It is possible to double the shelf life of potatoes by choosing carefully where and how you store them.
Potatoes are loved around the world, and their long shelf life makes them all the more essential for shopping. Although many cook them daily, a food expert says few people know the right way to store them.
Like most root vegetables, potatoes are often tossed away in the kitchen cupboard without a second thought. They then have a shelf life of around two weeks when stored in this way, provided they are kept away from humidity before cooking.
Yet even though a cool, dark place seems to be the best place to store raw potatoes, one expert claims otherwise. Kate Hall, food expert and founder of 'The Full Freezer', revealed that contrary to popular belief, this starchy vegetable should actually be stored in the fridge. She said: “At the start of 2023, the UK Food Standards Association changed its advice on storing potatoes.”
Also known as the FSA, the Food Standards Agency recommended storing potatoes in a cool, dark place at temperatures above 6°C. However, new research shows that it is safe to store them in the refrigerator and even increases their shelf life. Kate explained: “It was previously said that we shouldn't store potatoes in the fridge as it could lead to an increase in sugars, which then turn into acrylamide when cooking which is not good for us. But a study by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products, and the Environment proved those concerns to be unfounded. So the refrigerator is the ideal place to store your potatoes."
However, there is one rule that should not be neglected in order to successfully preserve the potatoes in this cold appliance. According to food safety expert Sylvia Anderson, the first step is to remove any excess moisture from the potatoes. Sylvia said: "Moisture can cause potatoes to rot, so it's essential to keep them dry. Wipe off any dirt before storing them and avoid washing them until you're ready to use them. Potatoes release ethylene gas, which can accelerate the ripening and decay of other fruits and vegetables. Keep them separate from onions, apples and other ethylene-sensitive produce to extend their shelf life. "
The best storage method to avoid humidity is to place the potatoes in a container lined with paper towels and place it on a clear shelf in the refrigerator. This should ensure a shelf life of three to four weeks with no germination in sight.