Food Safety in the Refrigerator

How and where you store your food in the refrigerator can help improve the shelf life of your food and its safety.

Milk and Eggs: Store milk and eggs in the refrigerator at the back not on the door. Frequent opening of the door will increase the temperature of the foods on the door and reduce their shelf life. Store eggs and milk in their original cartons. The carton protects the eggs and prevents them from absorbing strong odours and flavours of other foods in your fridge through the thousands of tiny pores in the egg shell. Secondly, the Best Before Date is always visible to you so you can guarantee freshness. The milk carton also helps prevent milk from absorbing odours from the fridge, it has the best before date and it has a special coating on the inside of the carton that prevents vitamin D from sticking to it. Transferring milk to another container can reduce the amount of vitamin D you get from milk.

Fruits and vegetables: Use your crisper to keep fruit and vegetables fresh. Store berries in their original container. Some vegetables last longer if wrapped in a plastic bag. Be sure to toss vegetables that are spoiling before the mold spreads to other produce.

Meats: if you have a designated meat drawer use that. Otherwise store meat on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. The bottom shelf is the coldest part of the fridge. Storing on the bottom shelf also ensures that meat drippings don’t drip onto fresh produce below.

Shelf Life in the fridge:

  • Raw cut meat (steaks) 2-4 days
  • Raw ground meats 1-2 days
  • Raw poultry 2-3 days
  • Raw fish 1-3 days depending on fish
  • Deli meats 3-5 days
  • Opened hot dogs and bacon 7 days
  • Eggs in the shell 3-4 weeks
  • Unopened milk Best before date
  • Open milk 3-5 days
  • Unopened yogurt Best before date
  • Opened yogurt 3-5 days
  • Open almond or oat milk 7-10 days
  • Condiments such as mayo, mustard and ketchup (opened)3-6 months
  • Leftover cooked meals 3-4 days


Use a fridge thermometer. Make sure the Freezer is kept at -18degrees C (0 degrees F)and the fridge at 4 degrees Celsius or (40 degrees F).

Be sure to wash the inside of your fridge regularly with hot soapy water to avoid cross-contamination. For more information on food safety go to https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/food-safety.html

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