Tips: How to Store Fruits and Vegetables

on Sunday, July 15, 2012

Last month I came across an interesting table by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts that I shared on my Facebook page. The table divided fruits and vegetables into two columns: refrigerate and room temperature.

Tips: How to Store Fruits and Vegetables by

I noticed that I was storing some of my fruits and vegetables incorrectly, which got me thinking about the proper way for storing them. After all, good storage can keep us from getting sick, plus it cuts back on our monthly expenses as our fruits and vegetables will have an extended life meaning = reduced wastage.

So I did some research on the subject, and built this table of the main fruits and vegetables and how to store them. It is by no means a comprehensive table, but I think it covers the main ones we regularly use! The source for the information is material by the Extension of the University of Nebraska and the University of Texas; and Berkeley Farmers’ Market.

Developing this table was a learning process and I now have the difficult task of changing some well grounded habits on how I handle and store some of these fruits and vegetables! It is not going to be easy, but I look forward to the chance of having fresher and tastier produce after following these guidelines. Will keep you posted on how it goes. Hope you find the table below as useful as I do.



Storage Method/Time



Room temp.: 1-2 days
Fridge: up to 1 month

When storing apples in the fridge, store unwashed in plastic bags or a cardboard box.


Room temp.: up to a week.

Place in a paper bag at room temperature. To speed up their ripening‐ place an apple in the bag with them. If you are using half an avocado, keep the pit inside the half you want to save to prevent it from turning brown, and store it in the fridge.


Room temp.: up to a week.

Place at room temperature in a glass or bowl (upright) filled with a bit of water.


Room temp.: 2-3 days

Ripen bananas at room temperature. To ripen faster, place bananas in a brown, paper bag.

Berries (Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries)

Fridge: 2-3 days

Before storing berries, remove any spoiled or crushed fruits. Store unwashed in plastic bags or containers. Don’t forget berries are fragile so don’t to stack too many high, a single layer is best.
They don’t like to be wet so only wash before you plan on eating them.
Do not remove the green tops from strawberries before storing them.

Beets, Carrots, Radishes, Turnips

Fridge: 1-2 weeks

Remove green tops to keep them fresh longer, and store, unwashed in plastic bags or in a container with a moist cloth or towel. Or dip them in cold water every couple of days.


Fridge: 2-3 days

Store in an open container in the fridge. You can wrap it in a damp towel before placing in the fridge. Best used as soon as possible.


Room temp.: up to a week.
Fridge: up to 2 weeks

Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to loose its moisture after a week , so, best used as soon as possible


Fridge: 3-5 days

Will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but cauliflower has the best flavor the day it’s bought.


Fridge: 3-5 days

Store in an airtight container. Don’t wash cherries until ready to eat, any added moisture encourages mold.


Room temp.: 2 weeks

Best stored at room temperature in a cool place, with good airflow, never in an air‐tight container.


Fridge: 1-2 days

For best flavor, use corn immediately. Corn in husks can be stored in plastic bags for 1-2 days


Fridge: 5-7 days

Wrap in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.


Room temp.: 2-3 days

Fridge: up to 1 week

Does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash it, eggplant doesn’t like any extra moisture around its leaves.
For longer storage‐ place loose, in the fridge.


Room temp.: 2-3 days

Fridge: 3-6 days

If used within a few days, they can be left on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.


Fridge: up to 1 week

Don’t like humidity, so, no closed containers. So place un‐stacked a plate in the fridge.


Room temp.: 2-4 weeks

Store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place; do not refrigerate. But, always refrigerate peeled or cut garlic in a sealed container


Fridge: 3-5 days

Store grapes unwashed in plastic bags.


Fridge: up to 1 week

Store in fridge away from other fruit to prevent over-ripening

Lettuce and Greens

5-7 days
for lettuce;
1-2 days for greens

Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. and store, preferably, unwashed in an air‐tight container or plastic bag. You can cover with a damp cloth‐ to keep them from drying out.

Spinach: store loose in an open container in the fridge as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.
Leeks: leave in an open container in fridge wrapped in a damp cloth. Or put in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).
Green Onions: remove any band or tie and store in fridge unwashed.
Celery: place in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter.
Basil: difficult to store well as it does not like the cold or to be wet. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside, left out on a cool counter. But use quickly.


Fridge: up to 1 week

Store unwashed in fridge.

Melons (Watermelon, Honeydew, Cantaloupe)

Fridge: 3-4 days for cut melon

For best flavor, store melons, uncut and unwashed, in a cool dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks until ripe.
Store ripe cut melons covered in the refrigerator.
Wash the outside of melons before cutting.

Nectarines, Peaches, Apricots,

Room temp: 5 days Fridge: 3-4 days

On a cool counter to room temperature, if fully ripen then refrigerate.

Dry Onions (Red, White, and Yellow)

Room temp.: 2-4 weeks

Store dry onions loosely in a mesh bag in a cool, dry and well ventilated place away from sunlight. It is best not to stack them.


Fridge: up to 2 days

Doesn’t like humidity. So a dry towel in an airtight container. Doesn’t store that well, best eaten quickly after purchase


Room temp.: up to 2 weeks
Fridge: up to 1 weeks

Unripe pears: Store in a cool, dry place. You can also place them in a paper bag with an apple with them, to hasten ripening.
Ripe pears: should be stored in the refrigerator


Room temp.: up to 1 month

Store is a cool, dry place up to a month.


Room temp.: 1-2 weeks

Store unwashed potatoes in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place away from light, which causes greening. Never refrigerate, especially sweet potatoes, they don’t like the cold.

Sweet peppers

Room temp.: 2-3 days
Fridge: up to a week

Wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time.


Room temp.: 1-2 weeks

Store at room temperature away from sunlight. Store fully ripened tomatoes unwashed in the fridge. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.

Hope you enjoyed today's tip: How to Store Fruits and Vegetables.

Do you have other tips to share on hope to store fruits and vegetables?

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Hi, Great post. Clear tips on storing fruits and vegetables. Thanks for taking time to share such a great information for healthy life.
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