- Food & Drink
This year I passed my level 3 food hygiene certificate. With merit, no less. Which means that I can now be left in charge of a pie factory and nobody will die of pie. Except, possibly, me.
As a holder of a level 3 food hygiene certificate, I know lots about food safety. How to store food, how to prepare food, how not to kill an entire family with a poorly reheated rice and prawn ring buffet.
So when Betta Living asked if I could write a few tips on storing food in fridges, and take a snap of my own fridge to share, I was confident there wouldn’t be much work required.
Then I opened my fridge.
I considered the situation. And I thought: “No one must ever know I live like this.”
Walking the line between perfect and practical is the stuff of life. Aspirations and good intentions often meet work and obligations and decide that a nice sit down with a packet of biscuits and Netflix is better than disinfecting the fridge.
My fridge spends half the week well ordered and disciplined and the other half a jumble of Tupperwared leftovers, wildling veg and open packets of cheese. Not to mention the ever advancing army of condiments that slowly colonises the shelves until I’m forced to have a jam and chutney party in order to thin their ranks.
But sorting out my fridge was actually pretty easy. I divided it into three zones. The top and middle shelves, which are cool and where the temperature is stable, the lower shelves and salad drawers, which are cold, and the doors, which are the warmest part of all.
Ready-to-eat foods, leftovers, drinks, eggs and dairy were all shifted to the top and middle shelves because the temperature there is constant. This included milk, although how you’re meant to store a bottle of milk on a shelf without it leaking everywhere is beyond me. When I did my pre-pic tidy up I managed to tuck a pint on the top shelf. Anything larger has to go in the door or I risk a lactic waterfall. The door is the worst place to keep milk because it’s warm. So I drink lots of tea to get through it quickly.
The door, however, is where I moved some of my preserved foods. Things like sauces, chutneys and jams. Not all of them because there’s just too many, so they also crowd the shelves. It can’t be helped. The doors are also a good spot for butter and soft cheeses, which don’t mind a warm breeze now and then.
The bottom of the fridge needed the least organisation. It is where I sit the occasional well-sealed pack of raw meat, and also veg. Lots of lovely veg. I have one drawer set aside for alliums and root veg, one for Med veg, and a shelf for green leafy things so they don’t get bruised and wilt. The cauliflower also ended up on that shelf because it was too damn big to go anywhere else. But I forgave it because I love cauliflower and it can do no wrong.
This blog post was written in partnership with Betta Living.