8 foods you don't need to refrigerate

Putting some foods in the fridge can do more harm than good, encouraging decay and spoiling flavours. So, do you put the tomato sauce in the fridge or not? Let’s find out:


“Ground or whole-bean coffee should never be kept in the fridge, even if it’s in an airtight container.”

This makes no sense at all. If the jar is airtight how does the fridge smell or moisture get in there? Maybe what we mean is don’t use jars that you imagine to be air tight that are not. This is repeated all over the web, still doesn’t make sense. Perhaps “airtight” has another meaning in cyberspace.


Can’t argue with you here, I’ll pass on your comments. I think you’ve probably nailed it below:


I believe it also alters the moisture around the beans/grounds, the following is from a post in the HuffPost

" While it’s important to keep your grounds or beans somewhere cool, the fridge or freezer will create too much moisture in the package. Moisture is one of coffee’s “biggest enemies.” It can turn your beans bad really quickly and dull the taste. Your fridge or freezer are key players here not only because they’re humid environments, but also because they create temperature fluctuations, which cause even more moisture by creating condensation. By taking your coffee in and out of the fridge or freezer every day, you’re exacerbating the situation. These changes in temperature can leave your coffee flavorless, Scott McMartin, a member of the Starbucks Green Coffee Quality group, told Real Simple. “The cell structure changes, which causes a loss of the oils that give coffee its aroma and flavor,” McMartin said."


Hot beans + cold fridge = bad coffee. Got it :wink:


Choice may wish to reconsider placing peanut butter on the list. In my uni days, a microbiologist lecturer who specialised in mycotoxins warned students to only eat peanut butter relatively soon after opening the jar (soon after the peanut butter is exposed to air). It was also strongly recommended that if peanut butter was to be consumed, it must be refrigerated to reduce the growth of aflatoxin-producing fungi which naturally is present on the peanuts used to make the peanut butter.

Not refrigerating (refrigeration at low temperatures is one of the primary control measures to reduce alfatoxin generation) or using peanut butter quickly may result in significant levels of aflatoxins being produced. Such aflatoxins when eaten in significant amounts over a extended period are known to cause cancer in humans.

Edit: I should also also said that the risks associated with whole peanuts is lower than peanut butter. The fungi is found on the outside surface of peanuts…however, peanut butter is particularly of concern as the peanut is macerated through its production spreading fungal hyphae or spores throughout the peanut butter. As the peanut butter has a large surface area for the fungi to grow, at room temperature it is ideal conditions for rapid growth and alfatoxin production.

Edit w…this is what the WHO says about alfatoxina…



Wow, that’s interesting. Will be sure to flag this with our team.


Actually hot beans into a cold fridge will dry them out in a non-sealed container, or cause moisture to condense on the container lid and sides if sealed.
Cold beans in a warmer environment (=generally higher dew point) means condensation on the beans, which is what I would expect to cause a flavour deterioration*

  • as a non-coffee drinker, I’d suggest the flavour is no good to start with! :wink:

Some decades ago in Qld they raised the allowable level of aflatoxins as they found much of the product did not meet the existing guidelines!


Doesn’t it also depend?

  • On the climate where you live,
  • The style and type of house and kitchen set out,
  • How you use the product (eg double dipping),
  • And above all else the history of the product prior to purchase.

I suspect there are conflicting anecdotes for most of the example food products.

Here except for bananas and unrippened avos nearly all supermarket F&V goes in the fridge, otherwise the tomatoes are a mould riddled mess after a few days, and the apples are brown and floury.

The local supply F&V stays out although in mid-summer with high humidity and temperatures some finds it way into the crisper. Mostly greens.

Keeping the bush critters out might be a concern for some too.


That makes much more sense than moisture getting in from the outside. Although I wouldn’t mind if there was yer achual measurement to show that this does cause the effect proposed in theory.


I immediately took out our tomatoes out of the refrigerator, and placed them in an airy cool cupboard but many started to go mouldy within a week. Back in the refrigerator they go!

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I suspect that they went mouldy from having been in the refrigerator.

We buy Coles Cocktail Truss Tomatoes and my wife has sometimes put them in the fridge much to my annoyance as they never taste very nice, unlike the ones left on the kitchen benchtop.


Sorry can’t agree with not refrigerating bread. I keep my bread in it’s original plastic bag in the fridge and it lasts all week. We never have to throw bread out. Stays fresh too:-)


Most tomatoes in this part of our seasons are either Cold Store (ie Atmos and Temp controlled to keep them longer) or are Greenhouse grown. Cold Store once gassed to ripen them do so fairly quickly but they do not develop as much sugars and taste as a bush ripened variety. Also I find Cold Store do not last as long as those that are closer to ripe when picked off the bushes.

Greenhouse grown varieties usually last a reasonable amount of time once picked and seem to have a better flavour. As they are protected somewhat from cold and sun I am not sure they develop hardier skins so they also tend to not last so long as those grown and picked from paddocks when ripened. The field grown ones with their more exposed environment seem to help protect the tomatoes from getting moulds so easily, unless they are Cold Stored. This is just my observations and may not be the results others see.


Let me start by puttin a cat among the oenophilia pidgeons. This article reminds me of the supposed truism: ‘serve red wine at room temperature’. This was a reasonable rule in in Europe/UK, where room temperatures are generally significantly lower than they are in many parts of Australia. I was instructed by someliers many years ago that red wines should be stored and served at cooler than ambient temperature in the wamer climes. Talking about such things, I’ve also notice that opened unfinished wine left out goes off faster in the sub-tropics and tropics than in temperate parts so all open bottles of wine go into the fridge! .

In this article’s case as @mark_m pointed out - it all depends. In the sub-tropical and tropical parts of Australia where the humidity and temperatures are high, if you leave anything out it gets mould on it very quickly. Freshly picked fruit or garden vegetables (not supermarket) will go from perfect to soft squishy green mould in a couple of days.

Fresh bread will go mouldy just as quickly. Shop bought bread will last longer out of the fridge due to the preservatives, but not taste very fresh. We found that if you freeze bread immediately after slicig it remains fresh for quite some time. We just pop slices into the toaster straight from the freezer. Whole loaves or buns can be either over heated of microwaved.

Peanut butter left out results in the oils floating to the top, and soon becomes a science experiment best handled with long tongs.

Even treated leather, shoes, belts, everything, goes mouldy. So over and above @mark_m’s points, preservatives and chemicals added to the foods need to be considered.

So the article may be true for temperate parts of Australia, but not for all.


Does this imply that salted peanuts are the healthier alternative to unsalted?

I don’t think so, why would it?

Just surmising that the salt would kill the aflotoxin producing fungi. The next question would be; would the salt or the aflotoxin be the bigger health risk - hence the form of my question.

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A number of references rate the risk of aflatoxin from peanut butter as being rather low. One component of the risk is due to the ground up nature which spreads spores and microbes from the surface about through the paste, rather like the reason that you need to be more careful with minced meat than solid chunks. So whole peanuts would be even lower risk than butter.

I can’t find any direct comparison of the two risks, excess salt and the toxin on whole nuts, but my guess would be the salt would be higher. How high would depend on your total salt intake as some salt is important. The other question is of course how much beer you drink to wash down the salt :grinning: