Food Storage Guide

June 8, 2009
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Storing food and other food products at the correct temperature may prevent food-borne illness but it can also increase the shelf life of certain items. Here’s a useful guide for properly storing food so it stays fresher for longer!

32 DEGREES IDEAL — STORE IN BACK OF COOLER:

ITEM TEMP. STORAGE
Apples* 31-32 Avoid excess movement. Do not rinse.
Broccoli 32-35 Store in covered box with drain shelf.
Cabbage 32-35 Leave wrapper leaves on. Store covered.
Cantaloupe* 38-42 Ripen at room temperature.
Carrots 32-35 Do not wash until ready to serve.
Cauliflower 32-35 Briefly store in single layers.
Celery 32-35 Keep covered and sprinkle with water.
Corn 32-34 Allow good air flow.
Grapes* 32-40 Air circulation causes wrinkling. Store only briefly.
Lettuce 32-35 Store tightly with drain shelf or colander.
Mushrooms* 34-40 Put in cooler immediately. Keep dry.
Oranges*(FL) 32-35 Need good air circulation.
Peaches 32 Store at 65-70 until ripened.
Pears* 32-35 Store at 60-65 until ripened.
Radishes 32 Rinse, remove tops, and drain before storing in covered containers.
Strawberries 32-35 Do not wash or trim before storing. Store only briefly.

45-55 DEGREES IDEAL — STORE IN WARMEST PART OF COOLER OR COOLEST PART OF KITCHEN:

ITEM TEMP. STORAGE
Avocados* 40-45 Handle gently. Ripen at room temperature.
Cucumbers 45-50 Do not wash or sprinkle with water.
Lemons* 45-50 Absorbs odors easily.
Onions 45-50 Keep cool, dry and ventilated.
Oranges*(CA) 45-50 Proper rotation will maintain good fruit.
Peppers 45-50 Very susceptible to chill damage.
Pineapple 45-50 Won’t ripen after harvest. Handle gently.
Squash 40-55 Soft shell cooler than hard shell.

55-65 DEGREES IDEAL — STORE IN COOLEST PART OF KITCHEN. DO NOT REFRIGERATE.:

ITEM TEMP. STORAGE
Bananas* 56-60 Do not refrigerate.
Potatoes 60-70 Store in dark area. Cooler temperatures cause accumulation of sugar.
Tomatoes* 55-65 Keep out of direct sunlight.
Watermelons 50-60 Store green side up. Cut pieces should be stored in the cooler.

REFRIGERATOR TEMPERATURE RANGE: DOOR(FRONT) — 40-45 DEGREES Melons Citrus Cantaloupe Pineapple Green Beans Cucumbers Eggplant Avocados Red potatoes Peppers Summer Squash

MIDDLE — 35-39 DEGREES Squash Zucchini Sprouts Green Onions Herbs Pears Parsley

BACK — 33-35 DEGREES Artichokes Asparagus Broccoli Carrots Cauliflower Celery Cherries Grapes Peaches Radishes Apples Apricots Blueberries Cabbage Corn Kiwi Leaf Lettuce Mushrooms Strawberries

******WHAT IS ETHYLENE GAS?****** Items marked with an asterisk (*) produce ethylene gas, an active plant hormone required for the ripening process. While this is good in certain quantities, some produce can be damaged by ethylene gas exposure, especially leafy vegetables. Be sure to arrange your produce carefully!

One Response to Food Storage Guide

  1. Larhonda
    January 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    The info you offer on this web site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

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