Keep Food Fresh

The right storage can help keep fruits and vegetables fresh longer. Freezing food can also save you money if you store it correctly.

Is This Still Good?

Download the FoodKeeper app for storage tips on more than 400 food and drink items. The app is available for Android and Apple devices.

 

Storing Vegetables and Fruits

Most fresh vegetables should be stored in the refrigerator.

  • Use asparagus, beans, brussels sprouts, greens, peas, and other fresh vegetables as soon as possible.
  • Never store uncut potatoes, onions (excluding green onions), or winter squash in the refrigerator. The starch will convert to sugar.
  • Most fruits should be used within a few days. 
  • Wash lettuce, then dry and wrap in a paper towel before putting in a plastic bag.
  • Restore wilted greens by soaking them in ice water for 15-30 minutes.
  • Store an apple with potatoes to keep them from sprouting.
  • Wash fresh berries in a vinegar bath to keep them fresh longer. Mix one part vinegar with three parts water to wash. Make sure the berries are dry before storing in the fridge.
  • Store tomatoes outside the fridge, stem side down.
  • Poke a hole in the side of a lemon and only squeeze out what you need. It will stay fresh longer than cutting it.

In the Package or Out?

  • Store refrigerated vegetables unwashed in their original package or in a plastic bag.
  • Fruits and vegetables stored at room temperature, like bananas, apples, or tomatoes, should be taken out of their package and left loose.
 

Mom tip

“I wrap my banana stems in plastic wrap to keep them fresher longer.” –Danielle

Vegetables

If you are storing this food item in the refrigerator... Store no longer than...
Beans, green or wax 3 - 7 days
Beets 3-5 days
Broccoli 3-5 days
Brussels sprouts 3-5 weeks
Cabbage 1-2 weeks
Carrots 4-6 weeks
Cauliflower 1 week
Celery 2 weeks
Corn on the cob 2-3 weeks
Cucumbers 1 week
Eggplant 1 week
Greens 7-14 days
Lettuce or salad greens 3-5 days
Okra 3-7 days
Parsley 1-2 months
Parsnips 2-6 months
Peas or lima beans, unshelled 3-5 days
Peppers 4-7 days
Radishes 3-4 weeks
Spinach 10-14 days
Squash, summer 4-5 days
Tomatoes, ripe 4-7 days

Fruits/Juices

If you are storing this food item in the refrigerator... Store no longer than...
Apples 1-3 weeks
Berries 1-7 days
Citrus fruits 3 weeks
Grapes 1 week
Juice, all types, opened 7-10 days
Juices, all types, unopened 3 weeks
Melons 3-7 days
Oranges 3-4 days
Peaches, apricots, nectarines 3-5 days
Pears, plums 3-4 days
Pineapple, ripe 2-4 weeks
Pumpkins 2-3 months
Rhubarb 2-4 weeks

Storing Foods in the Freezer

Store the following foods at 0 °F. Meat should be stored in its original package. If you have bulk meat, wrap the meat very tightly in either plastic wrap or freezer paper. Press the wrapping right up against the surface of the meat. Next, wrap another layer of aluminum foil around it or seal it inside a zip-top freezer bag.

Dairy Products

If you are storing this food item in the freezer... Store no longer than...
Butter 12 months
Cheese, hard 6-8 months
Margarine 12 months
Milk, fluid 3 months
Whipped topping, unopened plastic tub 14 months

Fruits/Juices/Vegetables

If you are storing this food item in the freezer... Store no longer than...
Fruit: berries, melons, apple slices 8-12 months
Juice concentrates 12 months
Vegetables, blanched or cooked 8-12 months

Grain Products/Baked Goods

If you are storing this food item in the freezer... Store no longer than...
Bread 2-3 months
Bread dough 1 month or use-by date
Cake, angel food 6-12 months
Cake, frosted 1 month
Cake, unfrosted 2-4 months
Cookie dough 3 months
Cookies 6-12 months
Muffins 6-12 months
Pancakes, waffles 1 month
Pie, fruit 6-8 months
Pie, pumpkin or chiffon 1-2 months
Pie crust, ready-to-bake 12 months

Meat/Meat Alternatives

If you are storing this food item in the freezer... Store no longer than...
Casseroles, meat, poultry, egg 12 months
Chicken or turkey, cooked 6-8 months
Chicken nuggets 12 months
Chicken or turkey, parts, raw 3 months
Chicken or turkey, whole, raw 14 months
Eggs, whites, yolks, substitutes, raw 12 months
Fish, cooked 3 months
Fish, raw 3-8 months
Gravy or meat broth 2-3 months
Meat, chops, steaks, roasts, raw 4-12 months
Meat, cooked 2-3 months
Meat or poultry, ground, raw 3-4
Meat, ham, frankfurters, bologna 1-2 months
Meat, luncheon 1-2 months
Meat, cooked 1-2 months
Sausage, raw or cooked 1-2 months
Soups or stews 2-3 months