Anyaja M I am a writer and author from Standard Oil. I publish articles after a lot of research with adding my own experience in it.

38 Food Items That You Should Never Keep in the Fridge/Refrigerator

6 min read

Storing food and leftovers is a necessity in our life. Most of the time, refrigeration keeps food fresh for a longer time and prevents them from turning stale. However, there are several types of food, which, when refrigerated, react oppositely. For these particular food items, refrigeration might make them stale faster, or result in a change of taste. What are those food items? What are you possibly doing wrong? Read on to get your questions answered. 

NEVER Refrigerate these 38 Food Items:

1. Onions

Do not store whole, unpeeled onion in the refrigerator. It will absorb moisture and become mushy and get worse faster. You can rather store it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. 

2. Tomato

Tomatoes are one of the food items that spoil fast in cooler temperatures. They can become soggy and mushy. Always store tomatoes in the vegetable box in the fridge for not more than 3 days. If you keep it in there longer, it will lose its flavor and become stale. 

3. Melons

Whole, uncut melons, when stored in the fridge, can affect its taste. It restricts its natural ripening process and it is not as tasty. Its healthy antioxidants also get drastically reduced. Also, such a large fruit will take up lots of room in the fridge, of course, you don’t want that! What you can do is, keep them outside at room temperature, and when there are leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Mind you, don’t keep it in the fridge for more than 3 days. 

4. Potato

When kept in chilly temperatures of the refrigerator, the starch in potatoes break down into sugar. This will give a very unnecessary sweetness and might also make them discolored. You can rather keep potatoes in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. 

5. Honey

Honey will get solidified or crystallized if kept in the refrigerator, so you should completely avoid it. Keep it at room temperature to preserve it in its syrupy form. 

6. Garlic

Whole, unpeeled garlic will spoil faster if kept in the refrigerator because of the added moisture. You should rather store it in a dry container with good air circulation. Keep it whole in a cool place and peel only when you need them. 

7. Bread

Refrigerating bread ain’t a good idea as that will make it taste stale and affect its structure. Always buy it when you need it, and don’t hoard. However, if there is extra bread, you can freeze it and toast it later. In this way, it will retain the freshness for a few days. 

8. Bananas

Never put bananas in a refrigerator, especially unripe ones. Normal or room temperatures are required for bananas to get ripe and juicy, which of course won’t help if kept in the fridge. The banana skin might also turn black if kept in low temperatures. 

9. Avocados

Just like bananas, avocados too cannot ripen when refrigerated. Room temperature is more favorable for them to get ripe, and you can keep them in the fridge after that. 

10. Berries

Berries lose their flavor and crunchiness when you keep them in a refrigerator. The moisture can make them soggy as well. Best eat them fresh!

11. Coffee

Coffee can acquire the smell of the items around it. So keeping it in the refrigerator cannot be the best idea! It might also become moist and lumpy if not stored properly. So store it in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. You don’t want to spoil your morning punch of energy!

12. Nuts  

The moisture and low temperature can make nuts lose their crunchiness and flavor. That’s why always store them in an airtight container at a cool and dry place. It’s better not to consume nuts raw, roasting them before eating is both safe and healthy!

13. Dry Fruits

Low temperature and refrigeration add excessive moisture to dry fruits like dates and dried apricots, making them soggy. These items are best kept in an airtight container in a cool and dry place away from sunlight. This will make them last for quite some time. 

14. Jam

Jams can be kept outside the fridge when it is unopened. Once you open a jar of jam, you can store it in the fridge for as long as the label suggests. Most homemade jams can last up to a week. 

15. Basil 

Basil is a soft herb, and it is best stored fresh dipped in a container of water. Keeping it in the refrigerator can make it soggy and it will get stale sooner. 

16. Hot Sauce

Firstly, the big bottle of hot sauce will occupy lots of space in your fridge. It already has preservatives and vinegar to prevent it from going bad. You can keep it in a clean, dry place, it will stay fresh for quite some time. 

17. Bell Peppers


Bell peppers are known for their crunchy texture, which it loses when stored in the fridge. Buy them fresh only when you need them. Keeping it in a cool place will be enough to keep them fresh for a day or two. 

18. Cucumber

Cucumber already has a lot of moisture, and it doesn’t need the extra moisture of the fridge. Refrigeration will make it more soggy and watery. 

19. Open Canned Food

Canned food can be fresh in the cool temperature of the fridge as mentioned in the label. But once opened, the food quality will begin to deteriorate quickly. If stored in the opened can for long, it will develop a metallic taste that you won’t like. Storing it in an airtight container will help to preserve it longer. 

