If you read our previous post, I’m pretty sure you don’t think mold is a good thing (except in a few select cheeses such as Brie and Gorgonzola. Yum.) But how do we keep mold from growing on food?
You may think refrigerating fresh produce is the best way to deter mold, but that’s actually the opposite of what you should do in many cases. If you the berries you bought at the supermarket were in the refrigerator case, pop them in the refrigerator as soon as you get home. If you bought tomatoes at room temperature, keep them out on the counter.
Exposing foods to different temperatures and changing levels of humidity can encourage mold growth.
Remember the old adage, “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch”? Well, it happens to be true, but as I write this it seems pretty stupid, because apples don’t come in bunches, do they? But I digress. If you are given to buying produce by the box or bag–think Costco size–it’s best to bring it home and spread it all out and inspect each one for discoloration or mushy places. Throw any offenders into the trash, because they really will contaminate the whole bunch.
It is not a good idea to buy berries of any kind in bulk unless you’re going to use them right away. Their soft skin and high moisture content make them especially susceptible to mold. Buy only as much as you can use in the next few days. And inspect the whole container before you use them.
Check the rubber door seal of your refrigerator. If you see any telltale grey, wash the seal with a 50:50 vinegar and water solution. Rinse thoroughly. Also pay particular attention to any drawers or containers that have had moldy food in them.
Okay, so these last two posts have been kind of, well, yucky. I’m not having any fun writing them either, if truth be told. But this is all a part of housekeeping. So we hope it’s been helpful. If you’re just not “into” cleaning out your refrigerator, call a good housecleaning service and have them do it. All the housekeeping tips in the world won’t substitute for getting the job done.