Q:

How do you increase refrigerator shelf life for fresh vegetables?

A:

Quick Answer

Keeping your refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower is effective at extending the refrigerator life of fresh vegetables. Making sure that the refrigerator is not packed too tightly and waiting to wash vegetables until just before you use them are also ways to preserve the life of refrigerated vegetables.

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Full Answer

Though the methods for extending the shelf life of vegetables can vary based on the specific type of vegetable, there are some basic steps to take that ensure a longer life for your produce. Keep the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to ensure food safety and to limit the growth of bacteria and mold. Moisture is often the cause of mold on produce, so waiting to wash vegetables until just before use is a great way to prevent molding and to add up to four days to their life.

It is also important to make sure that your refrigerator is not too tightly packed and that there is enough space for air to circulate. This allows the cold air to reach all of the items in the refrigerator and prevents spoiling. Finally, oxygen is often the culprit in spoiling food as it causes decay. You may minimize exposure to oxygen for your vegetables by sealing them in plastic bags and making sure to squeeze all of the air out before sealing the bag.

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