Holiday Schedule: Showroom + Call Center

Town Appliance Official Blog

Home > Town Appliance Official Blog > Tips About Refrigeration and Foods That Need Refrigeration

Tips About Refrigeration and Foods That Need Refrigeration

Refrigerating foods is crucial to preserving their freshness and flavor. Often, we store our food in a careless manner, failing to recognize which items require refrigeration and which do not. In this article, we will shed light on six specific foods that necessitate refrigeration and offer some general storage advice. Let's dive into the topic and ensure our food stays in optimal condition.

Foods That Require Refrigeration

Let's start with an unexpected item: cooking oils. You might be surprised, but it's actually beneficial to store all your cooking oils in the refrigerator. Exposure to sunlight and the heat emanating from a bustling kitchen can cause oils to turn rancid quickly. To prevent this, it is recommended to keep cooking oils in tightly covered cruets, ensuring they remain cool when not in use.

Now, let's shift our attention to condiments. These flavorful additions are designed to enhance the taste of various dishes. However, due to their strong flavors, condiments are highly susceptible to degradation caused by heat and other environmental factors. To prolong the shelf life and maintain the delectable taste of condiments like ketchup, soy sauce, mustard, and horseradish, refrigeration is vital.

Next up is produce. Many individuals habitually store their produce openly in bowls or other exposed containers. Unfortunately, this practice significantly shortens the lifespan of the produce, leading to unnecessary food waste. Refrigerating produce such as avocados, bananas, and citrus fruits can extend their freshness by up to four times compared to leaving them on the center of your kitchen table.

Apart from these specific foods, there are general guidelines to bear in mind when it comes to refrigeration. First and foremost, it's important to maintain a refrigerator temperature between 34°F and 40°F to ensure optimal preservation. Additionally, make sure to store your perishable foods, such as meats, poultry, and dairy products, in the coldest part of the fridge, typically the bottom shelves or drawers. This helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and maintains food safety.

When storing leftovers, it's essential to promptly refrigerate them in airtight containers to prevent the growth of bacteria. Leftovers should be consumed within a few days to maintain their quality and taste. If you have any doubts about the freshness of a particular food item, trust your senses. Give it a good sniff and examine it for any signs of spoilage before deciding whether to consume or discard it.

To optimize the storage of foods in the refrigerator, proper packaging is key. Ensure all items are tightly sealed to prevent odors from permeating throughout the fridge and affecting the flavors of other foods. Consider using clear containers or labeling the contents and dates to facilitate easy identification and rotation.

When organizing your refrigerator, it is helpful to group similar items together. For instance, place dairy products in one section, fruits and vegetables in another, and meats and poultry in a separate area. This not only facilitates efficient use of space but also prevents cross-contamination between different food types.

Foods That Don’t Require Refrigeration

Lastly, it's worth mentioning that not all foods require refrigeration. Some foods, like tomatoes, potatoes, and onions, are best stored at room temperature to maintain their taste and texture. It's crucial to educate ourselves about the specific storage needs of different food items to maximize their longevity and quality.

Syrups have bold flavors, but they can be negatively affected by heat and sunlight, so it's important to store them in the refrigerator. For instance, maple syrup can quickly spoil if left out on your countertop exposed to sunlight. On the other hand, chocolate syrup can last up to six months when stored in the refrigerator.

When it comes to nuts and nut butters, it's best to keep them in the refrigerator to maintain their freshness. Nut butter can turn rancid rapidly if left out in the kitchen, whereas refrigerating nuts can extend their shelf life for nearly a year.


Temperature controlled for safety foods (TCS) are highly vulnerable to the growth of harmful pathogens. These foods often contain proteins, carbohydrates, or moisture levels that provide an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply. If TCS foods remain within the temperature danger zone of 41ºF-135ºF for extended periods, it renders them unsafe to consume. Examples of TCS foods include meat, poultry, dairy products, cooked rice and vegetables, cut leafy greens, raw sprouts, cut tomatoes, garlic in oil, and sliced melon. It's crucial to discard any TCS foods that have been left out for more than four hours to prevent illness.

Here are some general tips for refrigeration:

  • Use a refrigerator thermometer to ensure the internal temperature stays between 32ºF and 40ºF. Maintaining the right temperature is vital to preserving your food's quality. If the temperature is too high, your food may spoil, while excessively low temperatures waste energy and increase utility bills.

  • Arrange the foods in your refrigerator based on their cooking temperatures. Place items that require lower temperatures on the top shelves and those needing higher temperatures below. This arrangement minimizes the risk of cross-contamination, as any leaks from foods stored above will be subjected to higher cooking temperatures.

  • During a power outage, try to keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible. By doing so, the refrigerator can maintain a cold temperature for approximately four hours, ensuring your food stays safe.

  • Organize your food on each shelf according to expiration dates, placing items that expire soonest on the left and those with later expiration dates towards the right. This simple approach helps you easily identify what needs to be used first, reducing food waste and saving money on grocery bills.

  • If you're considering purchasing a new refrigerator to prolong the lifespan of your food, you can explore our online collection of refrigerators or consult with a home appliance specialist for further guidance.

Following these recommendations and being mindful of proper refrigeration practices can ensure that your food remains fresh, safe to consume, and ultimately minimize waste.

At, we understand the importance of finding the right appliances for your home. That's why we strive to provide exceptional options, including top-notch refrigerators, to ensure your kitchen is equipped with the best tools for a smooth and enjoyable culinary journey. So, take the first step in improving your food storage and preservation capabilities by exploring our selection of refrigerators for sale today. Trust in for all your home appliance needs, and let us help you create a more efficient and delightful cooking environment for you and your family.