Nutrition Articles

The Shelf Life of Fruits and Vegetables

Plan Meals and Grocery Trips Using this Time Table

In addition to storing your fruits and veggies properly, it's good to know approximately how long the fresh stuff will last. Plan your trip to the grocery or farmer's market accordingly so that your foods are at the peak of freshness when you plan to prepare them, and you're not throwing away food that's gone bad before you get a chance to use it.

So, how long will it last?
Once you've brought it home and stored it properly, you can prioritize your produce. First, eat the things that will spoil quickly, such as lettuce and berries. Save the longer-lasting foods (like eggplant and oranges) for later in the week.

1-2 Days 2-4 Days 4-6 Days 7+ Days
Green beans


Brussels sprouts


Hard Squash


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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

Member Comments

    I turn my refrigerator up a little higher and all fruits and veggie store last at least a 2 day life than listed os this chart to say thats the best time frame nutrient retainment - 10/15/2014 9:39:32 PM
  • I have most of these for longer than listed and they last just fine. If I see something is wilting I use right away. Can always toss something in a stir fry.. I always store apples in cold veggie bin, last for months. My bananas last longer there too.
    I lived on a farm , we stored root veggies in root cellar for months. - 2/23/2014 1:42:00 PM
  • It depends on a lot of factors. how fresh was it when you bought it? what temperature do you keep your fridge at? do you store them in plastic bags or tupperware or in nothing at all?

    All of these things will affect the freshness of your veggies/fruit. - 11/29/2013 3:28:50 PM
  • Great advice! - 8/28/2013 5:41:00 PM
  • I have most veg for over a week and I have had apples in the fridge for months.
    They may not be in tip top but they have not gone bad. most fruit last a week but not all. Bananas I don't eat until they go black any way.

    - 2/26/2013 4:17:32 AM
  • My broccoli lasts well over a week, but my peaches rot the next day... Not sure this list is entirely accurate... - 9/7/2012 3:35:00 AM
  • Huh. Puzzling list.

    I get apples, winter squash, potatos & onions at a local farmer in the fall. Kept in a cool garage, they keep just fine for months. Beets, cabbage & carrots are close. Several varieties of winter squash are better after some storage. Several items under that 7+ day list were our grandparents winter staples.
    - 3/22/2011 2:31:01 PM
  • All of those veg that she advises will last only 7 days are keeper veg. they were all kept in a root cellar for 6 to 8 months in times past without refrigeration, but at around 50 degrees,(with humidity from the surrounding earth) and used til gone. this list is silly. - 8/27/2010 9:07:47 AM
  • Hmmm...7 days for a cabbage? Perdue (the University) says up to 6 months at 32 F and I know that I've stored them for 5 in a cold shed without any reduction in flavor and I highly doubt any reduction of vitamins or minerals. Most grocery stores keep them for longer than 7 days and just peel off the outer leaves with any brown spots to keep them looking fresh.

    Maybe these are storage times for freshly picked, ripe foods like you can buy at a farmers market; not off season, had to travel and nowhere near really ripe from the vine produce we find at grocery stores. - 3/19/2010 2:59:22 PM
    Tupperware has Fridge Smarts that make you veggies and fruit last incredibly long - 3/19/2010 12:56:17 PM
  • I think the author was trying to advise the storage times for optimal flavor and maintaining vitamins and minerals. I keep my produce much longer as well for economical reasons but I am sure that if I was following the chart, I would get more flavor and healthy benefit from the money I spent. - 2/20/2010 10:07:51 AM
  • I consider that they are good until they are brown, wilted, soft etc.. Is someone going to actually go by a chart? - 1/9/2010 9:16:24 PM
  • I use green bags which really do work and make my veggies and fruit last longer. I wait until my bananas get to the ripeness I want, then put them into the bag and they stay that way up to a week. There are a lot of generic copies of those green bags, but the ones I use are Debbie Meyer - 1/6/2010 10:57:22 AM
    My fruits/veggies last longer than this article suggests too - but then again, I'm not too fussy! :) When I have a bag of chopped lettuce or spinach, I fold a paper towel or two and tuck it into the bag and fold it over snugly. (I learned that trick from my Mom - seems to work well.) - 8/26/2009 10:38:13 PM
  • Wow, I store and use veggies a lot longer than this article recommends! I only shop once on the weekend for the entire week, and I use mushrooms and such 7 days after I buy them. I certainly wouldn't use bananas after a day because they are still green! And I keep most fruit for WEEKS! Oranges definitely last a month in the frig. - 8/26/2009 2:12:43 PM

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