By Marge Perry
Updated October 10, 2011
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Attack of the killer refrigerator bugs may sound like a bad "B" movie, but scarily enough the bacteria that cause food poisoning can thrive in any fridge. More worrisome is a laundry list of nasty (and invisible) microbes, the kind that like to set up shop in the average not-so-spotless, and definitely not-cold-enough, refrigerator.Here's the low down on everything you need to know, and do, to keep your fridge from making you sick.
| Credit: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Mindi Shapiro, Laura Martin

I left uncooked fish in my refrigerator over the weekend and came back to an awful smell, which I can't get rid of. Do you have any suggestions?

Vinegar is a great cleaning product! Mix it with an equal amount of water and use it to wipe the entire inside of the refrigerator. (Your fridge may smell pleasantly salad-like for a few days, but better that then bad fish!) You can also make a loose paste of baking soda and water and use that to scrub the entire inside.

In either case, after washing the inside of the refrigerator, it is really best to wait anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days before re-stocking. (You'll need to throw out any foods that were not tightly sealed and which may have picked up the odor. Store the remaining food in ice coolers and friends' refrigerators. Discard any items that are out at room temperature more than 2 hours).