Who Knew? These 5 Foods Shouldn't Be Stored in the Fridge

a woman next to an open fridge, showing the food on the shelves
Camille Styles

If you're guilty of storing most of your groceries in the refrigerator, we've got news: It could be doing your food more harm than good. Certain fruit and vegetables simply aren't cut out for the climate of refrigerators. While it's easy to unpack fresh produce, stow them straight into the crisper section, and think nothing of it, Eat Clean reveals that some produce is actually damaged by the dry and chilly conditions of your fridge.

Yep, there are some foods that shouldn't be stored in the fridge, even if it's your usual go-to for keeping things fresh. You might be surprised by which fruits and herbs make it onto the list, so it's worth studying up on before your next trip to the market. To make sure you get the most out of your grocery haul, we've highlighted the top five foods that shouldn't be stored in your refrigerator.

Raid Your Fridge, and Remove These Five Key Items


Refrigerators keep food at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, which can cause potato starch to convert to sugar, changing the flavor. Take them out of the crisper, and store them in a dark place away from direct sunlight.


Storing tomatoes in the fridge can damage the membrane inside the fruit's walls, causing it to taste bland. Keep the ripe fruit on your countertop and eat within a few days for the best flavor.

Canned Food

There's a lot of conflicting advice about storing canned food in the fridge. Britain's National Health Service warns against it, arguing that the metal can leach into food, however, the FDA says tinned items don't pose a health risk. Err on the safe side, and store tinned food such as corn or tuna in a plastic container.


If you've made the mistake of putting fresh basil in the fridge, you'll understand why it's a big no-no. The green leaves quickly discolor and turn black and limp. Eat Clean recommends storing basil in a jar of water on the counter or in a plastic bag to trap humidity.


A USDA study found that watermelons kept at room temperature have more antioxidants than melons stored in the refrigerator. They also last longer. The rough shelf life of a watermelon kept on a countertop is two to three weeks, while for the refrigerated fruit it can last less than a week.

OXO Greensaver Crisper Inserts
OXO Greensaver Crisper Inserts $6

For produce you do store in the fridge, fasten this innovative insert to the side of a storage bin to keep your fruit and vegetables fresh.

BluApple Produce Fresh Guard
BluApple Produce Fresh Guard $10

This contraption absorbs ethylene gas to delay the premature ripening of fruits and vegetables, in or out of the fridge.

This story was originally published on April 20, 2016, and has been updated.

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