Many refrigerators have a fresh drawer and a crisper drawer. The difference between the two can be confusing, and the result is often spoiled or damaged food. Although any refrigerator is designed to store foods at chilly temperatures, the fresh drawer keeps foods at the lowest temperatures possible without freezing them. The crisper drawer helps keep high-moisture foods fresh.

Stainless steel refrigerator
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Knowing where to place your foods will ensure their freshness and nutritional value.

Step 1

Place your fresh meats, poultry and fish, as well as cold cuts, in the fresh drawer. This compartment is designed to be the coolest section of the refrigerator. The main purpose of the fresh drawer is to maintain a temperature of 40 degrees or lower.

Step 2

Eat any raw meats and fish within a day or two of purchase if you put them in the fresh drawer. Otherwise, store them in the freezer, which maintains an average temperature of zero degrees and is the only section of the refrigerator colder than the fresh drawer.

Step 3

Protect your fruits and vegetables that thrive in low temperatures and high humidity, by keeping them in the crisper drawer. Wrap them in perforated plastic wrap or put them in plastic containers with holes first. This will allow air to circulate and draw the proper amount of moisture out of your produce to prevent it from evaporating too quickly.