Half of British people don’t know what temperature their own fridge should be, according to a new study that suggests fridges kept too warm can lead to food waste.
WRAP, the food waste charity, says the average fridge is running at 7°C, despite Food Standard Agency guidelines stating your fridge should be set at a cool temperature of between 0-5°C.
£15 billion worth of food is binned by UK households every year, with incorrect storage – such as refrigerating it at the wrong temperature – being cited as a major cause of waste.
“Our fridges are often too hot for our food to handle, which means that milk and other food items are going off too soon and getting thrown away. We wouldn’t chuck money in the bin, but the average UK family wastes £70 a month by wasting food that could have been eaten,” Helen White, from WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste initiative, said.
Love Food Hate Waste has released a list of tips to help you keep your food at optimum temperature.
Shut the fridge door
The temperature inside a fridge rises significantly each time the door is opened and could take hours to cool down again. Make sure you shut the door when you get your milk out to make a cuppa.
Use a thermometer
Keep a fridge thermometer inside your fridge so you can keep an eye on the temperature.
Don’t put hot food straight in the fridge
Cool cooked food at room temperature and place in the fridge within one to two hours.
Store food in the right area of the fridge
Some parts of the fridge are less cool than others – for example, the door. You can check out WRAP’s video for advice on where best to store different items.
Keep it cool
Use a cool bag to keep chilled food cool on the way home from the shops.