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Why You Should Keep Your Fruits & Vegetables Separated

It
happens far too often; we buy food at the grocery store and we have
to throw it away before it gets eaten. Not only is it wasteful, it’s
costly – researchers estimate that up to 40% of the food that we
buy actually ends up in the trash, not our stomachs.
One of
the hardest foods to keep fresh is produce, whether it be fruits or
vegetables. Even under proper conditions, fresh produce doesn’t have
a very long shelf life, and if you store it the wrong way it could
spoil in just a few days.
What is
the easiest way to extend the lifespan of your fruits and vegetables?
By keeping them separated!
Most
refrigerators have two produce drawers; take the hint and use them
both. Why? The answer is quite simple: as they ripen, most fruits
produce a gas called ethylene. Many vegetables, on the other hands,
are sensitive to ethylene, and exposure to it causes premature
rotting, spotting, and softening of the texture.
This list will help you understand which foods you should keep separated.

 

Ethylene-Producing:
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
    (Ripened)
  • Kiwi
  • Melons
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes
Ethylene-Sensitive:
  • Bananas
    (Unripened)
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Green
    Beans
  • Leafy
    Greens
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Watermelons
Basically,
with the exception of watermelons and unripened bananas, the list is
perfectly divided into fruits and vegetables.
Is your
refrigerated food still spoiling quickly, even though you are storing
it correctly? A warm refrigerator may be to blame. If you suspect
that your refrigerator is malfunctioning, call the experts at Speedy Subzero. For more than 75 years, Long Island residents have trusted
us to keep their refrigerators, freezers, and ice makers running
properly. We guarantee one-hour service to Nassau and Suffolk
counties, so call us today at 866-782-9376.

The Basics of Wine Storage

New to
the wonderful world of wine? Don’t be intimidated by the long-time
connoisseurs and their professional grade wine cellars. While wine is
a very delicate beverage, you don’t need to invest thousands of
dollars in a place to store it. There are just some basic rules you
have to follow, which we will lay out below.

Cool and Consistent

Unlike
most beverages, you don’t want to keep wine in the refrigerator.
While heat is wine’s biggest enemy, too low of temperatures can also
negatively affect the taste. The ideal climate for your bottles
depends on the type of wine you have; sweet and sparkling wines are
best kept at 45 degrees, while rich reds do better at 65. All in all,
55 degrees is widely considered to be the best temperature, but even
more important than the number is the consistency. Temperature
fluctuations are not good for wine, so you will want to do your best
to keep the temperature as constant as possible.

Lights Out

Ideally,
your wine storage area should be dark. The suns ultraviolet rays can
cause your wine to prematurely age, and even household light bulbs
can still inflict minor damage. Many winemakers use colored glass
bottles to help block some of the UV rays, but the thin layer of
glass can only do so much. You can invest in special low-UV lighting,
or take the low-tech route and keep the lights off and the sun out.

Steady As She Goes

While
not as damaging as heat or light, many experts believe that excessive
vibration can also alter the taste of your wine. The theory is that
constant shaking, no matter how minor, speeds up the chemical
reactions in the liquid, and can agitate the sediment, preventing it
from settling properly.

See Things Sideways

It is
highly recommended to keep stored wine on its side. Not only is this
method of storage space-efficient, it also helps preserve flavor. If
the humidity of your storage area is not closely controlled, the cork
could dry out and shrink. When this happens, air can enter the bottle
and deteriorate the integrity of your wine. Keeping the bottle on its
side ensures that the liquid remains in contact with the cork at all
times, helping to prevent it from drying out.
So
where can you find a place in your home that is consistently cool,
dark, and vibration-free? If you have a basement, that would be a
decent option, but your best bet is to purchase a wine cooler. If you
own a wine cooler and it is failing to keep a consistent temperature,
contact the refrigeration repair experts at Speedy Subzero. We have
75 years of experience serving Long Island and New York City, so call
us anytime at 866-782-9376.

Germiest Places in the Kitchen

 

Every time someone gets sick after they eat, the food is the first to get blamed. While food can make you sick, there are other offenders hiding in your kitchen. Food safety doesn’t pertain strictly to what you eat, but also to cooking utensils, storage containers, and other kitchen items. Here’s a short list of the germiest things in your kitchen.

Cutting Boards – First things first, your kitchen should have two of these bad boys. One should be strictly used for raw meat and poultry, while the other can be used for fruits, veggies, and fully prepared meat that is ready to be sliced. This will help you avoid cross-contamination and any foodborne illness such as salmonella.

The cutting boards can be made from either wood or plastic. If you choose the wooden path make sure it is made from hardwood, such as oak or maple. Wooden cutting boards need to be cleaned with a stiff bristled brush under warm soapy water to get rid of any contaminants. Plastic cutting boards can simply be washed in the dishwasher, which is why they are usually preferred.

Sponges – According to NSF International, kitchen sponges contain more hazardous microorganisms than any other place in your home. In order to avoid getting sick from your sponges, replace them regularly or clean them in one of these ways:

  • Microwave sponges for two minutes. More than 99 percent of the germs will be destroyed.
  • Run them through the dishwasher.
  • Boil the sponge for one minute on the stove top.

