How to Store Fruits & Vegetables in the Fridge

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Fresh fruits and vegetables require careful storage to preserve nutrients, color and flavor. Some are better stored at room temperature on the counter, and some are better stored in the fridge. Those stored in the fridge require a certain amount of moisture to remain fresh. By controlling the refrigerator temperature levels and properly wrapping and containing your fruits and vegetables, you can store them for up to a week.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Plastic storage bags
  • Vented plastic bags
  • Saran wrap
  • Airtight containers
  • Paper bag

Storing Fruit in the Refrigerator

  • Wash hard or smooth-skinned fruits such as apples, plums and grapes before storing. Wash soft-skinned or fuzzy fruits and berries right before eating. Dry all fruits thoroughly.

  • Discard any fruit that is brown, overripe or spotted unless you are going to use it immediately.

  • Wrap fruit in loose-fitting Saran Wrap or place in vented plastic bags. Store berries in airtight containers. Do not wrap apples and melons.

  • Place fruits in the fresh fruit compartment of the fridge. Set the refrigerator temperature to 37 degrees Fahrenheit.

Storing Vegetables in the Refrigerator

  • Wash hard vegetables such as root vegetables before storing. Wash leafy greens and herbs right before using. Dry all vegetables thoroughly.

  • Remove green tops from vegetables such as carrots, beets, radishes, turnips and parsnips.

  • Place vegetables in plastic storage bags or a container to prevent moisture loss. Wrap leafy greens in a couple of layers of paper towel and place them in plastic storage bags. Wrap mushrooms in paper bags.

  • Place vegetables in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Set the refrigerator temperature to 37 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep vegetables whole if you are storing them for more than a day or two. Use most vegetables within one week of storing.
  • Don't store potatoes, onions, squash, eggplant, turnips or rutabagas in the refrigerator. There is too much moisture in the refrigerated environment for these vegetables.
  • Most fruits should not be stored in the refrigerator unless you are keeping them for more than a few days. An open-air basket helps fruit ripen properly at room temperature.

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References

  • Photo Credit farmers market image by AGITA LEIMANE from Fotolia.com
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