Why you shouldn't store apples on the counter

Keeping apples in a basket in your kitchen is a good visual reminder to get your doctor-recommended one a day.

As it turns out, though, storing apples on your countertop could cause them to go bad weeks sooner than if you put them in the fridge, The Daily Meal reports. At room temperature, apples last about a week. But if you refrigerate them, they can stay fresh for one to two months. That’s essential for reducing food waste, which is why sellers in the United Kingdom are now required to add a refrigerator icon to the packaging of foods like apples that should be kept cold.

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How cold? Apples should be kept as chilly as possible without freezing them, Food & Wine reports. Ideally, you should store them at temperatures that range from 31 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Apples start to freeze at about 29 degrees.

So what’s the best place to store your bushel? The crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Keep in mind, though, that you shouldn’t store your apples along with other produce. Apples emit ethylene, which can cause other fruits and vegetables to spoil.

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If you’re not planning on eating all your apples within a few weeks, you might want to consider the variety you buy.

“The smaller the apple, and the thicker the skin, generally the longer it will store,” Norm Schultz, farm manager at Linvalla Orchards in Media, Pennsylvania, told Food & Wine. “Also, for some reason, the tarter apples store longer than the sweeter apples.”

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So Granny Smiths should last longer than Golden Delicious, for example, he says. Bonus? They also make a delicious apple pie. Next, find out more food storage guidelines you didn’t know about.