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Health library

Reviewed 10/23/2023

Buying and storing fruit

Fruit is an important part of a healthy diet. Choosing fruit wisely and storing it properly can help ensure your selections don't spoil before you have a chance to enjoy them.

Select a fruit to learn more.


Choosing: Look for apples that are firm with intact stems and are free of soft spots.

Storing: Keep refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to three weeks.


Choosing: Select plump apricots that are firm and uniformly colored.

Storing: You can ripen apricots at room temperature. They are ripe when they yield to soft pressure. Refrigerate ripened apricots, unwashed, in a plastic bag. They’ll be good for three to five days.


Choosing: Buy bananas that are firm with green tips and stem. They are at their fullest flavor when the yellow skin is speckled with brown.

Storing: Ripen at room temperature. Store ripe bananas in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. The skin might turn brown, but the inside will be fine.


Choosing: Look for firm fruit that is heavy for its size with smooth skin. Avoid fruit with brown spots or softened areas.

Storing: You can keep grapefruit at room temperature for up to a week or refrigerated for up to three weeks.


Choosing: Select firm, plump grapes that are firmly attached to the stem. Don’t buy grapes that are sticky, wrinkling or have brittle stems.

Storing: Refrigerate up to one week in a covered container or plastic bag.


Choosing: Lemons should be heavy for their size. Skin should be firm and thin.

Storing: Keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Choosing: Select firm, plump mangoes and avoid those with sap on the skin. Ripe mangoes are slightly soft to the touch and have a fruity aroma. Mangos may be red, yellow, orange or green.

Storing: Keep mangoes at room temperature for up to two days. Once cut, mangoes should be refrigerated.


Choosing: Watermelons should be symmetrical with yellowish undersides. Choose fruit heavy for its size.

Storing: Keep a whole watermelon at room temperature. Once you cut a melon, refrigerate it in a covered container for up to five days.


Buying: Look for oranges that are firm and heavy for their size, with brightly colored skin and no wrinkles.

Storing: Oranges store well at room temperature for one to two days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Choosing: Look for peaches with no blemishes and firm, fuzzy skins.

Storing: Ripen peaches in a paper bag at room temperature. A peach is ripe when it’s slightly soft and aromatic. You can keep ripe peaches for one to two days.


Buying: A pear is ripe if it’s slightly soft at the stem end.

Storing: Ripen in a paper bag at room temperature. Refrigerate ripe pears.


Choosing: Choose pineapples that are heavy for their size. Leaves should be dark green but not dry looking.

Storing: Cut-up pineapple can be refrigerated for two to three days.

You can always get fresh produce from your grocer or farmers market. Find out what’s in season now.

What’s in season?



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