produce list
Thomas Nelson
Thomas Nelson
April 14, 2020 ·  4 min read

This Is How Long Fresh Produce Will Last Before Going Bad

So you’ve just gone shopping and you’ve brought home a big bag full of fresh produce. Well done! Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great way to give your body the nutrition it needs in order to function and be healthy. But how fast do you need to eat all that food?

Some produce lasts a very long time, months even. Others need to be eaten as soon as possible. Here’s our guide on how long each type of produce will last when properly stored.


How Long They Last: 4-8 Weeks

Apples can be kept at room temperature but will last substantially longer if stored in your refrigerator. In the fridge, it will last 4-8 weeks. If your apples get brown spots, not all is lost. Just cut around them. If they feel mushy or seem dehydrated, it’s time to throw them in the compost.


How Long They Last: 4-7 Days

Avocados, unlike apples, don’t do well stored in the refrigerator. Instead, store them at room temperature. A ripe avocado needs to be eaten fairly quickly. They tend to go bad after 4-7 days.


How Long They Last: 2-5 Days

A banana is considered ripe when its peel is yellow and it has begun to develop darker spots. A fully ripened banana will last about 2-5 days when stored at room temperature. Refrigerating bananas comes down to a matter of ripeness. If they’re green, don’t put them in there as this will delay ripening and cause chill injury. However, if they are already ripe, you can delay the process a little if you put them in the fridge. Overall though, bananas don’t need refrigeration if you eat them regularly.


How Long They Last: 1-2 Weeks

Blueberries you find in the store are usually fully ripe and ready for consumption. You’ll want to eat them before they turn bad. Usually, blueberries will survive 1-2 weeks in the fridge, but prioritize eating them by day 7.


How Long They Last: 1-2 Weeks

Broccoli will last in your refrigerator for 1-2 weeks, but should be eaten before its green coloration begins to fade. The stem should feel firm, not squishy or limp.


How Long They Last: 3-6 Months

Garlic lasts extraordinarily long when kept at room temperature, around 3-6 months. It should feel firm and have a white or off-white color. Sprouted garlic can still be eaten, just remove the sprouted portion.


How Long They Last: 7-10 Days

Romaine and iceberg lettuce will last in your fridge for 7-10 days. It’s usually pretty obvious when it’s gone bad. Don’t eat lettuce that feels soggy, is turning brown, or has a rotten smell.

Lemons and Oranges

How Long They Last: 3-4 Weeks

Lemons and oranges will last for about 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator. Your lemons should be slightly firm and bright yellow. Dark spots indicate that your lemon has gone bad. Oranges should also be somewhat firm and a nice orange color. Spots also indicate the fruit as spoiled.


How Long They Last: 3 Days

Peaches should not be refrigerated, instead kept at room temperature. Once ripe, they’ll last no more than 3 days before beginning to go bad. Peaches should give a bit when squeezed, but should not be squishy or wrinkly.


How Long They Last: 2-3 Months

Onions also last a long time at room temperature, but not as long as garlic. Onions will last 2-3 months at room temperature. They should feel firm, not squishy. Soft spots indicate that the onion has gone bad.


How Long They Last: 3-5 Weeks

Potatoes should not be refrigerated but kept at room temperature. They will last in your pantry for 3-5 weeks. If the potato begins to feel squishy or has sprouted, it’s likely gone bad. If your potato has sprouted, you can plant it and grow more potatoes!


How Long They Last: 7 Days

Strawberries are best stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 7 days of purchase, ideally sooner. If your strawberries are squishy with dark spots or beginning to mold, do not eat.

String beans

How Long They Last: 3-5 Days

String beans can be refrigerated but don’t last very long before needing to be eaten. Use your string beans within 3-5 days of purchase. Beans that are limp or moist have gone bad.


How Long They Last: 7 Days

Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature, not in the refrigerator. Fresh picked off the vine, they can last a couple of weeks. But store-bought tomatoes should be eaten within a week.


How Long They Last: 7-10 Days

Watermelons should be stored at room temperature for 7-10 days at most. Your melon is ripe when it feels hollow when knocked on. It should not be hard.


How Long They Last: 7-10 Days

Mushrooms will last 7-10 days in the refrigerator, and like lettuce, it’s pretty obvious when it’s gone bad. If they feel sticky, slimy, or smell bad, don’t eat them.


How Long They Last: 7-10 Days

Zucchini will last usually 7-10 days in the fridge after purchase. They should be firm, not squishy, limp, or wrinkly. Keep this vegetable whole, dry, and unwashed. Store in a paper bag as well with one end open and put them in the crisper.