If you store your milk in the refrigerator door, you should probably stop

Home organization is super important for a well-balanced mind, right? Hence the multiple trips to IKEA to utilize whatever spaces need a little de-cluttering. However, the often overlooked piece of equipment used most often, the refrigerator, may play a bigger role than we realize. In order to minimize food waste and offset foodborne illness, it’s vital to learn where to store your food — particularly milk.

How many of you store milk in that little side compartment (answer: everyone, right?!)? Apparently we’ve been doing it all wrong.

No one wants to pour a glass of spoiled milk, but if it’s been hanging in the side, you’re risking it with every glass. To prevent this from happening, Good Housekeeping UK has some helpful tips to keep things fresh — especially the milk!

First things first: Prep the area

To get the best usage (and keep things from spoiling too fast), make sure the temperature is set correctly (between 33-39 degrees F), and always avoid putting your hot takeaway box directly in before it’s cooled. It’s tempting to just shove it in there when you get home from the restaurant, but don’t! When we do this, the overall temps of the fridge go up, spoiling other items in the process.

What about the milk?

Milk should be on the lower and middle shelves, along with other dairy such as cheeses, butter, and yogurt. Who knew? Above it, place leftovers and deli meats (or anything else that doesn’t require a cook time) and below, which is the coldest part, should store wrapped, raw meats. This also keeps cross-contamination from happening in case of drippage.

If you have drawers, use those for herbs, fruits and vegetables. Now for the pesky side door! If not for milk, then what? It’s apparently the warmest part of the entire unit. Put your condiments here because they don’t care much about temperature fluctuation.

Obviously this is a huge shock to everyone who’s had their milk in the side piece. With a little rearranging, it’ll last longer, and you won’t risk getting sick with every glass. So the next time you’re about to store your gallon on the side, seriously, just stop! The middle is where it’s at. Trust us — your milk (and body) will thank you later.

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