Experts reveal definitive guide to what should (and shouldn’t) go in the fridge, from eggs to tomato sauce & potatoes

WHEN it comes to unpacking the food shop, we're the kind of people who throw most of it in the fridge and hope for the best.

But while we all know that dairy products definitely need to be refrigerated, where to store everyday items like ketchup, fruit and peanut butter is more open to interpretation.

But if you want to avoid starting a blazing row in our household, maybe avoid telling people that you keep ketchup in the cupboards.

Here Fabulous shares the definitive guide of foods that should and shouldn't be kept in the fridge.


The Food Standards Agency recommends storing them in the fridge, as the risk of salmonella is increased by changes in temperature – which can also affect the quality and taste.

Considering how some fridges have egg holders incorporated into their design, you'd be forgiven for thinking that's the best place to put them.

However, Good Housekeeping's Consumer Editor Sara Benwell recommends keeping your eggs on the middle shelf in your fridge so they stay consistently cool.

She said: "Not only is the door the warmest part of the fridge, it’s also the most susceptible to temperature fluctuation.

"Eggs are at their best when stored at a consistent temperature, so we recommend keeping them in the fridge on the middle shelf."

Tomato Sauce

Whether or not to store tomato sauce in the fridge is a matter of personal preference.

On the bottle, most brands recommend storing it in a cool cupboard at first and then refrigerating and consuming within 8 weeks once you've opened it.

However, dietician Dr Schenker told Which?: "Sometimes people keep ketchup in the fridge, simply because they prefer a chilled taste, but otherwise it doesn’t need to be refrigerated."

The expert claims the condiment can be kept in a cupboard because the high vinegar content and acidity of the tomatoes preserves the product even at room temperature.

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What's more, the Food Standards Agency has warned people against storing potatoes in their fridges.

"When these are stored in the fridge, the starch in the potato is converted to sugar," it explained. "When baked or fried, these sugars combine with the amino acid asparagine and produce the chemical acrylamide, which is thought to be harmful."

Dr Sarah Jarvis told Good Housekeeping: "Animal studies have shown that acrylamide can cause cancer, and there’s concern that at high levels it might have the same effect in humans.

"It may do this by having an effect on the DNA in individual cells, although the exact mechanism is unclear."

Instead, you should store your potatoes in a cool, dry place like a kitchen cupboard.

Peanut Butter

Most people prefer to keep peanut butter in their cupboards so it stays nice and creamy.

And according to the National Peanut Board, that's fine as long as you consume it within three months.

If it's been open longer than that, they recommend putting it in the fridge so the oils don't separate.

However, it's worth noting that natural peanut butter made doesn't last as long and needs to be eaten within a month and stored at room temperature.

Onions and Garlic

These are best stored in separate bags or boxes inside a dry, dark cupboard.

If your onions have ever started growing long, green tails, this is called sprouting – a process caused by exposure to light.

Garlic will go mouldy in the fridge, and cut onions will contaminate other foods and make them smell as they release a gas called propanethial S-oxide that mixes with parts of the onion to produce sulphur.


It can be tempting to bung bananas in the fridge to make them last longer.

But if they're still green, they won't ripen in the fridge and simply go mushy.

A Moment of Science reports that the tropical fruit's cells have no natural defence against the cold and this causes the enzymes to leak and make the banana turn black.


They might taste delicious when eaten straight from the fruit bowl – but have you noticed that grapes only last a couple of days before shrivelling up?

Food expert Harold McGee – who wrote the book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen – says that grapes last longer when kept in the fridge.

The Huffington Post reports that you shouldn't wash grapes before putting in the fridge as the excess water causes them to decay faster.

That said, you should always give them a thorough rinse once you've taken them out of the fridge for hygiene purposes.


Forget fruit bowls – the experts at Aussie Apples said keeping them in the fridges keep them fresh and crisp.

They recommended: "When you get your apples home, always keep them in the fridge as they will stay fresh and crisp for longer.

"If you prefer your apples at room temperature simply pop a few in your fruit bowl in the morning and they'll be ready to go by snack time."

If you've already chopped up an apple and want to save the rest for later, they recommended adding a drop of lemon juice over the stop to slow down the oxidisation process.

For more food stories, this mum meal prepped six dinners in just 15 minutes making weeknight cooking a breeze – and other parents love her tips.

And this mum revealed her simple tip to ensure you get every last drop of sauce out of a packet & it’s blowing people’s minds.

Plus this mum-of-two shared how she feeds her whole family for just £47 a month – and the recipes are so easy.

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