Fresh Purchasing and Storage Tips

What should I look for when buying fruit and vegetables?

When shopping for fresh produce, avoid items that are bruised, damaged, mouldy, slimy or show signs of damage from insects.

When buying pre-cut fresh fruit and vegetables, avoid damaged items and open or torn packages. Make sure that the items are properly refrigerated (ie less than 5 degrees). Check use by dates on all packaging and make sure that you eat them before the due date.

Always keep fruit and vegetables separate from raw meat, poultry and seafood. Blood and juice from raw foods could contaminate fruit and vegetables with bacteria.

How should I store my fruit and vegetables?

Fresh produce should be refrigerated as soon as possible after peeling or cutting. Leftover cut produce should be discarded if left at room temperature for more than four hours.

Prevent fruit and vegetables from coming into contact with raw meat, poultry and seafood. Make sure you keep fruit and vegetables in the crisper or on a shelf above these foods so there is no risk of blood and juice dripping onto fresh produce.

What should be refrigerated and what can be left at room temperature?

Fruit and vegetables, in particular fresh cuts, should be kept in the refrigerator at less than 5 to maintain optimum freshness and ensure food safety.

Some vegetables and fruit do not require refrigeration, such as:

  • Bananas
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Swedes and potatoes

The following vegetables and fruit can be kept at room temperature until ripe and then refrigerated:

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Kiwifruit
  • Mangoes
  • Melons
  • Nectarines
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

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