How hygienic is your kitchen?

Sep 23rd 2017

The degree to which we’re neglecting a certain kitchen appliance means almost half of us would fail a basic food hygiene inspection.

According to new research, the average British fridge hasn’t been properly cleaned for 87 days. That’s more than three times longer than the recommended length of time between cleans. Almost one in ten Britons can’t remember the last time they cleaned their fridge.

Appliance repair company Go-Assist conducted a national fridge cleanliness study, involving 2,000 UK adults, and the findings were pretty grim.

The study also looked at workplace fridges and if you’re thinking of taking yesterday’s leftovers into work today, you might want to have a re-think. Four in ten (38%) respondents who regularly kept their lunch in an office fridge said they had no idea when the fridge was last cleaned out.

• Just over ten percent of study participants wrongly believe that – because they’re temperature controlled – fridges require no cleaning at all.
• 44 percent of Brits don’t know what the correct temperature is for a fridge (somewhere between 0 and 5 degrees, depending on what’s in there) and 14 percent don’t know how to adjust the temperature levels on their own fridge.
• 49 percent are unable to check or regulate the temperature.


Cleaning isn’t just a food hygiene issue, it’s also important for the maintenance of your fridge. For example, if spilled food or drink settles around the seal, it can cause damage to the door, preventing it from opening and closing properly.

Misconceptions about how fridges work are behind the problem. Even in a cool environment, food can go off and bacteria can contaminate other items. It’s really important for hygiene and maintenance reasons to regularly clean your fridge.

•  Deep clean your fridge every four weeks.
•  Incorporate your fridge-cleaning into your shopping schedule, Clean the day before you do your food shop so that there are fewer items to remove.
•  Put any perishables in a cool box to keep them fresh, remove shelves and crispers and use lukewarm soapy water.
•  Unplug before cleaning.

Guide to cleaning your fridge properly.
The Food Standards Agency guidelines for businesses.