Chef LaLa, Master Chef and Healthy Lifestyle Expert for Chef Nourish share Six Fresh Storage Tips for Popular Fruits and Vegetables:
1. Tomatoes should remain on the counter to maintain their texture and flavor. Refrigeration may turn tomatoes mushy. Place tomatoes in a bowl lined with a paper towel, at room temperature. Do not keep them near heat sources or direct sunlight.
2. Remove mushrooms from containers and clean them individually with a damp towel. Dry them carefully and store them in a paper bag.
3. Berries, oranges, pineapples, cherries, grapes and watermelon do not ripen after picking, so put them directly into the refrigerator. Lemons and limes can be kept on the counter but will last longer in the refrigerator.
4. Unripe pears, apricots, apples, peaches, plums, mangoes, honeydew melons, cantaloupes, bananas, kiwis and avocados can soften on the counter. Once they are soft to the touch, move them to the refrigerator to stop the ripening process.
5. Take bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster. Keep them on the counter or in a basket with holes that allows air to circulate. Once bananas are ripe, place them in a plastic bag the refrigerator. The skin of the banana may turn black from an enzyme reaction, but the cold will halt the ripening of the fruit and keep it from spoiling.
6. Strawberries do best when kept in a paper bag in the fridge. Moisture leads to spoiling of strawberries. Check the bag for dampness every other day.