Leftovers

  • Store all leftovers in leak-proof, clear containers or wraps. BeesWax wrappers are amazing alternative for plastic wrap!
  • Follow the ‘first in, first out’ rule: Always eat the oldest foods first.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking. And there’s no need to wait for piping-hot foods to cool down before storing them―modern refrigerators can handle the heat.
  • Divide leftovers into small, flat containers so that they cool faster. Some bacteria spores survive the cooking process and may germinate if the food is at room temperature long enough.
  • Check that your fridge is set at 40°F or below. And don’t just rely on the pre-programmed settings—rather, enlist help from a refrigerator thermometer.
  • Don’t refrigerate leftover soup broth, tuna fish, cranberry sauce, or other foods in cans. Once a can is opened, residual metal on the rim can leach into food and leave a metallic taste.
  • It’s recommended to be using refrigerated leftovers within three to five days or freezing them up to 4 months.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Keep fruits and vegetables separate and store like with like: Apples with apples, carrots with carrots, bananas with bananas. Fruits and vegetables give off different gases that can cause others to deteriorate.
  • Leave refrigerated produce unwashed in its original packaging or wrapped loosely in a bag. (There are exceptions, such as mushrooms and herbs.)
  • If your greens seem sandy or dirty—think lettuce from the farmers’ market—rinse and dry them well, then wrap them in a paper towel. Otherwise, avoid washing your produce before refrigerating it. The dampness can make it mold and rot more quickly.
  • Fruits and vegetables stored at room temperature should be removed from any packaging and left loose. 
  • Store cut fruits and vegetables in the fridge in perforated or unsealedbags to maintain a moist environment yet still allow air to circulate.
  • Keep citrus at room temperature. However, once your lemons, limes, or oranges are past peak ripeness, storing them in the fridge will help them last longer (same goes for tomatoes and avocados). If your citrus starts to turn, you can slice the fruit up and freeze it: frozen citrus is great as ice cubes for drinks.
  • Onions, potatoes, and shallots should be stored in a cool dark place to keep them fresh, like a basket in a cupboard or a cellar. Avoid storing these products in plastic bags as this encourages spoilage. Once cut, onions should be stored in a resealable bag in the fridge where they will last for around a week, or stored in a container and kept in the freezer.
  • If you won’t be eating them immediately, buy bananas when they’re still slightly green and store them away from other fruits in the fruit bowl (they release high amounts of ethylene gas, which as mentioned can cause other fruits to go off more quickly). Consider using a banana tree to keep them separated and minimize bruising.
  • Keep apples in an uncovered fruit bowl on the countertop and make sure to store them out of direct sunlight.