Many foods do not need the refrigerator . Some fruits and vegetables keep better when they are kept cool, between 10 and 15 ° C is ideal and they prefer warmer rather than cooler conditions that refrigeration offers.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the refrigerator should be 40 ° F (4 ° C) or colder, preferably 1-3 ° C. At this temperature, bacteria on or in food can only grow very slowly, so keeping food cold is a good way to keep cooked or prepared food from spoiling for as long as possible. Freezing food not only stops bacterial growth, it also significantly changes the texture of many foods.

Still, keeping some foods in the cold is not a good idea or even necessary. Cold can stop the ripening process of fruits (including fruits that we think of as vegetables), and in a few cases, temperatures in the refrigerator can break down the cell walls in fruits or vegetables, making them mealy.

18 foods that don’t need refrigeration

Important note: The vegetable and fruit guidelines below apply to whole, intact items. Once they become overripe, develop blemishes, or the skin breaks off, they need to be eaten, cooked, or refrigerated / frozen as soon as possible.

Stone fruits

Stone fruits are not friends from the fridge, so leave them on the kitchen counter until ripe, and then eat them.

Pickled gherkins

Another food high in preservatives, mainly due to vinegar, are pickles that will remain crisp in the pantry. But, if you’re a fan of cold, store them in the refrigerator door so that it leaves room in the coldest parts of the fridge for items that really need it.


Store garlic in a paper bag in a cool, dark place in your pantry, and it will keep its wonderful flavor for weeks.


Ground spices never need to be refrigerated.


Many think that coffee deserves a special place in the fridge or freezer, but it is actually best at room temperature so its natural oils can flavor your favorite cup of coffee. Buy in small batches for a very fragrant and rich morning coffee.

Soy sauce

Yes, there are more than enough natural preservatives (salt) in soy sauce to keep it safe when stored at room temperature.

Some salad dressings

Like other seasonings, most salad dressings, especially those based on vinegar or oil, are well stored out of the fridge. Creams should be stored in the fridge.

Nuts and dried fruits

Nuts and dried fruits are well stored in a cool, dark place.


Cereal is wonderfully happy in the pantry.

Sweet potatoes and yams

These heat-loving vegetables can develop discolored patches when stored in the fridge. Keep them in a cool place and, since they need reasonably high humidity to stay firm, inside a plastic bag or some kind of container.


If you buy fresh herbs at the grocery store, instead of putting them in a suffocating plastic bag, place them in a glass jar filled with water on your kitchen counter, creating a bouquet of herbs to use during food preparation.

Jarabe de arce real o maple

As with honey, maple syrup will crystallize and become sticky if stored in the fridge.


In most countries, eggs are sold and stored at room temperature. Fresh clean eggs from your own chickens or a local farmer will keep safely for a week or two in a cool place. In fact, keeping eggs fresh at room temperature for a few days before cooking will make them much easier to peel when hard. Dirty or cracked eggs should be refrigerated and used as soon as possible. Once the eggs have been refrigerated, they must be kept refrigerated until used.

High acid seasonings, such as vinegar, mustard, hot sauce, ketchup

Due to their natural acidity, which inhibits the growth of food spoilage organisms, these products can be safely kept at room temperature. Still, it won’t hurt to be refrigerated.

Olive oil, walnut oil, flax oil, and other vegetable oils

Most oils will eventually go rancid, especially in very warm room temperatures. In general, buy small amounts of oils, especially the more finely flavored or expensive ones, from a store that has a fast turnover. Store them in a cool, dark place and use them continuously. In very hot or humid conditions, store oils in the refrigerator.


The grapes will last for a few days outside; for longer storage, or if they are very ripe, they will last longer in the fridge.

Pineapples, papayas, mangoes, kiwis and other tropical fruits

It is very likely that if they grow in the tropics, they will be best stored at room temperature.

Peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums

Allow peaches, apricots, nectarines, and plums to ripen at room temperature. Once they are soft and ripe, they can be stored in the fruit drawer of the fridge for a couple of days.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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