Storing Fresh Produce Too Closely In The Fridge Will Shorten Its Shelf Life

If you're like most people in the United States, grocery shopping is something you do once or twice a week. The downside to this is that you're often forced to stuff areas of your fridge designed for fresh produce, running the risk that these precious veggies and fruits will go bad faster.

For your fridge to work efficiently, the compartments must have proper airflow. Packing every square inch with food does more harm than good because there's a likelihood of blocking the vents and limiting air circulation. As a result, instead of having a nice, cold fridge interior, the temperatures warm up and provide excellent conditions for the growth of microorganisms. Overstuffing also causes moisture build-up, which encourages mold growth and food rotting. It also makes it harder to spot vegetables or fruits that have gone bad so you can remove them before they contaminate the rest of the batch.

Give things some breathing room

The good news is that, for every issue that's causing your fridge to work inefficiently, there's a solution you can easily apply to prevent your food from going bad sooner than expected. If your refrigerator has a technical problem, e.g., a faulty door seal, you'll need to contact a technician to fix it. If the condenser coils and too dusty, get down and wipe them clean. Likewise, the solution to overstuffing is simple — allow enough breathing space in your fridge.

Keeping your fridge about 75% full is ideal because, at this level, it can better maintain the required cold temperatures and air circulation. And this should be observed for drawers and compartments; don't fill any section to the brim. You'll also get to save on power costs because your appliance will be running efficiently.

Finally, prolong the shelf life of your produce by avoiding the common storage mistake of combining ethylene-producers and ethylene-sensitive products. The best way to do this is by keeping fruits and veggies in different compartments or separate crisper drawers. That way, the moisture-loving vegetables can stay fresh longer and avoid wilting, while the fruits that prefer low humidity can avoid rotting due to excess moisture.