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Fridge with NO designated meat compartment - is this a trend?

I’m looking at fridges I’m reading feedback and I’m seeing lots of illustrations of the inside of a fridge without a compartment that is designed for animal based protein to be stored.

Is this a trend or is this just the artistic presentation.

BTW the Choice top pick in the last fridge testing has two compartments marked as fruit and vegetable and NO meat/pourlty/fish designated compartments.

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Welcome to the Choice Community Forum Diane :slight_smile:

I’m not sure it could really be called a trend as our decades old Ignis fridge doesn’t appear to have a meat compartment either! Perhaps just a decent sized glass or plastic container with sealable lid on a regular shelf is sufficient.

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Hi Diane, welcome.
My 7 year old Westinghouse fridge (one of the small fridges tested by Choice) has a ‘chiller’ compartment in the fridge and a ‘meat storage’ one in the freezer.
I use the chiller compartment for fresh meat etc,. It’s colder than the shelves below and good for soon to be cooked protein products.

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The last time I had a fridge with a dedicated meat compartment was one of those old round shouldered fridges with the freezer inside and a tray underneath that for storing meat. I just freeze it all now

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My sister and her husband who live in Melbourne searched high and low quite some years ago for a fridge with a dedicated meat chiller to replace their old fridge which had a meat chiller.

She told me that they could not find one anywhere so had to buy a new fridge without a meat chiller.

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My current fridge doesn’t have one, the previous had a plastic tray provided that just slid on the shelf, you could easily provide this yourself if it didn’t come with one.

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Our current 18 year old Fisher and Paykel doesn’t have a meat compartment, but has two fruit and vegetable bins at the bottom of the fridge compartment. The Kelvinator (from the 1980s) also missed out one as well.

I wonder if these are a boutique feature rather than a norm.

Choice has also presented information in the past of how best to store meat and seafood…

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My 17.5 year old Amana does not have a meat compartment. It has a ‘Deli Tray’ for cold cuts and cheeses and two humidity controlled veggie bins.

There are a few claims on the net that unless a dedicated meat drawer has its own cooling controls it may not be much if any better than putting the meat on the bottom shelf (usually the coldest shelf in most fridges), hence the manufacturers save a few dollars and make their products more cost competitive by omitting them. Vegetarians and vegans especially would not miss them.

Choice did a fridge review (member content) and chiller compartments and dairy drawers are among the features that can be filtered, although some of the chiller compartments appear to share resources with the ‘main cabin’ and the chiller unit is not reported on regarding its efficacy separate to the overall fridge.

One Choice score is about ‘keeping food fresher longer’. With that metric some fridges have multi-drawers where at least one can be individually configured as a meat drawer, but overall do not always stack up against more traditional fridges sans such special features.

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Our 5 year old fridge does not have a meat chiller section. Mr Z wanted a butter warmer, but few modern fridges have them and had to settle for one without.

Our previous fridge, at least a couple of decades old, had an enclosed chiller section at the top. The booklet explained it was to cool things before transferring to the freezer, rather than being designed as a meat chiller. It took up too much room and was eventually removed.

The fridge prior to that was an early 1960’s with a U shaped freezer section in the fridge with a removable drip tray; and no meat chiller. From our experience a meat chiller never was “a thing”, or we just missed that fad.

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Welcome to the Forum @Diane_Fisher

I agree with the other people who have posted in that I can’t remember having a meat section for a VERY long time, and probably as @SueW suggested in one of those old rounded fridges. I suspect that is because the meat keeper was in the coldest part of the fridge. Nowdays, the temperatures should be more even throughout the fridge. This is not always the case if you read the Choice reviews on fridges though!

The Australian Institute of Food Safety has the following to say on refrigerating and freezing food :

"To reduce the risk of bacterial contamination, many foods must be stored in the refrigerator and thus kept below 5 degrees Celsius. These foods are often classified as ‘high-risk foods’ and include – meat, poultry, dairy, seafood, eggs, smallgoods and cooked rice and pasta. This also refers to ready-to-eat foods that have high-risk foods as ingredients and include – casseroles, quiche, pasta salad, pizza, sandwiches and many cakes.

