Different types of foods have different storage requirements. It's especially important to store fresh produce in optimal conditions to preserve its flavor and quality.
What you can do today
- Make sure you are storing your produce correctly with this simple chart: Fresh Produce Storage Guide
- Review specific storage guidelines, including shelf life, for various fruits and vegetables: Garden Gleaning: A Toolkit for Growers and Food Shelves
Tips for success
- Be sure to remove any spoiled food immediately. One spoiled item can cause food around it to spoil.
- If your cold storage and hours of operation are limited, coordinate the timing and amount of your fresh food donations with your distribution so that food does not spoil before clients can take it.
- If your turnover is slower than average, prioritize acquisition of produce and other fresh foods with relatively longer shelf lives.
How Extension can help
Connect with the food safety team to answer your food safety questions: Food safety program team
Find out more about promoting healthy eating at food shelves:
- Identify healthy food
- Source healthy food
- Work with local growers
- Ensure safety of healthy food
- Work with limited storage space
- Drive selection of healthy foods
- Provide practical information
- Find healthy recipes
- Enlist volunteers' help
- Include healthy foods in your backpack program
- Do cooking demonstrations
- Develop a healthy food policy
- Fund your healthy eating initiatives
Download the complete document: Promoting healthy eating at food shelves (PDF).
Reviewed in 2018