The best place to store potatoes is the one people usually avoid, according to a food expert

The best place to store potatoes is the one people

You can double the shelf life of potatoes by choosing where and how you store them.

Potatoes are loved around the world, and their long shelf life makes them all the more essential for shopping. Although many cook them daily, a food expert says few people know the correct way to store them.

Like most root vegetables, potatoes are often thoughtlessly tucked away in the kitchen cupboard. They then have a shelf life of about two weeks when stored in this way, provided they are kept away from moisture before cooking.

Yet even though a cool, dark place seems like the best place to store raw potatoes, one expert claims otherwise. Kate Hall, food expert and founder of ‘The Full Freezer’, has revealed that contrary to popular belief, this starchy vegetable should actually be stored in the fridge. She said: “In early 2023, the UK Food Standards Association changed its advice on storing potatoes.”

Also known as the FSA, the Food Standards Agency recommended storing potatoes in a dark, cool place at temperatures above 6°C. However, new research shows that it is safe to keep them in the fridge and it even increases their shelf life. Kate explained: “It used to be said that we shouldn’t store potatoes in the fridge because it could lead to increased sugars, which then turn into acrylamide when cooked which is not good for us. But a study by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Foods, Consumer Products and the Environment proved that these concerns were unfounded. So the fridge is the perfect place to store your potatoes.”

However, there is one rule that should not be overlooked in order to successfully store potatoes in this cold appliance. According to food safety expert Sylvia Anderson, the first step is to remove any excess moisture from the potatoes. Sylvia said: “Humidity can cause potatoes to rot, so it’s essential to keep them dry. Wipe off any dirt before storing and avoid washing until you’re ready to use them. Potatoes release ethylene gas, which can accelerate the ripening and decomposition of other fruits and vegetables. Keep them separate from onions, apples, and other ethylene-sensitive produce to extend their shelf life.”

The best storage method to avoid humidity is to place the potatoes in a container lined with paper towels and set it on an open shelf in the refrigerator. This should guarantee a shelf life of three to four weeks with no germination in sight.