You're Storing Food And Drinks In The Fridge All Wrong. Here's Why

FYI, you probably shouldn't be keeping milk in the fridge door.
Don't leave it on the door now
zoranm via Getty Images
Don't leave it on the door now

So you’ve been storing your milk in the fridge door all this time. It’s ok, so have we. Most fridges come with a handy drinks compartment in the door and we don’t think twice about lining up our bottles in it.

However, it might not be the optimal place to chill stuff, particularly not milk. Think how often you open the fridge in a day, pondering what to eat or drink.

“Putting milk in the fridge door is a really common mistake that we see all the time,” says Nic Shacklock, from kitchen experts Kesseler.

“It makes sense to put it somewhere easily accessible. After all, milk is one of the items that’s coming out of our fridges frequently for cereal, teas and coffees or to feed babies, even.”

But the temperature inside your fridge fluctuates, he warns. When the door is constantly being opened and closed, the contents are exposed to warmer air, and it takes time before the temperature drops back down again.

If you’re storing your milk in the door pocket, it’s constantly being exposed to those temperature changes, which can cause bacteria to grow and your milk to spoil over time. The same goes for any dairy product, such as cream.

“The best place to put your milk is low down, at the back of the lowest shelf you can,” advises Shacklock. “Cold air comes into the fridge from the back, and because hot air rises, the lowest point is also the coldest point, which will help keep your milk fresher for longer.”

He adds: “You’re much better off using the fridge door for items that aren’t very perishable, like your table sauces, salad dressings, preserves and anything bottled like water or alcohol.”

Shacklock also advises not leaving the fridge door open longer than is necessary. Not only will it make food spoil faster, but it increases your energy consumption, when the fridge is already one of the largest consumers of energy in your home.

“For bonus points, make sure to get milk last when you do your big shop, so it’s not in the warm trolley as you walk around the supermarket,” he adds.

Given all his fridge know-how, we asked Kesseler what other mistakes people make when storing their food. Here’s what he had to say.

Yes, eggs go in the fridge.
Bianca Birau / 500px via Getty Images
Yes, eggs go in the fridge.


Kesseler says eggs are definitely something to store in the fridge. According to, eggs should be kept at a steady temperature, ideally below 20°C – it’s bad for them to fluctuate between warm and cold, so keeping them on your counter, even in their box, isn’t ideal. If you’ve got a cool pantry with a constantly low temperature, that’s fine, but a fridge is your best bet.

Shacklock adds: “When you want to use them, bring them out of the fridge for around half an hour before using them to bring them up to room temperature. You should get the best cooking results.”


You might think tomatoes are best chilled in the fridge but for taste, this might not be the case. The texture of tomatoes changes when they’re really cold, and it can dull the flavour, too. Kesseler says that ideally they should be kept at room temperature.


Many of us might put our bread in the fridge to stop it from going off too quickly but this actually causes it to dry out much sooner so it becomes tough instead of soft, light and fluffy. Bread should be kept at room temperature but under cover – ideally in a bread bin if you have one.


Keeping butter in the fridge is correct for longest life, but it depends how often you use it. If you’re use it little and often, get yourself a butter dish, cut off how much you intend to use and leave it at room temperature. It will be much smoother, easier to spread and taste nicer, too.


This one might be a bit controversial as many people like to keep condiments like ketchup and mustard chilled, and if you do then that’s OK. However, you don’t actually need to keep them refrigerated at all.

Tomato ketchup, brown sauce, BBQ sauce, mustard and other spreads can all survive at room temperature and won’t take up valuable fridge space that way. But you might want to pop the mayo in the fridge, as it’s made from eggs.