How to Keep Fruit and Vegetables Longer

How to Keep Fruit and Vegetables Longer

Keen to shop less but aiming to eat fresh fruit and vegetables everyday? There are ways to keep fruit and vegetables fresh to last the distance.

  • Try to buy local produce that is in season (checkout Eat Well's What's in season page). It will mostly be fresher because it has less time from the farm or orchard to you. This means it should keep longer if stored well.
  • Find out how to store fruit and vegetables correctly, some keep better out of the fridge. In the table below is a quick guide.
  • You can purchase plastic containers with vents that help store produce for longer.
  • Eat fruit and vegetables that don’t last as long first. Planning your meals for the days after you shop can help. For example, have salads early on and save the soups and casseroles for later in the week.

When shopping for and storing fruits and vegetables

  • Check for any signs of spoiling, like cuts, bruises or any soft spots. These will need to be eaten first. They will not store for long.
  • Fruit and vegetables that have early signs of spoiling, can make the rest of the produce they are stored with spoil faster.

A quick guide to storing some basics:

Fruit and vegetableHow to storeHow long it will last
PotatoesStore out of plastic in a cooler, dark placeSeveral weeks

Remove green tops. Store in fridge vegetable crisper.

Tip: the green tops can be used making a pesto.

Up to 3 weeks
TomatoesKeep on the bench for a few days, this helps them ripen and make them ready to eat. Keep them out of the fridge crisper and away from other veg which they can cause to over ripen and spoil.Days
ParsnipsWrap in paper towel and store in vegetable crisper in the fridge.Up to 2 weeks

Store in a plastic bag or wrap once cut in the vegetable crisper in the fridge.

Up to a couple of weeks

Chop off most of the green top and place in a plastic bag, store in the vegetable crisper in the fridge.

Tip: the green tops can be used in salads.

Up to 2 weeks
CauliflowerIn the fridge in a plastic bag.

Fresh heads of cauliflower can be kept up to 2 weeks


Store in the fridge in a plastic bag with holes or covered with a damp paper towel.

Several weeks

Freeze and use in smoothies, top cereal or as a cold snack.

Several months

Squeeze out juice and store as ice cubes. Freeze rind to use in baking or a dressing.

Several months

Put into water or olive oil freeze in ice cubes.

Several months

Minimise waste

Remember you can use up vegetables that aren’t as fresh in soups, casseroles, quiches and to top pizza. Spinach or rocket makes a great pizza topping.  Cook potatoes and add to baked egg and vegetable slices; add carrots and parsnips to soups. Read more about minimising food waste

You can also have a mix of fresh and frozen fruit and vegetable in your meals. For example, if you’re making fried rice and you have fresh broccoli and carrot, add frozen peas and corn as well.