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How To Keep Your Produce Fresh Longer

December 02, 2021

There’s nothing better than garden-fresh produce. As both professional and home chefs know, fresh ingredients elevate dishes to new heights. Plus, eating your daily dose of veggies is a great way to maintain health. Many times traditional grocery stores do not have the produce you need at affordable prices, so most savvy home cooks turn to their local bulk food store for quality produce. Not only can patrons stock up on a wealth of options, but they save money at the same time. If you are new to buying produce in bulk, you may have concerns about keeping perishable food fresh for longer. However, with a few tips from food experts, you can easily extend the life of your fruits and veggies.

What are the Best Ways to Store Fresh Produce?

50% of fruits and veggies are wasted globally per year.


Let’s face it. We are all guilty of letting lettuce sit in the fridge a little too long or burying our berries under other produce. Next thing you know that once gorgeous produce is getting thrown in the compost. While no one intends to let their food go bad, nearly 50 percent of fruits and veggies are wasted globally per year. Learn how to save your veggies from the waste bin with these 5 food storage tips.

1. Ensure Your Produce is Fresh from the Start

Sometimes spoilage isn’t your fault. If produce hasn’t been taken care of properly at your grocery store, you might be buying produce that has already begun to go bad. Buy from a reputable store that maintains high-quality standards. Places that carry bulk wholesale food and beverages for restaurants are fantastic stores to shop at because you know all of the items are chef-quality.

2. Keep Your Perishables Dry

Do you wash your vegetables, roots, and fruits before storing them? If so, make sure they are completely dry before putting them away. Extremely wet produce can encourage mold to settle in. Here are a few tips for washing your produce:

  • Gently rub produce while holding under running water. Soap is not needed. 
  • Use a vegetable brush to remove dirt from denser and firm produce such as melons and potatoes.
  • Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.

3. Put Your Fruit and Veggies Away Properly

Every vegetable, fruit, and tuber you bring home has its ideal storage conditions. If you keep any vegetables outside of their perfect settings, you could cause premature spoilage. Here are a few rules of thumb to remember:

  • Separate ethylene gas-producing items. Certain fruits and vegetables give off ethylene gas, which accelerates ripening in ethylene gas-sensitive produce. While ripening might seem fine, it’s also a fast track to spoilage. Always keep ethylene-producing vegetables away from ethylene-sensitive ones. 
  • Learn more about tuber and root storage. Tubers like sweet potatoes and russets love a cool dark place with lots of air circulation. Root veggies like carrots, parsnips, beets, and ginger can go in the fridge. Keep them in an air-tight container or bag and remove any leafy tops to keep the moisture in the root.
  • Let certain fruits and veggies hang out on the counter. Hearty winter squashes, citrus, and unripe mangos are perfectly fine to be left out on countertops. However, look for signs of softness and ripeness and either use right away or relocate them to the fridge to extend their life.
  • Treat herbs like a bouquet. Delicate herbs like basil and cilantro are best stored upright in a glass of water. Make sure to thoroughly wash and dry the herb bundles and trim the stems before putting them in the fridge. 

4. Freeze Produce for Longevity

Freeze vegetables to keep them fresh.

Life gets in the way, and sometimes you might not have time to use all your fruits and veggies before their expiration date. If you want to suspend your veggies at their peak of freshness, pop them in the freezer. To make them even easier to use for stir-fries, soups, or stews, chop them down to a manageable size before putting them in your freezer bags.

5. Use the Right Storage Tools

Take a tip from professional chefs and use the tricks of their trade for your home. Products like Cambro food storage offer a wealth of food container solutions. Storing foods in containers with tight-fitting reusable lids help extend the shelf life of many foods. Clear bins with easy-to-see measurements, designed for optimal stacking, and a ton of suitable sizes are just some of the benefits Cambro products provide.

Shop Quality Bulk Restaurant Food and Supplies

At US Foods CHEF’STORE, we carry the best farm-fresh produce at family-budget prices. Whether you are looking for vine-ripe tomatoes, vibrant stone-fruit, or hearty greens, our produce section has everything you crave and more! Plus, we even carry Cambro products like Cambro seal covers to help keep your fruits and veggies fresh for longer. Contact us or stop by any of our nearby locations to experience all we have to offer.

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