Whether from boredom or a stomach growl: We open our fridge up to 20 times a day – and yet we know so little about its interior. Do eggs belong in the refrigerator, how long can meat be in the freezer and do tomatoes feel most comfortable in the vegetable compartment? Every one of you probably has one at home and uses it every day – the fridge! All kinds of things are stored in there – in addition to food, some also include nail polishes, medicines or creams. When it comes to refrigerators and food storage, you may come across conflicting advice or plain misinformation. In this little articlebellow, five of the greatest fridge myths are introduced and straightened out.
MYTH 1: EGGS DON’T BELONG IN THE FRIDGE
Not correct! Supermarkets always store eggs unrefrigerated while we put them in the fridge at home. Eggs survive the first 18 days without cooling: the cuticle, a natural protective layer, keeps germs like salmonella away during this time. Afterward, however, you should store the eggs at 10 to 15 degrees in the refrigerator door. Then you can eat and process them carefree up to 28 days after the laying date.
MYTH 2: THE REFRIGERATOR IS A POWER HOG
A myth that persists but is not always correct. Most of the refrigerators are set too cold, which eats a lot of electricity. At the highest level, a refrigerator even reaches minus degrees – this damages the food. Things last the longest at 5 to 7 degrees. So turn it down to levels 2 to 3. A tip for the optimal temperature: The butter should be spreadable – even fresh from the fridge.
MYTH 3: THE FRIDGE KILLS BACTERIA
Bacteria are immortal, aren’t they? Although they freeze at -18 degrees, what many do not suspect: if the food thaws, the germs live on – and double their number every 20 minutes. Therefore, defrost meat and other perishable foods in the refrigerator to slow down the multiplication. De-ice the freezer twice a year to optimize cooling. You should, however, wipe the fridge with vinegar cleaner once a month. Who doesn’t know this myth? Nevertheless, there is a little bit of truth in it: the nitrate contained in the spinach turns into nitrite – a carcinogenic substance – when kept warm for a long time. However, if spinach is only heated briefly and then placed in the cold, nothing stands in the way of reheating it.
MYTH 4: COLD WEATHER CAUSES FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO RIPEN MORE SLOWLY
Some fruits and vegetables are like it fresh – but far from everyone. Exotic fruits like pineapple and citrus prefer the warmth of their home countries. Onions and potatoes can become inedible if stored too cold, as the starch they contain turns into sugar. Vegetables rich in water, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, or zucchini, should also be stored at over 12 degrees – in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Only sensitive berries extend their lifespan in the fridge.
MYTH 5: OPENED CANNED FOOD SHOULD BE KEPT IN THE FRIDGE
Opened canned foods do not belong in the refrigerator or anywhere else. Reason: The cans are made of sheet metal, which will rust as soon as it comes into contact with oxygen. A layer protects the inside, but a can opener often damages it. Harmful substances, such as the disease-causing plasticizer bisphenol A, can thus be transferred to the contents of the can. To be on the safe side: fill the remains of the preserve into an airtight glass – or suitable plastic boxes – then into the refrigerator.
There are so many myths around the use of a refrigerator everywhere every day, and if you are not well informed, it is easy to get confused. It is always good to educate yourself on facts about your gadget to avoid confusion and unnecessary panic. The refrigerator also comes with a manual which clearly states how it should be handled for maximum efficiency. In case you notice your gadget is faulty, it is always good to call a technician to have it checked. Remember, a defective refrigerator may not serve you as you desire and may also be a health hazard to the user. Always use your refrigerator according to the manufactures instructions.