The main reason to regularly clean your fridge and freezer is to prevent food poisoning bacteria and other germs ‘carried’ into them by packaging, unwashed hands, used condiment bottles, etc. from getting a foothold and endangering the health of your family. A good clean-out also enables you to discard food past its use-by date, which again helps prevent the risk of infection.
Defrosting your fridge and freezer
An excessive build-up of ice means your fridge and freezer must work extremely hard to maintain safe interior temperatures. Firstly, this can significantly increase the amount of electricity they use. Large build-ups of ice can also result in leaks (during automatic ‘self-defrosting’ cycles), which in turn could cause an accident. Defrosting your fridge and freezer regularly is therefore equally important as cleaning them.
How often should I clean my fridge and freezer?
Ideally, you should clean your fridge and freezer at least once a week. Busy lifestyles can make this difficult, if not impossible, so you should aim to defrost and deep clean them once every three months. Keep bacteria and other germs at a minimum between these deep-cleaning and defrosting sessions by:
- Washing your hands and wiping bottles, packages, and so on before placing them into the fridge or freezer
- Giving shelves, side walls and doors a wipe as often as possible
- Regularly checking for out-of-date foods and discarding them as soon as possible after their expiration date
Basically, if the thought of visitors opening your fridge or freezer makes you cringe with embarrassment, a good clean is long overdue.
Shops and supermarkets
Supermarket and shop owners have a responsibility to ensure customers are not exposed to the risk of accidents including food poisoning caused by bacteria and slips, trips and falls. This means they must regularly clean, defrost and maintain fridges and freezers. If you were made ill by spoiled food or suffered an injury by slipping on water leaking from a fridge or freezer, you could be entitled to make a claim for injury compensation.
How to claim
If you think you may have a claim following a an accident related to fridges or freezers, you can confirm your claim eligibility and enlist the help of an Accident Advice Helpline solicitor by giving our helpline a call on 0800 689 0500 (landline) or 0333 500 0993 (mobile) today. All calls are strictly confidential and claims are dealt with by in-house solicitors assigned to your case under conditional fee agreements (commonly known as no-win, no-fee*).
Date Published: November 15, 2016
Author: Accident Advice