Keeping it clean
Even the best fridge is gonna have a bad dayÖhealth wise anyway, if you donít do some regular cleaning. Chuck the stuff hiding in the back all winter. Things like the blue cheese that started out white, and anything in a cottage cheese container that isnít cottage cheese. And what about the relish jar with greener than usual pickles.
How long should you keep your leftovers before becoming somewhat suspicious? http://www.homefoodsafety.org
will give you some tips. And whatís this expiration and use by date stuff. If you want the best taste, use before use by. If you want to live to taste again (word on the street anyway), use by the expiration date. The smell is no indication that itís safeÖa lot of bacteria are odorless.
So, clean all the food out, throw away the nasties, and then wash down the shelves and sides with warm, soapy water. To keep some of the more odiferous foods from making their presence known in the butter, etc., put in an open box of baking soda to help keep the smell down. Now everyone is safe, happy, and your fridge is safe once again.