There's a lot to consider when you're deciding on a refrigerator—not all refrigerators are created equal. With any one, a variety of factors impact the freshness of your food. You already know that if your food is too warm, it'll spoil more quickly, but did you know that humidity plays a role as well? With the right humidity and temperature levels, your delicate produce will stay fresher, longer. Air quality, too, is important: You don't want bacteria, mold, and viruses invading your precious fruits and vegetables.
Sub-Zero refrigerators are designed to combat all of these freshness foes. Featuring an air purification system that scrubs the air of microbes, high-humidity crisper drawers, precise temperature control, and a four-sided magnetic gasket seal to prevent air leakage, Sub-Zero refrigerators work to keep your food fresh. But no matter what refrigerator you own, there's plenty you can do to reduce spoilage. Here are some dos and don'ts from the experts at Sub-Zero to help extend the shelf life of your food.
Minimize Food Handling: This may seem pretty basic, but the more you touch your food, the faster it'll spoil. Let's start with the fact that your hands are warm, and that transferred heat can cause food to turn. Your hands may also be dirty, and that bacteria can easily spread to whatever you're holding. Our tip? After you purchase your food, store it right away, and take it out only when you're ready to get cooking.
Store Produce in High-Humidity, Low-Temperature Drawers: As a general rule, you should always store similar items together in specific spots in your refrigerator. For example, your produce should be stored in the low-temperature, high-humidity drawers down below. The ideal refrigerator should be cool with high humidity (while a freezer should be cold and dry).
Wrap Vegetables in Plastic or Store in Airtight Containers: To further protect your fruits and veggies from humidity, always wrap them in plastic or store them in airtight containers. Have you ever left a rogue piece of naked celery in the refrigerator before? Let us guess: It didn't last very long.
Store Meat in Its Original Packaging: Building on the rule against too much food handling, after you've purchased meat from the grocery store, don't take it out of its packaging and put it in a different container. This can lead to oxidation and even cross-contamination. If you're concerned that the store packaging might leak, wrap the whole package in plastic, or store in an airtight container.
Keep Your Dairy in the Door: While it might seem the most convenient, the door is not the best place for your dairy. In fact, the door tends to be the warmest part of your refrigerator. It's best suited to store condiments, like ketchup, soy sauce, and mustard. Instead, store milk in toward the back on the shelf, which will stay colder than the area closer to the door. Sub-Zero refrigerators will keep you following this rule: door shelves are not built to hold standard milk containers.
Store Ethylene-Producing Foods With Ethylene-Sensitive Foods: Ethylene is a key ingredient in ripening and overripening. Some fruits and vegetables produce ethylene, while others are ethylene-sensitive. Don't place your ethylene-producing apples right next to your ethylene-sensitive greens, or your spinach will turn before you have time to throw together a salad.
Throw All Your Produce in the Refrigerator: Some things, like garlic and tomatoes, just don't belong in the refrigerator. They don't require the cool temperature or humidity control and are best left out on the counter. Other produce, like avocados, mangoes, and pears, should also be left to ripen on the counter—once they're ripe, you can move them to the refrigerator to maximize freshness.