Summer is just around the corner, providing you with a great
opportunity to make sure your refrigerator is running like it should be. A few
easy steps can help you keep food cooler than 40°F and out of the danger zone.
Dust can accumulate quickly on the front of your
refrigerator. Start by cleaning the grill to help airflow. If it has been
awhile since you last wiped down the shelves of your refrigerator you may
consider doing it before summer starts. 
Take the food out and use warm water
and dish soap or baking soda to clean the inside of your fridge. Don’t use chemicals that can contaminate your
food. It’s also a good idea to clean the door seals. Removing residue will help
ensure cool air doesn’t escape.
Be sure to organize your refrigerator with raw
proteins on the bottom shelves and ready to eat food, like fruits and veggies, at the
top shelves. Although it may be difficult at times, try not to clutter your fridge by
stacking food too tightly. This can prevent airflow from keeping food cool. If
air can’t circulate throughout your fridge properly food temperature can rise,
allowing bacteria to grow.
Finally, if you have an appliance thermometer, check that
your refrigerator is holding temperature correctly. Place the thermometer in
the front of your fridge where warm air is most commonly found. The thermometer
must read at or below 40°F. If not, adjust the thermostat dial and check again.
If food is left in the danger zone for more than four hours it should be
Maintain your refrigerator:
  •  Clean the inside of your refrigerator and the
    outside vent.
  • Store food properly.
  • Declutter your fridge to allow proper airflow.
  • Keep a thermometer in your refrigerator to check
    it is below 40°F.

Keep your family safe from foodborne illness by starting
with where you store food – the refrigerator.