If you don’t want to get sick, storing food properly is key! At times, it can be hard to determine what should and shouldn’t be refrigerated. While many food products have labels and will state whether their product should be refrigerated or not, there are some foods that don’t.

We’ve searched the web to find out which foods really should be kept in the fridge. Some of these may come to no surprise while others may shock you! Without further ado, let’s all take a step towards food safety and ensure we’re all storing these common foods in the fridge!

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1. Pie

Who doesn’t love a delicious homemade pie? However, if you find yourself with leftover pie you may need to refrigerate it. Any pies that are made with custard, cream, mousse or eggs should always stay in the fridge until consumption.

Although, fruit pies can be kept at room temperature but only for 2 days! After that, you should really transfer it to the fridge for an additional 2 days. But after that, it’s time to toss.

2. Butter

You probably know someone who stores butter on the counter to increase it’s “spreadability” but you should really be storing it in the fridge. This will slow down the process of oxidation and in turn, will help prevent the butter from going rancid.

Further, many fridges come equipped with a butter compartment, often found in the fridge door. This is not a good place for butter as opening and closing the door can cause temperature fluctuation. It’s best to store the butter towards the back of your fridge to ensure it stays consistently cold.

3. Sliced Tomatoes

Unripe tomatoes should stay on the counter at room temperature, however, once you cut into the tomato it should be stored in the fridge. The main reason is that cut tomatoes attract bacteria and can easily and quickly spoil.

While we have been told that tomatoes can taste mealy if stored in the fridge you’ll be surprised that this isn’t always the case. Especially if you allow the tomatoes to come back to room temperature before eating!

4. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise may be stored on a non-refrigerated shelf in the grocery store but once you take it home and open it, you must transfer it to the fridge. Even kept in the fridge, mayo should be tossed after two months of opening.

Further, it’s also recommended that if mayonnaise has been left out for several hours and reaches room temperature you should toss it out. You don’t want to risk food poisoning!

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5. Corn on the Cob

Nothing quite compares to fresh sweet summer corn. The next time you pick up a fresh dozen you’ll either want to cook it all at once or be sure to stick it in the fridge.

After harvest, in just one day, corn can lose up to 50 percent of the sugar content. This means that the sugar will begin to turn to starch and you’ll lose that lovely sweet flavor. If you choose to store it in the fridge be sure to leave the husks on and to consume it within 2 days of storing.

6. Maple Syrup

Maply syrup may seem like a condiment that can last forever but this isn’t actually true. Imitation maple syrup stores well in the pantry because it contains loads of preservatives. Maple syrup, on the other hand, can spoil very quickly once opened.

Be sure to place it in the fridge once opened so that you don’t waste any of that sugary goodness. If it has been stored properly in the fridge, it should be able to last for about a year.

7. Whole Wheat Flour

White flour can live in the pantry for up to two years but whole wheat flour can spoil after about 3 months. This is because whole wheat flour contains germ and bran which are oils and nutrients.

The rich nutrients are appealing to pests and the oils make whole wheat flour prone to spoiling. So to increase the shelf life and to prevent pests from contaminating your flour, be sure to store it in an air-tight container in the fridge!

8. Natural Peanut Butter

Natural peanut butter will act slightly differently than commercial peanut butter because it’s made solely from peanuts and possibly a bit of salt. You’ll find that the oil and peanuts separate in natural peanut butter whereas commercial peanut butter won’t because it contains hydrogenated oils.

If you don’t want your natural peanut butter to separate give it a stir and store it in the fridge upside down. Not only will this keep the peanut butter from separating but it will help prevent it from going rancid and prolong the shelf life.

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9. Tortillas

Both corn and flour tortillas can certainly live on your countertop, however, if you’re not planning on eating them within a few days it may be best to set them in your fridge. You also may be surprised to discover that many labels come with instructions to refrigerate after opening.

The fridge will help to prevent the growth of mold. Avoid the food waste and be sure to toss them in the fridge after opening.

10. Chocolate Syrup

Your beloved chocolate syrup can stay in the pantry until you open it, that is! As long as the syrup is tightly sealed and place in the refrigerator, it should last about 6 months.

Keep in mind, homemade syrup won’t last as long and should be consumed or discarded within a couple of months. Always ensure that homemade syrup stays in the fridge as it lacks preservatives. Be on the lookout for rancid smells, mold or separation as these are all clues that the syrup has been spoiled.

11. Avocados

Avocados are so darn delicious and are full of healthy fats. Unfortunately, we know too well how they quickly go from ripe to rancid real quick! You don’t have to store avocados in the fridge right away but if you want to prolong their life and want to stop wasting avocados you should really start placing them in the fridge.

Once they’re ripe simply toss them in the fridge. The cool temperatures will keep the avocado from ripening further and you may find that your avocado will last for a couple more weeks – Woah!

12. Soy and Nut Milk

Soy and nut milk are both sold refrigerated and unrefrigerated so it can be seriously confusing determining when they should or shouldn’t be placed in the fridge. As a general rule, if you buy it refrigerated be sure to continue storing it in the fridge.

If you buy it off the shelf, you can keep storing it in your pantry until you open it. Once opened it must be transferred to the fridge! To obtain optimal freshness, be sure to consume opened almond or soy milk within 1-2 weeks.

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13. Cured Meats

Cured meats are delicious and the perfect addition to charcuterie boards. They’re perfectly safe to store at room temperature as long as they remain sealed in their original packaging. However, once opened they really must make their way into the fridge.

If you don’t place them in the fridge after opening they become at risk for bacteria and mold growth. Keep in mind if you purchase the meat from the fridge section at the grocery store be sure to put it in your fridge right away.

14. Leftover Frosting

Okay so you set out to make a cake, bought too much frosting and now you’re left with leftover frosting, what a tragedy – just kidding! This just means more frosting for you! Although, make sure you don’t stick it back in your pantry.

An open can of frosting is susceptible to bacteria and can spoil quickly! If you’re hoping to secretly indulge in the leftover frosting all to yourself be sure to keep it in the fridge.

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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