Fruits and vegetables come in terrific colors and flavors. Just as their nutritional benefits differ, the way in which you store fresh produce differs too! The required storage temperature and humidity level varies depending on the type of fruit or vegetable. Avoid placing produce in a sealed plastic bag on your countertop. This slows ripening and may increase off-odors and decay. Use the guides below to store your garden bounty.
Store these at room temperature, making sure they are clean, dry, well ventilated, and away from direct sunlight:
- Tomatoes, onions, potatoes, melons, bananas, pumpkins, and winter squash
Ripen these on the counter, then store in the refrigerator:
- Avocado, kiwifruits, peaches, nectarines, pears, and plums
Most other fresh produce keeps best stored in a clean refrigerator at 40°F or below.
- Store fruit in a different refrigerator crisper drawer than vegetables. Fruits give off ethylene gas, which can shorten the storage life of vegetables. Some vegetables give off odors that can be absorbed by fruits and affect their quality.
Source: Amy Peterson and Alice Henneman from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln