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Health Library

reviewed 5/9/2019

Buying and storing fruit

Fruit is an important part of a healthy diet. Choosing fruit wisely and storing it properly can help ensure your selections don't spoil before you have a chance to enjoy them.

Select a fruit to learn more.

Apples

Choosing: Look for apples that are firm with intact stems and are free of soft spots.

Storing: Keep refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to three weeks.

Apricots

Choosing: Select plump apricots that are firm and uniformly colored.

Storing: You can ripen apricots at room temperature. They are ripe when they yield to soft pressure. Refrigerate ripened apricots, unwashed, in a plastic bag. They’ll be good for three to five days.

Bananas

Choosing: Buy bananas that are firm with green tips and stem. They are at their fullest flavor when the yellow skin is speckled with brown.

Storing: Ripen at room temperature. Store ripe bananas in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. The skin might turn brown, but the inside will be fine.

Grapefruits

Choosing: Look for firm fruit that is heavy for its size with smooth skin. Avoid fruit with brown spots or softened areas.

Storing: You can keep grapefruit at room temperature for up to a week or refrigerated for up to three weeks.

Grapes

Choosing: Select firm, plump grapes that are firmly attached to the stem. Don’t buy grapes that are sticky, wrinkling or have brittle stems.

Storing: Refrigerate up to one week in a covered container or plastic bag.

Lemons

Choosing: Lemons should be heavy for their size. Skin should be firm and thin.

Storing: Keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Mangoes

Choosing: Select firm, plump mangoes and avoid those with sap on the skin. Ripe mangoes are slightly soft to the touch and have a fruity aroma. Mangos may be red, yellow, orange or green.

Storing: Keep mangoes at room temperature for up to two days. Once cut, mangoes should be refrigerated.

Melons

Choosing: Watermelons should be symmetrical with yellowish undersides. Choose fruit heavy for its size.

Storing: Keep a whole watermelon at room temperature. Once you cut a melon, refrigerate it in a covered container for up to five days.

Oranges

Buying: Look for oranges that are firm and heavy for their size, with brightly colored skin and no wrinkles.

Storing: Oranges store well at room temperature for one to two days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Peaches

Choosing: Look for peaches with no blemishes and firm, fuzzy skins.

Storing: Ripen peaches in a paper bag at room temperature. A peach is ripe when it’s slightly soft and aromatic. You can keep ripe peaches for one to two days.

Pears

Buying: A pear is ripe if it’s slightly soft at the stem end.

Storing: Ripen in a paper bag at room temperature. Refrigerate ripe pears.

Pineapples

Choosing: Choose pineapples that are heavy for their size. Leaves should be dark green but not dry looking.

Storing: Cut-up pineapple can be refrigerated for two to three days.

You can always get fresh produce from your grocer or farmers market. Find out what’s in season now.

What’s in season?

Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Produce for Better Health Foundation

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