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Produce Storage Guidelines: As stated on Refrigerator Food Storage, foods cost money and with inflation and rapidly increasing fuel prices which also drives up the cost of food, it makes good sense to take care of the food you spend your hard-earned money on.
Knowing how to store food correctly will prolong the life of your food and reduces the risk of E-coli and salmonella, which keeps you and your family safe and healthy.
You become a five-star restaurant at home with proper refrigerator food storage. By using these produce storage guidelines, you will be able to:
Use the handy chart below to help you get the most from your food!
The Recommended Storage Times (RST) below are based on storage temperature of 37°F.
|Food Item||RST||Handling Tips|
|Apples||1 to 3 weeks||Get rid of bruised or decayed fruit.|
|Bananas||1-3 days||Refrigerate only when fully ripe.|
|Berries, Cherries||1-2 days||Store in moisture resistant bag or wrap.|
|Citrus||3 weeks||Do not wash before storing -- moisture may encourage spoiling.|
|Juices||Bottled, reconstituted, frozen, canned (6 days)||Keep tightly covered. Transfer canned juice to plastic or glass container if not used within one day.
Do not return unused juice to container (prevents bacteria growth).
|Melons||1 week||Wrap uncut pieces to prevent odor spreading to other foods and retain moisture.|
|Asparagus||1-2 days||Keep stems moist.|
|Beans (green or wax)||1-2 days||Keep in crisper in moisture proof bags or wrap.|
|Beets, carrots, radishes||1-2 weeks||Remove leafy tops. Keep in crisper.|
|Corn in husks||1-2 days||Store in crisper.|
|Lettuce (unwashed)||5-7 days||Keep in moisture proof wrap, bag or lettuce keeper.|
|Lettuce (washed/drained)||3-5 days||Store away from other produce to prevent russet spotting.|
|Mushrooms (fresh)||1-2 days||Do not wash before storing.|
|Onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams||Indefinite||Refrigeration not necessary. Store in cool, dry location (cupboard or pantry).|
|Shredded cabbage, leaf and bib lettuce, salad greens||1-2 days||Store in moisture resistant wrap or bag.|
|Tomatoes||1-2 days||Ripen at room temperature away from direct sun. Refrigerate.|
|Unshelled peas, limas, spinach||3-5 days||Keep in crisper in moisture-resistant wrap or bags.|
[Note: Information obtained from Texas Agricultural Extension Service, The Texas A&M University System]
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