There’s nothing worse than having a dinner idea in mind and going to execute it only to find that the produce you just bought a couple of days ago is already turning bad. It’s frustrating! And it’s likely because you’re not storing the produce properly.

Safe and proper storage of fresh fruit and veggies is important not just because it helps maintain freshness, but also because it can further ripen some produce, prevent illness and help you get the best bang for your buck since you’ll be wasting less.

The first thing to keep in mind that many people are not aware of is that some fruits ripen further after being harvested and produce a gas called ethylene. But this gas causes vegetables to deteriorate quicker; so fruits and vegetables shouldn’t be stored in the same place in the fridge.

You may be surprised to know that some vegetables can actually be stored for several months in the right conditions. A cold storage room is usually the best option, if possible because it’s dark, dry and cool, which is ideal for root vegetables and onions.

For fruit and vegetables that have been cut, they should be used right away or covered tightly in the fridge for no more than two to three days. Contrary to what many people do, washing fruits and veggies before storing them isn’t advised as it will make them rot quicker. Only wash right before you plan to use the produce. The exception to this rule is leafy greens like lettuce and spinach, which should then be used within one week of washing.

For info on how to store specific fruits and vegetables – at what room or fridge temperature and some extra tips – the Canadian Produce Marketing Association has a really helpful guide that you can refer to when you do your weekly grocery shopping: click here

Visit our Food Shoppe at 90 Earl Martin Dr. in Elmira for quick and easy meal solutions and to talk with one of our chefs about more tips on storing foods properly.

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