Keeping Your Food Fresh

Teresa Hunsaker, USU Extension, Family and Consumer Science Educator, shares some tips to help your food stay fresh longer.


• Get the air out

• Fridge prevents mold, but dries out the bread faster
• Freezing bread as slices, thaw at room temp or toast

• Dark cool place

• Room temp, dark, dry place

• Put bread in humidity controlled on high humidity setting drawer in fridge to keep from drying out.

• Double bag the bread

• Room temperature in sealed paper or plastic bag

• Bread box keeps from air

• Paper bag inside plastic

If bread does become stale, refresh it in a medium oven (350 degrees F.) for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle it with a little water before you put it in the oven to replenish lost moisture.


When baking cookies, after the cookies have cooled completely, place them in an air tight container with a slice of bread. The bread will go stale, but the cookies stay soft and fresh! And if you replace the stale bread slice with a fresh one, it extends the cookie life more.
*A slice of bread in brown sugar will keep the brown sugar soft too.

Potato Chips

• Ziploc type bag

• Chip clip

*Most preferred the chip clip or folding the bag over, some said Ziploc made them stale…Consumer Report liked the clip.


Remove from plastic and wrap in aluminum foil or, wrap in cheese cloth dipped in vinegar and wring out.

Shred and Freeze

Buy in bulk and slice into smaller blocks and freeze

Fruit & Vegetables

• Debbie Meyer green bags

• Out of sunlight

• Keep apples separate from other fruit. They speed ripening

• Keep fruits and veggies in separate crispers

• Store in plastic bags in crisper

• Throw out rotten fruit/veggies to save others

• Keep crispers clean

Cool Room Temperature and out of direct light:

• Unripe fruit like citrus or apples (they will not ripen if chilled)

• Tomatoes (they lose flavor and texture if chilled)

• Garlic

• Fresh ginger

• Potatoes—in a cool dark location—but not the fridge

• Winter squash

• Onions—cool and dark

• Stone fruits

To be refrigerated:

• Ripe fruit (citrus, kiwi)

• Berries (in a vented container)

• Celery

• Carrots

• Apples (can also be left on counter)

• Cut fruit

• Radishes

• Greens such as spinach and lettuce—wash then wrap them tightly in a cotton towel. Place the towel-wrapped greens in a plastic bag and refrigerate.

• Fresh herbs—keep them like cut flowers. Trim off the bottoms of the stems to expose fresh surface and place them in a small container with water, cover loosely with a plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator. Change the water and recut the stems as needed.

• Asparagus can be stored standing in a cup of water for maximum freshness

*Mushrooms—in a closed paper bag

Vegetables and fruits generally like it cold, but not all of them. Tropical fruits, for example, suffer in refrigeration temperatures. They are best stored cool but outside the refrigerator.

Keep fruits and vegetables separate as some fruits like apples give off ethylene gas which speeds up the ripening process of other foods and can lead to spoilage. It is also important to clean out your produce bin frequently as possible- any rotten food can cause other fresh food to spoil more quickly.

For more information, you can contact the USU Extension Office at

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