How to Store Fruits and Vegetables
Apples - Apples are ethylene gas producers so store away from other produce. They can be stored on the counter for up to a week or in the fridge for more than a week.
Avocados – Ripen on the counter then store in the refrigerator.
Bananas – Keep green bananas out of the refrigerator and let them ripen on the counter or a banana hanger.
Berries – Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are delicate and should not be washed until ready to eat. Keep in refrigerator in dry, covered containers.
Cherries & Grapes – Store in refrigerator, unwashed, in their packaged plastic containers or plastic bags until ready to wash and eat.
Citrus fruit – Extend the shelf life of clementines, grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges by storing them in the crisper drawer or in a mesh bag in the refrigerator.
Melons - Store cantaloupe and honeydew loose in the refrigerator, even before they’re cut. Watermelon can be kept in a dark, dry place away from other produce. Keep cut melon in the fridge.
Stone fruit – Keep nectarines, peaches and plums in a paper bag on the counter until they are ripe then move to the refrigerator where they’ll last a few more days.
Tomatoes – Always store at room temperature as the refrigerator will make them rot quickly. Keep loose in a bowl away from sun or heat (like the stove.)
Broccoli & Cauliflower – Broccoli and cauliflower are best kept in separate refrigerator drawers away from other produce.
Celery – Store in the refrigerator.
Corn – Store in the refrigerator inside their husks.
Cucumbers – Store at room temperature. Can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days if they are used soon after removal from the refrigerator.
Eggplant – Store at room temperature. Can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days if they are used soon after removal from the refrigerator.
Green beans – Store in the refrigerator.
Leafy green vegetables – Greens like lettuce, collards, chard, kale, and spinach should be stored in the refrigerator.
Onion family – Store garlic and onions in a cool, dark and dry space but separate from other foods because of their strong odors.
Mushrooms – Keep unwashed in the refrigerator. Moisture makes them slimy.
Peppers – Store at room temperature. Can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days if they are used soon after removal from the refrigerator.
Root vegetables – Store carrots, beets, and radishes in the refrigerator. Store potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squashes in a cool, dark and dry place like a pantry or cellar.
Last reviewed 1/2015
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Apr 25, 2018