There are people out there who have items in their refrigerators that expired two years ago.

I know, because I’m one of them.

This might speak to the depth of my intelligence — and not in a good way — but I like to have everything up front on the shelves. Things that drift to the back are often forgotten, until a friend comes over, gets a drink and says, “Did you know you have a jar of sauerkraut in your refrigerator that expired in 2014?”

Actually, I did know that. Every now and again, I want some kraut, but I can never find it in a small enough quantity for someone who wants it “every now and again.”

Why don’t I throw it out?

I don’t know. Why don’t you clean our your garage? Or your attic? We don’t get everything done we need to get done, so you end up with 6-year-old sauerkraut.

If you, too, have rotten cabbage in your refrigerator, you’re in luck. Well, sort of.

National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day is Sunday, a time to start anew with the ice box and be prepared for the holidays when you’ll need all the room you can get. But don’t just throw it out. Clean it, too.

Sanitation Foundation International, which says the meat and vegetable drawers are the dirtiest spots in the kitchen in regard to causing diseases, offers these tips for properly cleaning your refrigerator:

• Empty each shelf.

• Completely wipe down the inside of the refrigerator.

• Wash drawers and underneath the drawers.

• Throw away all expired and/or moldy food.

• Get rid of anything that you do not use.

• Vacuum condenser coils.

• Vacuum out under the refrigerator.

• Restock shelves and drawers with good food.

• Enjoy your nice, clean, organized refrigerator.

A friend helped me clean out the refrigerator once. We emptied the fridge, I handed her shelves and she washed them before I dried and reinstalled them. The fridge was beautiful and it smelled good. When she visited me a few months later, she couldn’t believe how junked up and messy it had gotten in such a short time. I admit, I was a bit embarrassed. But she’s my friend and she knows I’m messy and she accepts that.

I’m trying to do better. In fact, I plan to throw out some 2-month-old yogurt on Sunday.

(606) 326-2661 |

lward@dailyindependent.com

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