Does it belong in the fridge or the cupboard?

We found out where Brits really store their food.

While some items must be kept refrigerated, for others it comes down to a matter of personal choice. We surveyed the UK to find out which contentious foods – from chocolate to egg and Mayonnaise – belong in the fridge and which should be kept at room temperature.

Does your mayonnaise take prime position in your fridge? Or does it sit in the cupboard? Is your ketchup cold or tepid and is your chocolate rock hard or melt-in-the-mouth soft?

To help settle the debate, we sought expert guidance from Head Chef Anna Williams to find out the best locations for our food around the kitchen, once and for all.

71% of the UK believe that mayonnaise should be stored inside the fridge.

One of the most debated food items in the fridge vs cupboard debate is mayonnaise.

Brits clearly feel very strongly about keeping mayonnaise inside the fridge as nearly half (49%) stated they find it unacceptable to store mayonnaise outside and 43% would refuse to eat it if it were not stored inside the fridge.

However, despite being one of the main ingredients of mayonnaise, the same level of scrutiny is not shared for eggs. 41% of Brits opt to store their eggs outside of the fridge with only a quarter of Brits finding this unacceptable. So where should we keep them?

As one of the UK’s most popular condiments of choice, ketchup has a much closer split of fridge vs cupboard storage of 44% and 51% respectively. Even though the UK is divided on the storage for ketchup, 67% of Brits would still eat it if it were not stored in the fridge and 75% would still eat it if it were stored in the fridge.

Anna Williams states that “both mayonnaise and ketchup can be stored in the cupboard until they are opened, then they should be stored inside the fridge with the lids tightly screwed on.”

The majority (52%) of the UK agree that chocolate should not be stored in the fridge.

Chocolate manufactures have made it clear that chocolate should not be stored inside the fridge but instead in a cool, dry, dark place such as cupboard or pantry. Despite this, 43% of Brits still opt to keep their chocolate inside the fridge with three quarters of Brits stating they would still each chocolate out of the fridge.

Anna Williams says “chocolate can be stored in the fridge to increase its shelf life by up to 25% and even frozen to increase it by 50%. The one thing to make sure is that wherever you store it, the temperature does not fluctuate between warm and cool otherwise it will start to bloom – those strange looking white bits.”

Another contested item- crisps. According to the data, one in 20 Brits store their crisps inside the fridge. While this may seem odd to the majority (90%), two out of five Brits admit that they would still eat crisps offered to them from inside the fridge.

Just over half (57%) of Brits regularly organise their Fridges.

Fridge organisation is not just about aesthetics. If food is stored correctly, food can last longer, taste better and in the long run, a well-organised fridge may improve your fridges efficiency.

Our expert Anna Williams states that many people do not realise the importance of correct fridge storage; it can make a huge difference to your wallet and help reduce any food wastage.

Top Shelves: This shelf should contain ready to eat foods such as pickled products as well as fruits, cheeses, eggs, and butter.

Middle Shelves: These are your container shelves for items such as leftovers, sandwich fillings, condiments, and premixed vinaigrettes as well any other packaged items.

Bottom Shelves: Raw meats and poultry should be stored at the bottom of the fridge as well any dairy products such a milk and yogurts. All beverages should be stored in the fridge door.

Bottom Drawers: They are known as salad boxes for this very reason. Any vegetables or herbs should be kept in these drawers within their packaging.

The most organised fridges in the UK.

Edinburgh tops the list as the fridge organisation capital of the UK with 66% of respondents organising their fridges at least twice per week.

However, close neighbour Glasgow follows-up as the worst city for fridge organisation in the UK with only 47% of respondents organising their fridges at least twice per week.

When it comes to age, 71% of those aged 45 and over confidently know where to properly place food in their fridges to make it last longer with versus just 57% of those aged 16-24.

This pattern carries through to fridge temperature knowledge too. Less than half (48%) of 16–24-year-olds know what temperature a fridge should be kept vs 67% of those aged 45 and over.

We advise that the average household fridge should be at a near constant temperature between 0°C and 5°C. It’s natural for your fridge temperature to fluctuate a little between these values particularly when being opened and closed a lot. Another contentious reason for your fridge temperature to increase, is if you are to add any warm leftovers inside.

Each of us will have our own individual opinions on the fridge vs cupboard debate.

Perhaps you’re guilty of a disorganised fridge filled with uncovered leftovers and open cans of beans? Whether this has given comfort that you’re not alone or perhaps it’s a wake-up call to get more organised. Our freestanding refrigerators and integrated refrigerators are packed with drawers and trays so that your fridge can be arranged to your liking for optimal storage space.