Some of my biggest kitchen messes/adventures have occurred in or near the refrigerator. There was the time that I sneezed while holding a smoothie destined for the fridge. Let’s just say I had smoothie smear from the floor to ceiling (including inside the fridge). 

I still receive family commentary about the vintage bottle of Worcestershire sauce that had been in my fridge since 2012 (discovered in 2018). For the record, food dates on labels don’t magically make a food go “bad” on printed package dates. Make it a priority to use food items in your inventory. This may require you to try new recipes or feature “freezer surprise” items on your menu.

If you want a clean start to the new year, I would encourage you to clean and organize your fridge. 

1. Remove the food and keep it in an ice chest or another refrigerator.

2. Unplug the fridge. Clean underneath and behind the appliance to remove dust.

3. Remove drawers and shelves. Let glass shelves adjust to room temperature so they don’t crack. Wash with hot, soapy water. Use a toothbrush to get into tight spaces.

4. Wipe down the interior walls of the fridge and door shelves.

5. Dry all surfaces with a clean towel or paper towels.

6. Sanitize with a solution of 1 tablespoon liquid bleach in 1 gallon of water.

7. Plug the fridge back in and put shelves and drawers in their spots.

8. Restock the fridge and clean any containers and bottles. Toss anything past its prime and make a shopping list.

 Between cleanings, wipe up spills as they happen to keep the fridge as clean as possible. I cleaned my fridge before Thanksgiving and it is time to do another quick cleaning. Let’s all start the year with a clean refrigerator.

Sources: www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/ communication/clean-refrigerator-steps.html and www.cleaninginstitute.org/cleaning-tips/ clean-home/room-room/cleaning-refrigerator

 

K-State Research and Extension

Jan. 3 — Sitter Solutions, the beginning babysitting class for ages 11-15; 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $10, Winfield. Call (620) 221-5450 to register.

Jan. 15, 22, 29 & Feb. 5 — Farm Financial Skills for Kansas Women in Agriculture, 5:30-8:30 p.m., $40. Call (620) 221-5450 for information.

 

Becky Reid is the family and consumer sciences agent for K-State Research and Extension, Cowley County. She can be reached at (620) 221-5450 or (620) 441-4565.

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