One of the most important questions that I asked myself while refrigerating somethings is that is it necessary to cover the foods stored inside the fridge? Here, I will try to address this topic based on the result I observed by storing foods with and without cover inside the fridge.
I found it necessary and very important to cover the foods stored inside the fridge because of the following reasons.
- Foods remain fresh for longer when covered before refrigerating
- Covering foods before refrigerating prevent contamination
- Covering refrigerated foods keep the fridge clean form much longer
- Covering foods inside the fridge reduces freezer burn
Let us briefly discuss these points in the following sections.
1. Foods remain fresh for longer when covered
Covering foods in airtight boxes and bags or with a foil paper helps it to remain fresh for longer. The changes in color, smell, and taste for foods that were covered before putting into the fridge are less.
On the other hand, I found foods that were kept open inside the fridge looking quite pale and lacking flavor after the same refrigeration duration.
The smell of the food refrigerated without a cover can be bad.
The cool airflow inside the fridge takes most of the smell away with it while chilling down the food. As a result, food lacks its natural smell. The mixed odor of the cooling air from different foods can induce bad smelling to the refrigerated foods without cover.
2. Covering foods before refrigerating prevents contamination
Covering foods also minimizes the chance of contamination.
Fungus and bacteria can grow in refrigerated foods if it is in the fridge for a long time. Not maintaining proper temperature can accelerate their growth in foods.
If there is an expired food item in the refrigerator or any already spoiled food is placed inside the fridge accidentally, they can become a potential source of bacterial and fungal growth inside the fridge.
Dripping from raw foods like meat and fish into cooked items can spoil the later one.
Whatever the reason is for a bacterial and fungal infection inside your fridge, these organisms can transmit via air that is flowing inside the fridge to refrigerate items. Other fresh foods kept inside the fridge can be contaminated by these organisms. Infected items spoil soon and become inedible.
Covering keeps food separate form one another. The food itself do not make contact with the air of the fridge. Fungus and bacterias from spoiled items can not infect fresh ones.
Without cover, fungal and bacterial infection can occur from one spoiled food to others without any obstacle. Soon, all the items get infected and spoiled.
Covering food is a must to maintain food hygiene inside the fridge.
3. Covering refrigerated foods keeps the fridge clean
The fridge also remains clean for much longer when cooked foods are stored in airtight boxes or raw items are stored in airtight bags. The fridge cabin smells fresh and fungal contaminations are less often.
Dripping and spilling from foods make the fridge dirty. Odors from foods mix with the air. After some days the air start smelling bad.
Microorganisms like fungus and bacteria from spoiled foods also mix with the air of the fridge. These particles deposit in different places of the fridge and continue growing there.
A portion of vegetable deposits under the vegetable crisper. Over time, this makes the crisper dirty.
Water and blood from the raw meat and fish deposit on the freezer floor. This deposit makes the freezer dirty and unusable over time.
Using airtight box and bags for storing these items inside the fridge prevents these dripping and spilling. As a result, the fridge remains clean for longer.
4. Covering foods inside fridge reduces freezer burn
Covering also decreases the freezer burn. In direct cool models, freezer burn is a common problem. Freezer burnt foods look pale and become tasteless.
Freezer burnt food gets damaged due to dehydration inside the fridge. It occurs when the cool air of the fridge comes in contact with the food. Check this article to know more about freezer burn.
The cool air inside the fridge is generally dry. Lack of hydration in the air makes it sucks the moisture out of the foods. The moisture from the food surface gets evaporated and consumed by the air. Foods become dehydrated and dry.
When foods are covered and airtight before refrigerating, the air of the fridge does not make direct contact with the food. The rate of evaporation of the moisture from the food surface is reduced. As a result, foods are less prone to freezer burn.
Covering foods before refrigerating is important for keeping it fresh for longer. It helps to maintain food hygiene and prevent food contamination. The fridge also remains clean for much longer if all the items are covered in any form of airtight mechanism before refrigerating.
Besides these, covering helps to refrigerate more items in the same space compared to the amount of food when kept open.
It could be a tedious job. But keeping in mind the potential danger that food contamination could cause and knowing the benefits of covering foods, we should always try to cover foods before refrigerating.
We may show laziness for fruits and vegetables. But for cooked foods and raw fish and meat items, we must cover them before refrigerating.