Keeping up to date with the maintenance of your fridge freezer is vital for health and hygiene. There are elements that need to be considered in order to keep your food up to standard.
Important things to consider:
– To make sure that your fridge freezer remains effective, it needs to be positioned out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources e.g. ovens and radiators.
– As well as maintaining the general cleanliness of your fridge freezer; there are also other areas that need to be covered. The coils at the back of your fridge freezer remove heat; if they become blocked by dirt and dust it prevents the compressor working as effectively. To clean the coils, unplug the appliance, turn the back of the unit around for easy cleaning access, and de-dust the coils with either a vacuum or duster.
– Door seals need to remain tight in order to prevent warm air getting in. To test seal strength, place a piece of paper in between the fridge door and fridge interior, and then close the door shut. If the paper remains gripped then the fridge has a good seal. If it isn’t held into place then the seal needs to be replaced.
– Use a thermometer to check that your fridge freezer is at the right temperature; fridges shouldn’t be more than +5°C and your freezer should be between -18°C and -22°C. The temperature can easily be adjusted on the temperature dial.
– In order for food to remain fresh and also for hygiene reasons, foods need to be stored in the correct procedure. Do not keep open cans stored in the fridge; the contents should be transferred into either a sealed container or in a covered bowl, and will need to be consumed within two days. Hot food needs to be at room temperature before being placed in the fridge, as the fridge will have to work harder in order to cool down hot food to a chilled temperature. Leftovers that are stored in the freezer should be stored into freezer bags/storage containers and labelled with ‘use by’ dates.
– A fully packed fridge is energy efficient where as a bulging fridge is the opposite. A fridge needs a good amount of air circulation to keep food cool and to save on energy; more energy will need to be used in order to keep the temperature down.
If you have a chest freezer, line the bottom with a sheet/towel; this will make the defrosting process much easier.
General food hygiene rules:
– Keep open packets wrapped up to avoid food going dry (cling film is a good resource for this)
– Dry foods should be kept at the top of the fridge and wet foods, such as meat, should be stored wrapped up at the bottom of the fridge
– Follow ‘use by’ dates
– Check the contents of your fridge/freezer on a weekly basis in order to stick to food hygiene standards
Read on to find out how to clean a fridge freezer.