8 foods you shouldn’t keep in the fridge (but probably still do)

How many of these food sins are you committing?

Fresh herbs

Although it might make sense to store your herbs like basil, mint and parsley in the fridge to keep them fresh, it actually causes them to wilt much faster. Your herbs will also naturally absorb the odours from food around them – and a banana-flavoured coriander sprig just won’t do.

The best way to keep your herbs is at room temperature, sitting in a vase filled with water, just like flowers. For extra freshness, cover the leaves with damp paper towels or tea towels.


Sure, it might make sense to store it alongside your jams and butter, but honey has no place in the fridge. The cool air will cause your honey to harden and crystalise, and once this happens – there’s no turning back.

If you want to keep it sweet and runny, keep your jar tightly sealed in your pantry. It should last for several months (if you can wait that long before tucking in).


If you’ve bought (or made) a big loaf of bread and you know there’s no way you’ll be able to get through it all in a couple of days, it may be tempting to pop it in the fridge to help keep it fresh. However, this usually ends up doing the opposite, drying out the dough and leaving you with a stale sandwich base.

Instead, slice up your bread and freeze it, if you know you won’t eat it right away. Ensure you allow your bread to completely defrost before eating it or toasting it, and it will maintain the same consistency as if it was fresh.

And if you know you’ll polish it off within a few days, keep your bread in the pantry in a tightly sealed plastic bag for up to four days.


Ever bitten into a fresh tomato, just-picked off the vine, and wondered why it tastes so much better than the ones you bought from the supermarket? The answer? Refrigeration. The cold air in your fridge stops the ripening process, Harold McGee explains in his book On Food And Cooking.

Chilling your tomatoes actually changes their texture, too, as the cold air damages the membranes inside the fruit walls, causing the tomato to lose flavour and develop a crunchy, mealy flesh.


This is another one that many of us are guilty of – but storing your onions in the fridge causes them to soften and grow mould.

Your best bet is to keep them in a cool, dry place, like your pantry. Store them away from your potatoes, though, as both vegetables deteriorate more rapidly when stored together.

It’s worth noting, other members of the onion family like chives and scallions are still good for the fridge as they are naturally higher in water – just be careful of your Spanish, brown and white onions.

Kumara and potatoes

Your root veggies belong in your fridge with the rest of your vegetables, right? Wrong.

The cool air from your fridge causes your potatoes’ starch to turn into sugar quicker, leaving you with a sweet and gritty vegetable.

Instead, keep your ‘taters in a cool, dark place like a root cellar or your pantry. Wrap them in a paper bag to keep the potatoes fresh, while allowing them to breathe.


If you purchase an avocado slightly under-ripe with the hope of using it in a couple of days time, avoid chilling it at all costs. The cold air will stop the ripening process and cause this (usually) creamy fruit to became firm and unworkable.

On a more positive note, if your avo has reached ultimate ripeness – you can keep it in the fridge for a few days to keep it in tip-top condition until you want to use it.


It’s the sure-fire way to add major flavour to any of your savoury dishes, but garlic should always be kept out of the fridge. The cool air will cause the bulbs to grow sprouts and form mould. You’re also at risk of your garlic cloves becoming rubbery if you refrigerate it.

Instead, keep it in the pantry with your onions, either in a paper or plastic bag.

This story appeared on Food to Love.

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