CHOICE tells you how to stack your fridge to make your eggs, tomatoes, milk, cheese and butter last longer

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An Australian consumer group has revealed exactly how to stack your fridge to keep all kinds of produce, dairy and packaged goods fresher for longer – and the order may surprise you.

CHOICE white goods expert Ashley Iredale claims it’s worth taking the time to order your fruits and vegetables, milk and butter, rather than ‘jamming’ them into spare spaces you see, as this will ultimately lead to lower electricity bills and better tasting food.

In general, he recommends leaving room for air circulation between each product in the refrigerator, as this will allow the electronic device to work more effectively — and save you money in the long run.

‘Leave frequently used items at the front, where they are easily accessible. Nobody wants to look for the tomato sauce, and the longer the fridge door is open, the more energy you use,” he said.

As a general rule, piping hot food scraps should not be placed directly in the fridge or freezer as the other food already in it will heat up.

So what else do we need to know?

CHOICE white goods expert Ashley Iredale claims it’s worth taking the time to properly order your fruits and vegetables, milk and butter

DAIRY

Store your butter and cheese in the dedicated dairy compartment, usually in the door of the refrigerator, and milk also in the door for added convenience.

If you want your milk to last longer, it should always be placed upright – to avoid spills – and in the coldest part of the fridge, which can be further back on the shelves if you open it a lot.

Butter is stored in the dairy compartment because it’s a slightly warmer area than the rest of the fridge, meaning you can still spread it out every time you take it out.

“The fats in butter also absorb taste and smells from nearby foods, so the handy lid keeps your butter tasting like, well, butter,” Iredale said.

The same goes for cheese, but if you plan on keeping it for more than a few days, it’s best to place the plate in the refrigerator rather than in the door to help it cool down and prevent listeria contamination.

Meanwhile, eggs should be stored in their original carton — rather than the plastic container in the refrigerator — as it slows moisture loss and helps you keep track of when they spoil.

To extend the shelf life of your milk, it should always be placed upright - to avoid spills - and stored in the coldest part of the fridge which, if opened a lot, can be further back on the shelves

To extend the shelf life of your milk, it should always be placed upright – to avoid spills – and stored in the coldest part of the fridge which, if opened a lot, can be further back on the shelves

FRUIT AND VEG

The crisper drawer at the bottom of the refrigerator is where fruits and vegetables thrive.

It’s not as dry as the rest of the fridge, so it’s designed to keep produce fresher for longer.

However, tomatoes should be kept in a fruit bowl on the counter to keep them wonderfully tasty, and should be kept away from the refrigerator.

Fruits and vegetables will thrive in the crisper drawer at the bottom of the refrigerator

Fruits and vegetables will thrive in the crisper drawer at the bottom of the refrigerator

MEAT AND FISH

These products are best stored at a temperature of zero degrees, which is colder than the main compartment of the refrigerator.

If you have a cooler this is where they should be placed, but if you don’t go to the back of the fridge where they can be kept colder – away from the warm opening of the door.

Raw chicken can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days, but if you plan on cooking it the following week, freeze it.

Chicken leftovers will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator if placed in an airtight container.

These products are best stored at a temperature of zero degrees, which is colder than the main compartment of the refrigerator

These products are best stored at a temperature of zero degrees, which is colder than the main compartment of the refrigerator

BREAD

Keep bread out of the refrigerator and well wrapped to prevent moisture loss.

“Apart from moisture loss, one of the factors that contribute to bread becoming hard and stale is the starch of the wheat that forms (or rather, reforms) into crystals, which happens more quickly at lower temperatures,” he said.

Interestingly, freezing bread can also prevent the wheat from forming crystals, so if you know you’re not going to devour it right away, put it in there.

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