By keeping these high-risk foods under 5 degrees Celsius it stops them from entering the ‘danger-zone’ – temperatures between 5 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius. The danger-zone is the temperature zone which provides bacteria with the perfect environment to rapidly grow and multiply to numbers that cause food poisoning.

By freezing food its longevity is increased because the water content of the food freezes – this prevents bacteria from multiplying and food spoiling. Food should be kept frozen at -18 degrees Celsius; when thawing, it should be stored in a refrigerator that reaches no more than 5 degrees Celsius until it is ready to be prepared."

So as long as your fridge is set to under 5 degrees C and your freezer is under -18 C, you can store the meat anywhere in those two areas as appropriate.

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There is a drawer right down the bottom of my fridge for plants - the rest I’ve always assumed is for animal based protein and jars of condiments that in modern times appear to need ‘fridging after opening’. Plants that don’t fit in the fridge can be left in the garden … but I take your point … :slight_smile:

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I only have sliders for more or less cold. My last fridge had a dial. I’ve never seen a fridge with actual temperature control and I suspect that I could not afford one.

I’m about to buy a new fridge, smaller than the one I currently have, with a bottom mount freezer. It won’t have a meat compartment. I have many restrictions in terms of space, and even more in terms of how deep I can have it. I have difficulty reaching the back of my fridge, I have to use a reacher and would prefer not to have to do that. Fridges are designed by people with no mobility restrictions.

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My fridge also. The second bar in the freezer makes everything like a solid block of ice, and there’s 6 bars!

The fridge also has a selection up to ‘colder’ and setting it at the middle is more than enough to keep food from spoiling.

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Same - neither have I seen a fridge with a temperature gauge … I have a couple of fridge thermometers in mine, the difference in temperature top to bottom and how quick it warms up when someone is ‘fridge gazing’ is not reassuring …

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I wouldn’t panic too much about that, I calculated some years ago that the loss of a cabinet’s worth, say 250 litres, of cold air from a fridge means you have to cool that volume of air down again, but it is only about the same as cooling 60ml of water from room to fridge temperature.

The contents have a much greater heat capacity than air, so reading the fridge, even for a couple of minutes, is unlikely to have any significant effect on the temperature of most of the contents.

Placing a room temperature 1 litre bottle of water/LL milk etc in the fridge is about the same as draining all the cold air out 16 times.

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We have two thermometers in the fridge. A cheapy which has a crystal display which changes in response to temperature, and a right proper one supposedly made to live in the fridge. They both give similar information, the right proper one being more detailed because it has an analogue scale.

We know from the Choice testing that fridge temperatures are not a thing of precision, so I would suggest you might buy a fridge thermometer from a cheap store and adjust the sliding scale on the fridge’s thermostat setting to give you something like the right temperature setting. It’s a better option than getting food poisoning, or having to defrost things comming out of the fridge because it’s too cold.

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My Electrolux 520L, about 8yo, has two meat /dairy compartments sitting just above the vege department. I love them and use all the time!

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Our Westinghouse WSE6100WF which we have had for a number of years has a shallow plastic tray under the second shelf of the main fridge area which we use for holding meat either after it has come out of the freezer or before it is cooked if we will be using soon after the meat has been bought. There is no special markings on the tray but it has worked OK for us.

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Hi @Norwen

Welcome to the Forum community. Nice to MEAT you. :wink:

Thanks for joining in the discussion with your fridge experience.

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I’m kind of wondering if “compartments” dedicated to specific items might be going out of fashion all together…
For instance, there is a HUGE number of products available on the market to help store things like different plants, meats etc in the refrigerator (all claiming to improve freshness/time before things go bad over conventional refrigerator usage). I for instance, came to own a large number of these types of products from one particular company, mostly for the plant type things. I took then entire large crisper drawer out of my fridge and fitted these containers in, which did increase my storage capabilities and I do find things are fresher. I do the same with meat - stored in dedicated containers on what Ive identified using a fridge thermometer to be the coldest location in my fridge.
Due to the market profusion of separate containing products for use in the refrigerator, I can’t be the only one doing this.

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