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Product Handling, Storage and Shelf Life

This article details general product handling, storage and shelf life.

If you are interested in reporting a quality or missing item, please submit a request HERE.

Shelf Life

Most fresh, organic produce has a shelf life of 3-5 days. Many fruits and vegetables can be frozen, as well.

 

Washing

Fresh produce should always be washed before use. The easiest method is to submerge the produce in a sink or bowl of water and wait several minutes until any dirt or sand sinks to the bottom.

Some produce, such as leeks or kale, may require more than one rinse.

Most produce will last longer if you wait to wash it until just before you are ready to use it.

The exception to this is berries, which are particularly fragile. To improve the shelf life of berries:

  • Remove any smashed or moldy berries upon receipt and rinse immediately.
  • Allow to dry and store in a glass or plastic container in the refrigerator.
  • Berries should be eaten within 2-3 days, or else frozen.

 

Ripening

Green BEAN delivers certain fragile items in an un-ripened state to improve quality and shelf life. Some of these items include stone fruits (such as peaches and nectarines), avocados and melons. Most items can be ripened on the counter or inside a brown paper bag at room temperature for 1 to 2 days.  

Once ripe, you can store fruit in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life. Even bananas can be stored in the refrigerator once ripe to extend their shelf life. The bananas will turn brown on the outside, but the inside will be fine.

Tomatoes should never be stored in the refrigerator as it changes the texture and flavor of the fruit. The exception to this is any tomato left over after having been cut. Do not leave cut tomatoes at room temperature.

Many fruits, vegetables and herbs can be frozen, as well.

Remove the greens from root vegetables (such as beets and carrots) to extend the nutritional value and shelf life of the vegetable. Greens left attached will drain a root of its energy and nutrients.

Wilted lettuce is often just dehydrated. To refresh lettuce, submerge the wilted greens in cold water and keep in the refrigerator overnight. Lettuce can also be washed and then wrapped in paper towels and stored in the crisper.

 

Insects

Organic produce is free of chemicals, including pesticides, so don’t be surprised if you see an occasional ladybug or moth. Ladybugs eat aphids, so seeing one of these in your lettuce or broccoli is actually a good sign! Simply wash your produce as normal.

Occasionally, we may get a shipment of lettuce or broccoli that has more than a few aphid stowaways. If you find several insects or your vegetable seems to have an infestation, please dispose of it and notify our Member Relations team for a refund.

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