Proper Handling Of Produce In The Crisper(s)

  • Fruit should be ripe before being placed in the refrigerator because cooler temperatures slow down ripening.  Allow fruit to ripen at room temperature before refrigerating. 
  • Once it’s ripe, in general, fruit should be refrigerated to extend its shelf life.
  • The website eHow recommends bagging each type of fruit in a separate plastic bag. 
  • Don’t wash fruits and vegetables before refrigeration; that should be done shortly before consuming them. Added moisture encourages the growth of pathogens.  But if the fruit is extremely dirty, wash and then dry it well before refrigerating.
  • Place fruits and vegetables in the crisper bin(s), where it’s coolest and humidity-controlled.
  • Most fruits do better in a bin set on low humidity, and vegetables do better with high humidity.
  • In general, fruit and vegetables should be loosely wrapped to prevent accumulation of moisture on the surface, to prevent mold growth, and to slow down the ripening process. 

 
 
Sources:
Susan Brewer, Ph.D,, University of Illinois, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
eHow: How to Do Just About Everything  “How to Store Fruit in a Refrigerator”
USDA Fact Sheets Safe Food Handling   Refrigeration and Food Safety
USDA Factsheet: “Molds on Food”
University of Hawaii and USDA factsheet: “Store it. Don’t Ignore it!”
USDA Handbook: “Kitchen Companion”
The Today show website: “Fridge Findings: Learn Where to Store your Food” (2006)
Brewer, M.S. and Chapman-Novakofski, K. 2006.  “Meat Safety for the Consumer,” University of Illinois Extension 

 
 

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