Tip of the Day
10 Surprising Foods You Should Be Refrigerating
You know milk, meat and eggs belong in the fridge. But what about less obvious foods? Keep these ten foods cold and they'll stay safe – and tasting great – longer.
- Tortillas. Some tortillas are prone to molding. That's why the fine print on many tortilla packages recommends refrigerating after opening.
- Salami. Cured meats like salami are less likely to harbor bacteria than cooked meats, but that does not mean they are always 100 percent safe. Store your salami in the refrigerator for up to 12 days to slow potential bacterial growth.
- Ripe Bananas. It's fine to ripen bananas on the kitchen counter. Trouble is, they keep ripening and ripening and ripening. Once they're ready to eat, pop them in the fridge.
- Nuts. Nuts' fragile unsaturated fats go rancid quickly. While that won't hurt your health, it's definitely bad news for flavor. Keep nuts tasting their best by stowing them in a moisture-tight plastic or glass container in your refrigerator for up to a year.
- Pure Maple Syrup. Maple syrup has a surprisingly short shelf life, so store it in the refrigerator rather than the pantry. Maple syrup can usually stay fresh for up to a year. However, if you notice any mold growth, be sure to toss it immediately.
- Dried Fruit. Dried fruit has less moisture than fresh fruit, so it doesn't spoil as quickly, but it still needs refrigeration for maximum freshness.
- Ketchup. Restaurants may leave their ketchup on the table, but that doesn't mean you should. While its high acid content will keep most bacteria at bay, cool temperatures help maintain flavor and freshness.
- Corn on the Cob. After just six hours at room temperature the sugar content of corn decreases by a whopping 40 percent. Unless you're going to cook it right away, keep corn in the fridge – husks and all – in a plastic bag for up to three days.
- Chocolate Syrup. Chill chocolate syrup after opening and it will last for up to six months.
- Pecan and Pumpkin Pies. Made with eggs, these treats are magnets for bacteria. Fresh from the oven, they’re okay to eat at room temperature for up to two hours. After that, they should go straight to the fridge for a maximum of three days.
For more information on proper refrigeration to avoid food poisoning, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area and visit the Refrigeration section at www.HomeFoodSafety.org.
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Reviewed September 2013