Special Report

Foods That Should and Should Not Be Kept in the Fridge

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Onions and garlic

Whole onions should be kept for up to four weeks in a cool place (though not in the fridge), away from light, and in a well-ventilated container such as a mesh bag. Sweet onions have a shorter shelf life. Once cut, onions should be kept in the fridge and used within a few days. Garlic should not be kept in the fridge as the cold temperature will stimulate sprouting. Keeping garlic in a cool, dark and dry place will ensure its freshness for up to five months.

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Melons, a popular fresh addition to salads and desserts, include cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon. The best way to store ripe cantaloupe is 36 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit with optimal humidity between 95% and 100%, which will prevent it from drying out. It lasts in the fridge five to 15 days. Honeydew melons should be stored at room temperature, and in the fridge for up to two weeks once they are cut. Whole watermelons should also be stored at room temperature and in airtight containers in the fridge once cut.

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Cucumbers, which are 96% water, should be stored in the fridge for no more than a week. The most nutritious part of the vegetable is the skin, which is rich in vitamins C and K, as well as potassium.

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Bread should be kept in its original wrapper in a breadbox or in the fridge – although, it will stay fresh for longer at room temperature – and it should be consumed within a week. But it’s better protected from mold when refrigerated. If you freeze it, the bread will keep its quality for up to three months.

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How you should store nuts depends on how soon you’re going to eat them. Keeping small quantities at room temperature is fine. For long term use, however, store them in the freezer because the high fat content may become stale. For best quality, you should keep them in a moisture-proof container.

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