20. Butternut squash:

This vegetable is really tender and its moisture can go off when stored in the refrigerator. An uncut squash should always be stored at room temperature. Once cut, it can be stored inside the fridge upto four days. It can also be frozen and stored as cubes. 

21. Olive oil: 

Storing oils can get a bit difficult in refrigerators. It can make the oil grainy or even cloudy. Oils are retained best when they are stored at room temperature. Their colour & consistency remain intact when stored at regular temperature. But, olive oil has a tendency to rot faster if not stored properly. Keep it in a dark place that is comparatively cooler than the rest. 

22. Sweet potatoes:

Sweet potatoes when stored refrigerated, it can taste differently. The potatoes might lose their texture. Sweet potatoes remain fresh for the longest time when stored in a dark & well-ventilated cupboard.  

23. Pumpkins: 

Right after you bring your pumpkins home, you must let them bask in some sunlight to retain their freshness & toughen. After this, you can store them in a dark & well-ventilated cupboard which is within a temperature frame of 10 degree celsius. If cured & stored properly, pumpkins can last upto six months. 

24. Mangoes:

Mangoes are like avocados. Unripe mangoes must not be refrigerated because cool temperature does not promote ripening. After the mangoes soften a bit, you can keep them in a plastic & put them in the refrigerator. 

25. Eggplant: 

You do not need to refrigerate your eggplants. But, you must not keep them in a warm place because that way they might wither. You need to store them in an optimum temperature to keep them fresh for a longer time. It should be kept away from direct sun rays. 

26. Salad dressing: 

If your salad is not based on any creamy sauce, you might as well ditch refrigerating it. If it is based on oil or vinegar then you might just keep it in a cupboard for a few days. 

27. Cakes: 

Cakes never taste good when they are cold. Your cake will do mighty fine if you store it in an airtight container at least upto a week. Although, if your cake has a cream topping then you must refrigerate it. 

28. Syrups: 

Most syrups are low on water and high on sugar concentration. Be it a jar of maple syrup or golden syrup, they are made in a similar way. Therefore, these do not require refrigeration, they do well on a regular shelf. Infact, syrups can turn stiff when stored in a fridge. 

29. Chocolates: 

We all tend to store our chocolates in the refrigerators but that is absolutely not right. Cool temperature can affect its taste, texture & even colour. Cocoa butter chocolates also have a tendency of picking on the taste of the food that surrounds it. Keep it an airtight container.

30. Peaches: 

Like mangoes & avocados, you should not refrigerate your peaches when they are not ripe & ready. They can rot faster when stored inside a fridge. Store them on a shelf instead.

31. Pastries: 

Wrap your pastries in a paper bag and store them in room temperature to keep them fresh. When refrigerated, pastries tend to go soggy due to the inevitable condensation. Their taste might also differ in such a case. 

32. Peanut butter: 

If your peanut butter is organic then you can keep it in the fridge to retain its freshness but in a few cases the oil might get separated from the butter and the consistency can be spoiled. You are advised to store it in a cupboard and finish it within six-nine months. On the contrary, if you are using processed butter then do not refrigerate because the cool temperature might harden the spread. 

33. Dried spices: 

Your refrigerator is just not the right place for your dried spices. These foods might condense and ruin the flavour. Keep it stored in a dark cupboard to avoid extreme heat. Also, clear the same cupboard at least once a year. 

34. Tomato Ketchup:

Tomato ketchup has high vinegar, salt & sugar content which makes it absolutely fit for storing outside the fridge. Most people prefer keeping it in the fridge but bottled ketchup has been in use since no-refrigerator days. It is not a compulsion to refrigerate tomato ketchup. 

35. Eggs: 

If you’re staying in Europe the eggs must not be refrigerated because they do not sterilize them there. Eggs are sterilized to kill the bacteria after production. This method weakens the egg shell & so they require refrigeration. But, if they aren’t sterilized the egg shell remains strong enough to preserve themselves. 

38. Citrus fruits: 

Citrus fruits are laden with juices and therefore they do not require refrigeration if you consume them within a couple of weeks. But, if you need to store them longer then you have to store them in a plastic bag and only then keep it in the fridge. 

37. Fresh tender herbs: 

Leaves like mint, parsley, coriander etc should be treated like flowers. Cut & store them in a glass of fresh water. Refrigeration can make them soggy. Other leaves like oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage etc should be wrapped in a paper towel and kept in an airtight container. 

38. Champagne: 

If you do not plan to open the bottle in the next five days then do not refrigerate it. Wine needs to be stored in a stagnant temperature. The repetitive opening and shutting of the fridge door can affect the champagne greatly. Keep it in a cool place separately and chill it a few hours before you consume it.

Anyaja M I am a writer and author from Standard Oil. I publish articles after a lot of research with adding my own experience in it.

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