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Storing Fresh Produce

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Refrigerators should maintain a temperature of 41 °F, or less, but temperatures inside a refrigerator can range from colder (32 °F) to warmer (41 °F), depending on the location. Colder temperatures are found in the back and warmer temperatures in the front, near the door.

Some produce should be stored at warmer temperatures near the door for best quality. Location of fruits and vegetables is important because fruits, in general, produce ethylene gas, which fosters natural ripening, but it also can cause most vegetables and a few non-ethylene producing fruits to deteriorate more quickly and develop undesirable characteristics. Ideally, ethylene-producing fruits should be stored in the refrigerator as far from ethylene-sensitive fruits and vegetables as possible.

These items should not be refrigerated. Place in dry storage 60 °F — 70 °F:

  • Bananas
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Dry Onions

Review the diagram below to learn more about how to properly store produce in a walk-in refrigerator.

Diagram of a walk in fridge showing ethylene producers and ethylene sensitive produce on opposites sides, and specific produce items stored with other specific produce items.
Walk-In Refrigerator
Page updated: June 03, 2024