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Most of us rely on the little use by dates you find printed on food packaging. This is the best way to spot if perishables have gone beyond their consume-by date, once the date has passed, you run the risk of eating something that isn’t good for you. 

How do you know if fresh fruit or vegetables need to be thrown away? In most cases you look for signs of badness, such as mould growing on the outside, or in the case of bananas, the skin turning from brown to black in colour as the fruit gradually begins to decompose.

Rather amazingly, fresh food such as fruit and vegetables actually lasts longer than you might imagine, if you take care storing them the results can be rather surprising, here are 7 examples.


Left in a fruit bowl out in the open you can normally keep oranges for about a week until the skin starts to dry up and the fruit begins to perish. Pop them inside a chilled refrigerator though and you can extend the life of the fruit by anywhere up to 3 weeks.


Store your favourite apples at room temperature and you’ll be lucky if they last up to three days before they start to show signs of going bad. Place them in a fridge and you can extend their life by anywhere up to a month.


Place a bag of onions in a dark pantry and they should be fit for consumption for a month or more as long as you keep them away from sacks of potatoes. Place onions near potatoes and they have a habit of spoiling much quicker.


One of the hardiest vegetables, carrots will stay nice and crunchy for three or four weeks if you pop them into a plastic bag and keep them inside the crisper compartment in your fridge. Left at room temperature and the use-by date is dramatically reduced.


Always keep fresh celery in the fridge for fabulous freshness and a satisfying crunch. To prolong the lifespan of the celery, place it inside a plastic bag or use kitchen foil and wrap it tightly around the stalks.


Don’t waste garlic, find a cool, dark, ventilated area and you can expect the bulb to last for 3 months or more before you have to throw it away. Most people use garlic up way before it starts to perish, it’s a hardy little vegetable.


All you need to store potatoes is a cool, dark and dry area, away from other vegetables. Place them in a fridge and this can affect the taste and make them darken during the cooking process. Left in a pantry cupboard, a bag of potatoes will last between two to three months.

Fresh food keeps for longer than you think and with support from coldrooms and packaged refrigeration units it’s easy to eke out the life of perishable goods.

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