The Fridge Map You Never Knew You Needed

Photo: Dave Bradley/Getty Images.
Just because your milk fits oh-so-conveniently in the door of your fridge doesn't mean you should keep it there. Thanks to Delish's new regional map of refrigeration, which looks at things like temperature fluctuation, overall temps, and the possibility of drips and spills, the site declares that you should stow your dairy products on the lower or middle shelves.
First off, make sure your fridge is set between 33 and 39 degrees Fahrenheit. That way, the actual temp will hover around 41 degrees.
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While many refrigerators have gallon-friendly door shelves, this area is actually the warmest part of your fridge. Instead of storing milk and yogurt there, Delish says to stock the area with condiments, jams, and juice. Basically, this is for things with preservatives, since they'll need 'em going from cold to not-so-cold so often. Place your milk on the lower or middle shelves alongside cheese and eggs, but not close to the back of the fridge, as that's the coldest area.
Keep the bottom shelf and back of the fridge reserved for meat and fish. Being the coldest area, it'll keep those items fresher. Placing meat on the bottom also minimizes the risk of drips and cross-contamination.
As for the green stuff, store your greens and herbs in the refrigerator drawers. That way, they won't freeze. Veggies and herbs are more delicate than other items, so make sure they're never pushed to the back or smashed against things like jars of pickles and artichoke hearts. Drawers keep 'em safe.
Things that should never go in the fridge? Delish says "gas releasers," such as avocados, tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, pears, and plums, don't need refrigeration at all. They'll actually make other fruits and vegetables spoil faster, so leave them out and you'll have longer-lasting produce all around.
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