Special Report

Foods That Should and Should Not Be Kept in the Fridge

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It’s a bad idea to keep chocolate in the fridge or freezer because it may pick up other flavors. Store it at room temperature for maximum flavor. Quick changes in humidity or temperature may cause the surface to become discolored. The best way to store chocolate is to keep it wrapped tightly in plastic in a cool and dry place.

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Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese can last for a long time if stored properly, due to its low water content and texture. The cheese should be kept in the fridge (never freezer) in a glass or plastic container to maintain the flavor. Otherwise, it may dry out and absorb the smell of other foods in the fridge.

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Soft cheeses

Not only should soft cheeses such as Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, ricotta, mozzarella, and Muenster be kept in the fridge, they should be discarded if left out at room temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above for more than two hours.

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Bananas should be left to ripen at room temperature. After that, it’s OK to keep them in the fridge. The skin will darken but this won’t affect the freshness or flavor of the fruit — as long as you eat them within five days.

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Olive oil

Olive oil should be kept in a cool, dry and dark place — never close to the stove as the heat will quickly lead to rancidity. Clear glass bottles should even be wrapped in foil to protect from light and heat so the oil will last longer. Once the bottle is opened, the olive oil is good for three months.