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Frequently Asked Questions

Could you advise me how to store food properly in the fridge?

Storing food in a fridge is an important way of keeping food safe. The cool temperature helps to keep the food fresh and slows the growth of most harmful microbes. At the same time, it does not change the characteristics of the food.

The proper temperature for a fridge is 5°C on the middle shelf. However, the temperature is not constant throughout the interior. By taking advantage of the temperature differences, you can ensure optimal storage for all your food.
The coldest point in the fridge is the bottom shelf on the drawers used for vegetables (2°C). This is the place to put fresh meat and fish. Placing them at the bottom also prevents them from dripping onto other foods.

Store eggs, dairy products, sandwich meats, leftovers, cakes, and products marked "Refrigerate when opened" on the middle shelves (4-5°) and the top shelf (8°C). The drawers at the bottom (up to 10°C) are intended for vegetables and fruits that can be damaged by lower temperatures. The compartments or shelves on the inside of the door are the warmest part of the refrigerator (10-15°C) and are intended for products that need only light refrigeration. These include drinks, mustard and butter.

Do not put too much food in the fridge. If it is loaded to the point that there is no space between the items, air cannot circulate and this affects the temperature distribution. If frost is allowed to accumulate, the fridge will not function efficiently. In addition space is reduced when frost builds up. Defrost your fridge regularly using warm water and a cleaning agent.

Some foods do not need, and may even lose quality, if they are put in the fridge; for example, exotic fruits, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and zucchini. Bread goes stale more quickly in the refrigerator. Fruits and vegetables that need to ripen should also be kept at room temperature.

During summer, if the kitchen temperature rises significantly, the fridge temperature dial will need to be set at a colder setting than during the winter. Be sure the door is closed tightly at all times. Open the doors only when necessary and close them as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that food is kept safe in the fridge only as long as stated on the label.


The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) is a non-profit organisation which communicates science-based information on nutrition and health, food safety and quality, to help consumers to be better informed when choosing a well-balanced, safe and healthful diet.

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This site was last updated 26/05/2016
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