Don't Throw it Away: Where to store food - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Don't Throw it Away: Where to store food

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

When you're browsing the aisles at the grocery store, do you ever stop to think about where everything will go once you get back home?

If you want to make sure you don't waste food, it's crucial to put items in the right place.

Jackie Ogden, a Family Consumer Science specialist at the University of Georgia, said food has to be put away no later than two hours after being purchased. She also said it's very important to know two very important numbers.

"The magic number is, you want your fridge to be at 40 degrees or lower," she said, "and the freezer needs to be at zero or below."

When it comes to meat, you can freeze ground beef for three to four months before it goes bad. But, if you plan on cooking within one or two days, place meat towards the bottom of your fridge in its original wrapping.

Milk can be frozen and kept for up to three months, but in the fridge, place it towards the top where it's the coldest. Also, make sure you drink milk within seven days.

"From the standpoint of cold items and beverages such as milk, we want it to be at the cold part of the refrigerator," Ogden said.

As far as eggs are concerned, Ogden said they should not be placed in egg trays if they're on the door. The reason for this? The opening and closing of a refrigerator can cause eggs to go bad quickly.

Other dairy products, like sour cream and cheese, should be kept in their original containers.

Lastly, produce. When you're in the store Ogden suggests picking fruits or vegetables that aren't bruised or damaged, and keep them separated from other foods to prevent cross-contamination.

Also, it's always a good idea to buy fruits and veggies in season, as they usually aren't shipped from hundreds of miles away.

For more information on the difference between "sell-by" dates and "use-by" dates, click here.

For a guide to where food goes in the fridge, check out this article from Food Republic, or this one from Real Simple.

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