Summer food safety, energy conservation

  • Tuesday, July 12, 2005 9:00pm
  • Life

Keeping food safe and energy consumption low during the summer is helped with a few wise moves in the care of your refrigerator and freezer. Here are some tips from Mr. Appliance, an appliance repair company:

* Check the refrigerator seal to see if it needs to be cleaned or replaced.

* Use a brush or vacuum to clean the condenser coils in the back or bottom of the refrigerator to make the most of its efficiency.

* Increase your freezer’s efficiency by keeping its compartment full.

* Consider buying a manual defrost refrigerator, which typically uses 36 percent less energy than an automatic defrost refrigerator.

* Check temperature settings for the most efficient appliance operation. Refrigerator temperature should be 36 to 38 degrees, and freezer temperature should be from 0 to 5 degrees.

* Keep the refrigerator away from heating appliances (ovens and dishwashers), windows and heating ducts.

* Consider buying a high-efficiency refrigerator. Compare yellow Energy Star guide labels and choose the unit that uses the least amount of electricity.

For information, visit

Tips from test kitchen

Parents magazine’s food editors Fraya Berg and Jackie Plant share some tips for streamlining action around the kitchen.

* If you’re adding vegetables to a pasta meal, just toss them into the pot of boiling noodles for the last four minutes of cooking time.

* To grill big cuts of meat quickly, cut them in half.

* To soften ice cream, microwave the carton for 10 to 15 seconds.

* Don’t crowd the pan when frying or sauteing small pieces of meat or fish. It just slows the cooking process.

* Poke a hole in the center of hamburger patties while shaping them. This shortens the cooking time, and the holes will disappear when the burgers have finished cooking.

* In covered bowls, pre-cook veggies for stir-fries and one-dish meals in the microwave while the other ingredients are cooking in a pan on the stove.

* Chicken breasts and turkey cutlets will cook faster if they are pounded flat.

Recipe ideas for fish

For great year-round recipe ideas for salmon and whitefish or for a video demonstration of grilling and planking, visit

From Herald news services

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