Have you looked in your parents’ fridge lately? Many people have disorderly fridges with that disgusting science experiment growing in a forgotten container. If your mom and dad are not the type to pay attention to expiration dates, they could be risking their health. Here are three things you should tackle when cleaning your mom and dad’s fridge and freezer.

Pull Out Expired Items

Start by pulling out everything found in the fridge. Check dates on everything and compost or dispose of expired foods. Wash and recycle the containers. You’ll want to look at produce for mold, mildew, or rotten spots. Check the dates on any packages of meats and throw out any meats that smell funny or have been opened and exposed to the air.

Refrigerated items like eggs last five weeks in a fridge. Opened deli meats should be used within five days. Bacon and sausage are okay in the fridge for a week. Cooked meats like chicken, beef, and pork are okay for four days.

Go through the freezer next. Check the expiration dates on meats. The FDA recommends storing beef and pork in a freezer for as long as a year. Ground beef, pork, turkey, and chicken should only be stored for four months. Chicken and turkey are good for nine months to a year. Frozen seafood should be thrown out if it’s older than six months.

Disinfect Walls, Drawers, and Shelves

Once the fridge is emptied, use a white vinegar or bleach-based cleaner to disinfect every inch of the fridge. You may need to let the cleaner sit on sticky spills before scrubbing. Wipe down every surface to dry it.

Organize While Checking for Recalls

When placing items back into the fridge, you should organize. While you organize, check for recalls. Some of the more recent ones in 2017 include papayas (salmonella) and Sabrett hot dogs (bone shards). Meats should be on the bottom shelf, preferably on a plate, to keep the meat juices from accidentally dripping onto other items.

If you want to absorb any odors, place an open container of baking soda in the back of the fridge where it is unlikely to get knocked over. You can also line vegetable bins with paper towels to absorb any moisture from fruits and vegetables that have been washed before storing.

One of the best ways to make sure your mom and dad eat healthy meals each day is by hiring caregivers. A home care agency is happy to explain the different services caregivers offer. Your parents may need help keeping up with housework or preparing meals. Call a home care agency to discuss those services and other benefits.


If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Brooklyn Park, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.