To ensure that your food remains safe, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends keeping your refrigerator at a chilly 40 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. Slowing bacterial growth is key to protecting against food illness – and Nao Medical doctors have some great tips for getting the most out of proper storage techniques!
Don’t store these food items in the refrigerator
While it’s tempting to want to store all of our food in the refrigerator, there are actually several items that should be stored at room temperature. Here are 7 food items that you should keep out of your refrigerator.
- Tomatoes: They lose their flavor and texture when refrigerated. Cold temperature damages the membranes inside its walls, making them lose flavor and become mushy. Cold air also stops the ripening process. Ripe tomatoes are meant to be eaten within a couple of days, so buy them in small amounts as needed.
- Potatoes: Keeping a potato in the refrigerator will turn its starch into sugar more quickly and that will make them sweet and gritty in nature. This increases their sugar content.
- Onions: If you put onions in the refrigerator, the moisture will eventually turn them soft and moldy. Chopped or sliced onions can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a few days.
- Coffee: If you leave coffee in the refrigerator, it will lose its flavor and may take out some of the odors in the refrigerator. Coffee beans are hygroscopic and they absorb moisture from the surrounding area. Larger quantities of coffee can be stored in the freezer.
- Honey: Keeping honey in the refrigerator can cause it to crystallize. Extreme cold temperatures can spoil its taste and texture.
- Avocados: Avocados sulk in the refrigerator. They ripen best at room temperature.
- Bread: Wheat flour, the primary ingredient in bread, is packed full of granules of starch. When exposed to moisture (in the refrigerator), the starch breaks down and becomes increasingly amorphous. This causes the bread to dry out quickly.
Following these food storage tips can help ensure that you stay well. If you believe that you may have food poisoning, visit the closest urgent care near you.