Cleaning the refrigerator

When cleaning many forget to clean the refrigerator. Cleaning the refrigerator is important to help prevent foodborne illness, reports Extension Educator Carol Schwarz.
    Start by unplugging the refrigerator. Slide a coil brush underneath the unit’s kick plate (the rectangular panel just above the floor) to remove dust.
    Empty the items in the refrigerator and put them on a counter or table. Check the dates on all containers, packages and condiments. Throw away, in a trash bag, anything that is past its date or is not dated. Do not leave perishable food out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.
    Remove shelving, drawers and any other removable parts. Wash by hand with warm, soapy water. Rinse with clean water and allow to air dry. Wipe the inside of the empty refrigerator with warm, soapy water, then re-wipe with clean water to remove the soap. Do not forget to wipe inside the doors and any drawers that cannot be removed. An old toothbrush works great to dislodge food particles from crevices and the rubber door seal. After cleaning, use a solution of one tablespoon of liquid bleach in one gallon of water to sanitize the refrigerator.
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