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When you call make sure you have the BRAND and MODEL of your fridge or freezer and a brief description of the problem. From regular service to emergency fridge repairs, Melbourne Fridgeworks are domestic refrigeration specialists. Contact us today for honest, reliable service and advice.

03 9571 5918

PO Box 119
Darling South VIC 3145

Accounts & General Enquiries Only

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The Best Way to Store Food in a Refrigerator


We all have our own way of stocking a fridge. But if you put the right foods on the right shelf and have your fridge at the ideal temperature, you will get the most out of your fresh fruit and veg, meat and leftovers. How you package it is important as well.  It’s also about food safety. Spoilt food contains harmful bacteria that can lead to severe and life-threatening food poisoning.


The ideal refrigerator temperature is 3°C, while the ideal temperature for the freezer is -18°C. Make sure that the fridge temperature is consistently at these levels. Here are tips to keep your family safe:


Using the top shelf


This is where the ready-to-eat packaged food goes – yogurt, cheese, spread, dips, jams and preserves. Often these are packaged foods and should be stored in their original sealed packaging. If you’ve scooped out a part of dip container, don’t put the leftovers back in. Store them separately. It’s best to use airtight containers for the leftovers.  Here’s a tip: Organise them on the shelf by type. For instance – put all the dairy products together, butter, yogurt and margarine and the non-dairy like jam bottles, pickle, chutneys etc. in the opposite corner. Easy to find and access, and you won’t leave the fridge door ajar for too long, warming up the temperature. Most packaged ready-to-eat food usually has a recommended storage temperature of under 4°C, so it should be fine so long as you consume it within the expiry date. Do a weekly purge and throw away everything that is no longer valid.


The middle shelf


This one is perfect for cooked leftovers. Invest in some good food-grade containers with airtight lids. Once the meal is done, store the leftovers ideally within two hours of cooking them. Even your cooked meat should be on this shelf. Cool it down, but you can put it away even if the container feels slightly warm. Here’s the best way to store leftovers:  Use a couple or more of small containers rather than one big one. Small containers will cool down faster, especially at the centre, preserving the food better. Smaller containers are also easier to reheat and eat the next day, especially if all you want is a single serve. As you use them up, you will create more space in the fridge, rather than having to wait for the large one to finish.


This is the shelf that tends to be overloaded. We don’t want to throw away delicious, healthy home-cooked meals. But remember to consume them within 72 hours (or earlier) for best nutritional value, or freeze some portions to eat later. Don’t overstuff this shelf to the extent that it covers the cooling vent.


Bottom shelf


This one is best for the raw uncooked meat. This category of food has the highest chances of contaminating other foods. Being at the bottom prevents any fluid from the meat dripping to other shelves. Keep it in the original sealed packaging until you are ready to marinate or cook it. If you need to put the marinated meat back in the fridge, seal the container well, ensuring that nothing can drip out and contaminate other foods. This is very important: Do not store cooked food alongside raw uncooked meat. Make sure everyone in the family knows to avoid the last shelf to store anything other than raw meat.


Fruit & Vegetable Drawers


Working out the best way to store your fruit and vegetables can be a bit tricky – because they all have a different ideal temperature. If you have a dual chiller, separate the fruit and veg – they give out different types of gasses, which can spoilt nearby produce faster. It’s important to keep the moisture in and the gas out so store in plastic bags that are unsealed or have holes. There is also a wide variety of specialised produce bags available, so check out if some of them meet your needs. Always throw away old unusable produce and clean the drawers before you put fresh groceries in.


Follow these rules and you will get the most out of the food you buy and cook.


And if you find your fridge is not keeping cool enough to keep your food safe despite changing the temperature, getting someone like Melbourne Fridgeworks who can fix it onsite will save you transportation costs and get your fridge working in the quickest time possible.