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Refrain From Keeping These Food Items in Refrigerator!

It is quite common to think that the refrigerator (fridge) is a safe haven for all food items and beverages, essentially including vegetables and fruits, for reasons related with food safety, nutrition, and health. But, this conception is not entirely true and right. It is found that some vegetables, fruits, and other food items do lose their original and unique texture and flavor when kept in fridge for a considerably long time. The chilling temperatures of the refrigerator [usually kept at 4 °C (40 °F) or lower] change the above-specified parameters of these food items. This concise description and the facts mentioned below give answer to questions like “is refrigerator good for all vegetables and fruits?”, and a really very intelligent and inquisitive question of “are tomatoes and apples safe in fridge?”, along with presenting names of some most common food items unfit to be kept in a fridge.

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes particularly come among foods unfit for keeping in fridge, these are best when kept in cool, dry and dark, and airy places. The chilling temperatures of the refrigerator play havoc with the texture and original flavor of tomatoes, and consequently, tomatoes become mealy and mushy and may contain ice crystals also.
  • Apples:Just like tomatoes, apples too lose texture and flavor when kept in fridge for some days. Hence, it is better to store apples outside the refrigerator in a cool, airy, and dry place or counter. However, place these in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes prior to eating, if you desire a crisp bite of this highly nutritious fruit. Ripe bananas, winter squashes, berries, stone fruits, etc. are also not fit for keeping in refrigerator; these are better at room temperature in a dry and well-ventilated place.
  • Coffee: Coffee, whether in ground or bean form, acts like a sponge to smells, and thus absorbs all smells present in the fridge, when it is kept in the same. Therefore, if you want to drink coffee with its original and bold Arabica flavor, then, never put it in refrigerator. This description answers to the striking curious question “is it right to keep coffee in fridge?”, for health and quality reasons.
  • Bread: Bread becomes dry and hard six times faster if kept in refrigerator. However, to alleviate this effect, you can keep this in a paper bag with a cloth towel wrapped around, in inevitable cases.
  • Potatoes: Under the realm of cold temperatures, the starches present in potatoes break down to sugar, and sprouting may also take place. Consequently, the taste, flavor, and shelf life of potatoes are adversely affected by keeping these in fridge. To prevent potatoes from thus becoming gritty, sweet, and dried out, store these in a paper bag in a cool, dry, dark, and ventilated place or drawer.
  • Onions and Garlic: Unpeeled onions and garlic bulbs remain best when these are kept in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place. When kept in fridge for too long, onions become moldy and mushy; and garlic may also become rubbery-soft and sprouting, besides getting moldy.
  • Whole Melons: It is best to keep melons outside the fridge in a cool and dry place. When whole melons are kept in fridge, these get mealy and lose the bulk of their health-giving antioxidants.
  • Honey: Honey is a naturally preserved food at room temperature, never keep it in a refrigerator. Chilling temperature of the fridge expedites the process of sugar crystallization within honey, turning it into a thicker and dough-like form, which could present difficulty in scooping out.
  • Citrus Items: It is better to store oranges, lemons, and limes at room temperature on the kitchen counter. Just keep care not to place these in close contacts, to prevent molding of these quickly.
  • Jam: High quantity of essential preservatives in jams and jellies, make these food items unsuitable for keeping in refrigerator.
  • Leafy Green Vegetables and Herbs: In fridge, these will start wilting too quickly and absorb the smells present in the refrigerator.
  • Dried Fruits and Nuts: These remain crisp and duly nutritious when kept outside the fridge in a dry, cool, and dark place.
  • Oils: Almost all oils are among those food items which are not safe in refrigerator, as these oils turn out to be thick and stodgy, and therefore, take a long time to become light liquid again. This happening is more common with olive oil and coconut oil.
  • Pickles: Pickles are also not fit to remain in the cool and closed realm of the fridge, owing to presence of high amount of preservatives (mainly vinegar) in these.
  • Hard Liquors: These are best when kept in dry places at room temperature.

Here, noteworthy also are the following wise recommendations ---- food items like raw or cooked meats, lean and fatty fish and other seafood, and poultry should be kept in separate and sealed containers, preferably on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, for not more than 2 to 3 days. Fresh eggs in intact shell can be safely kept for 2-3 weeks.

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