How to organise your fridge
First things first, start with organising your fridge. Knowing how to store food once you get it home from the supermarket and organise your fridge correctly will help you avoid food poisoning by reducing the risk of cross contamination between raw and ready to eat foods as well as helping you to reduce food wastage.
Did you know? The average household with children could save around £60 per month by reducing their food waste and saving food that could have been eaten from being thrown away?!
So, how exactly should you organise your fridge and what else do you need to know to help keep the food in your fridge safer for longer?
- Most importantly, check the temperature of your fridge. To reduce the risk of food poisoning, make sure your fridge is running between 1-5⁰C. If your fridge doesn’t have a built-in thermometer, then you can check this using a fridge thermometer or a food probe.
- Organise your fridge to make sure you store raw meat and fish separately from ready to eat foods. The best place to store raw meat and raw fish is the bottom shelf – not only does this prevent cross contamination of juices dripping onto other foods below, but is also the coldest part of the fridge
- Keep cooked and ready to eat foods higher up, saving the doors for condiments, jams and juices as the doors are most at risk of temperature fluctuations
- It’s best to store eggs in the fridge for safety and freshness as this ensures eggs are stored at a constant temperature below 20⁰C.
- First in, first out – when returning from the supermarket, put new foods at the back so using older products first will come naturally!
- Don’t forget to also keep an eye on packs in the fridge that have been opened! Opening a product with a ‘use by’ date (more on these next) such as ham or milk, will change the shelf life and usually means it will need to be used within the next few days, or popped in the freezer.
Plan ahead when preparing your baby’s meals
Planning ahead the meals you want to cook for baby (and yourself!) for the next couple of days will help you decide what foods you can keep in the fridge, and which foods to freeze!
It’s important when planning your meals to be aware of the difference between ‘use by’ dates and ‘best before’ dates. Put simply, ‘use by’ dates are there for your safety and mustn’t be ignored whereas, ‘best before’ dates are about quality. Whilst food is safe to eat past its ‘best before’ date (but might not taste as good), food past its ‘use by’ date is not safe to eat especially as you often can’t tell if a food is unsafe by its appearance, smell or taste, so it’s not worth the risk; particularly when there are little ones involved.
The good news is that it is perfectly safe to cook or freeze food right up until (and including) the ‘use by’ date. So, if you’re not going to use something before it’s ‘use by’ date, either pop it in the freezer or cook it and use the leftovers within the next 2 days.
Don’t be put off freezing your foods as this has no impact on being able to freeze the leftovers.
Did you know? Even if you use previously frozen raw meat when cooking, you can still portion and freeze the cooked leftovers to reheat another day?!
Kitchen essentials for weaning your baby
When you start out on your weaning journey, there are so many weaning ‘essentials’ covering everything from choosing the right highchair, spoons, bibs, plates (and so much more…) but don’t forget to stock up your kitchen with essential items that will help make your food prep easier and safer.
I’ve put together a list of my top 10 weaning kitchen essentials to help make sure the food you serve is safe, that little bit easier!
1. Food probe
2. Colour coded equipment
3. Freezer labels
4. Portion pots
5. Antibacterial cleaner
6. A selection of cloths and tea towels
7. Airtight containers
8. Food cover
9. Fridge thermometer
Jenna is a fully qualified Environmental Health Practitioner specialising in food safety and public health.
She obtained a first-class Batchelor (BSc) degree in Environmental Health and has since qualified as an Environmental Health Practitioner with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH). Over the past 12 years she has worked in both the public and private sector advising businesses on all things food safety and public health.
Since becoming a Mum to her 2-year-old little girl Mia, she understands first-hand how much things change when you have a little one to think about too! She has always been passionate about food safety and her mission as Food Safety Mum is to help give parents confidence when cooking at home or when eating out and about!
For lots more food safety advice, follow Jenna on Instagram