Top 10 Food Storage Mistakes

The advent of the fridge and the refrigerator has made food storage very easy. Gone are the days where you would have to salt the meat and hope that it doesn’t go rancid. 

In today’s day and age, storing food is arguably one of the most natural things you can do whereas we have discussed here top 10 food storage mistakes. However, that does not imply that you can do it right off the bat. Doing so requires a certain level of skill and technical finesse.

To make sure that you’re on the right path, we’ve decided to highlight the main things that you shouldn’t be doing. Everything else is fine to try out.

Placing the wrong products inside 

The biggest mistake that some people make is placing the wrong type of products inside. There are some things that are meant to be stored in the fridge or the freezer, and some that aren’t. 

Things such as potatoes, melons, citrus, garlic, or onions are advised to be kept outside since excessive cooling can damage their texture.

Other items such as bananas, peaches, and nectarines are only to be placed in the fridge if they are starting to go ripe. 

The general idea is to acquaint yourself with what goes where so that you don’t end up wasting fresh food.

Improper washing

It’s a good habit to wash your fruit and vegetable first thing when you get back from the grocery store.

However, some people make the error of not following through with the cleanup. By not drying the product off properly, you’re basically gearing towards failure.

This is because the accumulated moisture serves as the perfect backdrop for bacterial growth, which can eventually lead to mold and slime. 

Herbs in the drawer

Keeping herbs in the drawer can have many unwanted consequences. The leading one is that it can result in subtle moisture accumulation and watery surface. 

The best way to deal with herbs is by storing them in a glass of water, with a bag that is covering them. This is arguably the best way to keep them fresh!

Keeping bread inside

Keeping break inside the fridge is the simplest way to take all the moisture out of it, which would make it unappetizing. 

Though a bit unconventional, the best way to store bread is in the freezer. Take out as many pieces you want when you’re ready to eat. Bread thaws quickly; this is a great way to retain the freshness and flavor of the bread.

Perishable items on the shelf

Things such as milk, meat, or eggs shouldn’t be placed on the shelf when storing them. 

This is because the shelf is the main place which is subjected to the most fluctuation in temperature. Done over a long period of time, this can actually cause the food items to go bad.

It is best to store dairy products and meat at the back, where the temperature is cold and consistent.

Slimy greens

Green vegetable are notorious for being difficult, especially when it comes to storage.

Generally speaking, they absorb a lot of moisture inside and then become slimy and uncomfortable to deal with. 

To counter this, it’s a good idea to place it on paper towel so that the excessive moisture seeps its way down into the paper.

This works for all types of green vegetables and is highly recommended!

New food up front

Putting new food upfront reduces its life-span by a considerable margin. As mentioned above, this is credited to the fluctuating temperature level which is caused by frequent opening and closing of the door.

When you get new food, put the new food in the back so that it can last longer.

Hiding leftovers

Hiding leftovers is something we’re all guilty of – there’s no denying it.

However, when hiding food, some of us actually have a bad habit of forgetting that it’s actually there. That’s because it’s normally covered in either aluminum foil or with a plate and isn’t directly visible.

In a couple of days, the food, as expected, goes bad. 

To overcome that, it’s a good idea to invest in a decent glass see-through container that you can use to stock up on leftovers. Plus, the visual reminder will make sure that you come back for round two later!

Skipping the ‘scraps’ container

When cooking food, there is always some scrap leftover from all the vegetable that’s been cut. Most people just throw it inside the fridge and let it be there. Or, they decide to just throw it in the trash. With the former, you run the risk of giving bacteria the prime conditions to grow in.

However, if you want to be smart about food storage and not make that mistake, we’d suggest you look into an extra freezer container that you can use to stock up on things. Some models even come in small sizes that can store bits and pieces from here and there.

Keeping canned things in cans

Canned food is the ultimate solution for longevity. However, once it’s opened, there’s no going back. If you’ve already opened the can and place it back as is, then your next round will taste a little metallic and rustic. Even though this doesn’t pose any immediate health concern, it’s still a little shaky and produces a bad overall taste.

To overcome this, you can utilize one of the many benefits that freezer containers offer.

Place the contents of the can in it and store it properly wherever you want. This will keep the components fresh and available for use next time around.


If you’re guilty of doing any of the things mentioned above, then that’s fine. If anything, we’re glad that this article was a learning experience for you. If you have any other tips or advice that you’d like to share what’s worked for you, do mention it in the comment section below!

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Katherine may be a stay-at-home mom, but after a decade of running a household and raising 3 kids (and 1 husband) she's got tons of experience under her belt. She's her neighborhood's go-to expert on all matters that are household related, and takes special pride in knowing her way around the kitchen and with all appliances. Now she hopes to share her knowledge with you, so you can make the best decisions regarding your home.

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