EXCLUSIVES

What Food Would You Never Store In The Refrigerator? - Exclusive Survey

Katherine BeckJan. 5, 2023 11:57 am EST1,473

It feels awful to have to toss a moldy tomato or a stale loaf of bread out because it wasn't stored correctly. As the saying goes, "a place for everything, and everything in its place." Not only is putting, say, a banana in its designated storage spot good for a tidy kitchen, but it also means it's more likely to be eaten before it goes bad.

Should you find yourself pulled away from unpacking groceries or leftovers when you get home from the store or restaurant, it's fine to let the food sit on the counter for a bit — but only up to two hours. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), perishable food can be kept out at room temperature for up to two hours before needing to be disposed of. After that period, it's important to get perishable items into a cold spot. 

But there are some food items that create a quandary of where to store them, including fruits, vegetables, and bread. Do they go on the counter, in the pantry, or in the fridge? When Tasting Table polled 588 readers, they shared what they would never put in the refrigerator.

Bread, whole fruit make the list

Of those polled, only 32 (5.44%) said they would never put butter in the refrigerator; however, the USDA has said the dairy product can last one to two months in the refrigerator after it is purchased. Butter can also be frozen for long-term storage. If kept on the counter, it must be kept in a clean and closeable container, per Real Simple. 

About 12% of respondents (71 people) said they wouldn't store whole fresh fruit in the refrigerator. More specifically, 106 people (18.03%) said keeping a tomato in the fridge is something they wouldn't do, followed by 133 people (22.62%) not opting to store garlic in the fridge.

The item that the majority of Tasting Table readers said they would never store in the fridge? It's bread. And science has shown that they're making a great decision in keeping the bread fresh. According to The Perfect Loaf, bread will become stale faster if kept in the refrigerator. There's an even worse place to keep bread, though, and that's on top of the fridge.