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. 




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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