Keep potatoes ‘fresh and delicious’ for much longer – where to store them

Food poisoning: Expert gives advice on safe food storage

Autumn has now arrived which means the weather is getting colder and more people will be cooking up comfort meals such as stews, soups, casseroles or pies. 

Potatoes are an adaptable starchy vegetable that is usually needed for many comfort recipes or can be prepared by themselves as cheesy baked potatoes, crispy roasties or creamy mashed potatoes.

However, if stored incorrectly potatoes will quickly begin rotting, becoming rotten, sprouting or even going bright green, which is very toxic if eaten. 

Many people believe that storing potatoes in the fridge is the best way to keep them lasting longer, it can actually cause them to rot much more quickly, as potatoes do not do well in extreme temperatures or without any moisture. 

Mike, is a food storage expert Kitchen Tips Online and has explained that you should never store potatoes in the fridge. In a video, Mike said: “Well, we’ve all heard it before. Maybe grandma told you or somebody else told you to put your potatoes in the refrigerator. Well, that’s not actually a good idea to put potatoes in the refrigerator because potatoes don’t like that cold temperature.” 

READ MORE: 7 foods to ‘never’ refrigerate as it ‘messes with flavours’ – includes bananas

Why shouldn’t you store potatoes in the fridge

Potatoes are best stored at temperatures between six and 10°C (or 40 to 50°F) and should never be stored in a fridge with the cold temperature. If stored in the fridge, it can cause the potato starch to turn to sugar and begin to break the skin down. 

Mike said: “Potaoes like humidity. They don’t like tp be wet but they like humidity. If you put potatoes in your refrigerator, well there’s no humidity in your refrigerator because the number one thing the refrigerator system does is remove the moisture from the air.”

Potatoes should also never be stored on a countertop where they can be exposed to sunlight, as that will cause the potato to begin sprouting and the skin to go green, which is not safe to eat. 

Mike said: “Now this is something you might not be aware of. Potatoes are very susceptible to light, especially sunlight. Sunlight causes the potatoes to turn green, and any light with eventually cause the potatoes to have a green coating on the outside of them. 

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How to store potatoes

Potatoes should be kept somewhere cool and dark with plenty of air circulation in order to make them last much longer. They should be stored in a basket or in an open container. They should never be left in the original plastic packaging they come in when bought at a supermarket. 

Places such as a cupboard, basement or pantry are perfect to store potatoes in, but Mike has a simple kitchen hack for anyone who does these storage spaces. 

Mike explained: “Now what I do is I use a cooking tray with a rack. I put the potatoes unwashed. don’t wash them or disrupt the skin and definitely don’t put moisture on them before you store them. 

“I take the potatoes and I distribute them equally on the sheet pan and then I put it in a drawer in my kitchen.” 

According to Mike, storing potatoes in a drawer will keep potatoes “fresh and delicious” for months after being bought.

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