Kitchen Towels – This kitchen sidekick has multiple uses: it can be used for drying dishes, wiping down your counters, or removing hot pans from the oven. While it is convenient, the kitchen towel was not meant for every task you use it for. That’s how cross-contamination of germs can start. Instead, use multiple towels for different tasks to prevent a spread of germs throughout the kitchen.

Everything Else – There are many items in your kitchen that have the potential to contain an immense amount of germs. NSF International created a list of additional items in your kitchen that contain a high amount of germs. The list includes: refrigerator vegetable and meat compartments, blender gaskets, can openers, rubber spatulas, and food storage containers with rubber seals. To see the full list, click here.

Items and appliances in your kitchen that can be taken apart, should be in order for proper cleaning; this includes blenders, spatulas, and even refrigerators. If you are cleaning your refrigerator out and you notice that it isn’t keeping your food cold or appears to be broken, call Speedy Subzero to come and fix it. With over 75 years of experience, our trained technicians will fix whatever the issue is. Give us a call at (866) 782-9376 today!

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Keep Your Chest Freezer Organized with These Tips!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Chest
freezers are great. They provide you with a ton of extra space for
your frozen food, plus they are super energy-efficient. The only
downside to them is that it can be a bit of a headache to find your
food. If you are someone who just throws your frozen goods into your
chest freezer without any form of organization, you will quickly
learn it may be worth your while to reconsider your process.
Maximize
the usefulness of your chest freezer by using these tips to keep your
food neat, organized, and easily accessible:
  • Keep an inventory
    list.
    Keep
    a full inventory of everything that you have in your freezer, and
    make sure to update it every time you put something in or take
    something out. Keep it on a clipboard with a pen on top of the
    freezer so you never forget to log the changes.
  • Clearly label
    everything.
    What’s in that
    plastic bag? Is it chicken? Fish? Who knows. And are those
    vegetables from last Thanksgiving, or the one before that?
    Point
    is, it’s difficult to keep track of what’s what in a giant frozen
    box. Do yourself a favor and clearly label everything with the type
    of food it is and the date it was frozen.
  • Use easy-to-move
    bins.
    The
    biggest problem with chest freezers is that it’s not easy to access
    your food, especially towards the bottom of the unit. Instead of
    having to take everything out one-by-one to get to the bottom, store
    your food in bins. Milk crates are perfect for this; they can stack
    and are sturdy enough to hold even your heaviest of foods.
  • Divide frozen
    foods into categories.
    Take
    the milk crate idea one step further by dividing your food into
    different categories, and using a different crate for each type. For
    instance, all your frozen meat goes in one crate, vegetables in
    another, baked goods in one, etc.
Are
you experiencing problems with your chest freezer? Whether it is
making loud noises or just not keeping cold, the experts at Speedy
Subzero can fix it for much cheaper than a new model. We have been
repairing refrigerators and freezers across Long Island for over 75
years, let us make you our next satisfied customer! We guarantee
one-hour service to Nassau and Suffolk County, so call us any time at
866-782-9376.

How to Organize Your Refrigerator in 15 Minutes

What
can you do in fifteen minutes? You could watch half of a television
program, or you could make good use of your time by cleaning and
organizing the inside of your refrigerator. A dirty fridge not only
makes it harder to find your food, it could become a breeding ground
for bacteria and nasty odors if it is neglected for too long.
If you
haven’t cleaned your refrigerator in a while, it may seem like an
overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow this
step-by-step guide to tidy up your fridge in just 15 minutes of your
time:
  1. Remove the food and
    shelves from your refrigerator
    .
    First
    things first, take all of the food out of your refrigerator. If you
    are worried about it spoiling, put it in a cooler before moving
    moving on to Step 2. You will also want to pull out any removable
    drawers and shelves.
  2. Clean all shelves
    and drawers.
    Using a soapy
    sponge and warm water, thoroughly wash the shelves and drawers of
    your refrigerator, making sure to remove all visible spills, stains,
    and other food residue.
  3. Wipe down the
    interior.
    Using either a soapy
    sponge or disposable disinfecting wipe, clean the entire interior of
    the refrigerator including the back wall, side walls, and ceiling.
    Just like with the shelves, you will want to remove any visible
    traces of residue and grime.
  4. Dry and replace
    shelves.
    Use a clean towel to
    dry the inside of your refrigerator as well as the shelves and
    drawers. Place the components back in the fridge in move on to the
    next step.
  5. Filter through your
    food.
    Before putting your food
    back in the refrigerator, sort through it and throw away anything
    which has expired or will expire before you get a chance to eat it.
    This will help prevent you from losing track of food and letting it
    spoil in the fridge, which can cause less-than-pleasant odors which
    are hard to remove.
  6. Restock your fridge.
    After sorting through your
    food and discarding what is necessary, it is time to restock your
    refrigerator. Don’t just place the items anywhere though, following
    this guide will help keep your food fresh for longer.
We
recommend following this routine once every two weeks to keep your
fridge clean and odor free!
Is your
refrigerator leaking, making loud noises, or failing to keep your
food cold? The refrigeration experts at Speedy Subzero can fix it! We
have served all of Long Island and New York City for more than 75
years, trust us to repair your refrigerator, freezer, ice maker, or
wine cooler. We fix all makes and models and our phone lines are open
24/7, give us a call to schedule your appointment at 866-782-9376.