proper refridgerator health safety

Illustration: Jack Hudson

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After a long winter of comfort food, baked goods, and takeout, it’s time to lighten up for spring. Begin by clearing out your refrigerator and cabinets to make room for more nutritious options.

Make a Fresh Start

You know to get rid of moldy, rotten food, but you could probably use a quick primer on storing produce: Whole fruits and vegetables can remain at room temperature for several hours or a day, chopped fruits or veggies need to be refrigerated within two hours of cutting, and cooked vegetables last only three to four days in the fridge. Note that apples should be kept separately, whether in the crisper or on the counter: They release small amounts of ethylene gas, which can damage fragile produce like lettuce and bananas.