fight foodborne illness which BTW occurs at home far more often than in restaurants…no kidding! More on this later.
3) Label all of your prepared items with the date it was opened or made. Condiments too! Trust me, if you live in a family of three or more, you’ll love this system…so you’ll know when to toss things. More details on this later.
Check out my system for labeling in this related post.
Now that we’ve established the purge, stick around TKG blog for more tips on food safety in your home kitchen.
Good luck and please adopt the labeling habit. Can’t wait to hear about your experiences!