‘Best place’ to store potatoes is the spot people usually avoid

Phil Vickery gives energy saving tip for cooking potatoes

Potatoes, like most root vegetables, are often stored in the kitchen cupboard without a second thought.

Most have a shelf life of around two weeks when stored this way, as long as they are kept away from moisture before being cooked.

But while a cool, dark spot may seem like the best place to keep raw spuds, an expert has claimed otherwise.

Kate Hall, food expert and founder of The Full Freezer revealed that contrary to popular belief, the starchy vegetable actually belongs in the fridge.

She said: “In early 2023, the UK Food Standards Association changed their advice around storing potatoes.”

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Also known as the FSA, the Food Standards Agency recommended that potatoes be stored in a dark, cool place at temperatures above 6C.

However, new research shows that it is safe to store potatoes in the fridge and that doing so even increases their shelf life.

Kate explained: “Previously it was said we shouldn’t keep potatoes in the fridge as there were concerns that this could lead to extra sugars in the potatoes, which then turn to acrylamide when cooked – a substance that has been linked with the risk of developing cancer.”

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She continued: “But a study by the Committee on the Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) proved that these concerns were unfounded, and so the fridge is the best place to keep your spuds.”

There is, however, one non-negotiable that is crucial to successfully storing potatoes in the chilly appliance.

According to food safety expert, Sylvia Anderson, the first step is to remove any excess moisture from the spuds.

Sylvia said: “Moisture can cause potatoes to rot, so it’s essential to keep them dry. Wipe off any dirt before storing them and avoid washing them until you’re ready to use them.

“Potatoes release ethylene gas, which can cause other fruits and vegetables to ripen and spoil faster. Keep potatoes separate from onions, apples, and some other ethylene-sensitive produce to prolong their shelf life.”

The best storage method to ward off moisture is to place the potatoes in a container lined with paper towels and place it on a clear shelf in the fridge. Doing so should ensure a shelf life of three to four weeks with absolutely no sprouting in sight.

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