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You just hit the grocery store, and your fridge is overflowing. But do all those things actually belong in the refrigerator? The thing is most fresh fruits and vegetables can survive without refrigeration — along with some other interesting foods, too.

There are two types of bacteria that cause problems. Pathogenic bacteria lead to food-borne illnesses, and spoilage bacteria changes the way foods look, smell, and taste.

Here’s a list of 12 items that will do just fine outside the fridge.

Potatoes:

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When too cold, starches found in potatoes turn to sugar, yielding an off flavor. Keep potatoes stored in a paper bag in a cool, dark cupboard or drawer. Same goes for sweet potatoes.

Honey:

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Your luscious honey will turn to crystallized gunk if it is stored in the fridge. Store it at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for happy honey.

Tomatoes:

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Tomatoes actually start losing their flavor and become quite mushy if left in the fridge. Leave on the counter and use when they have a slight give to the outside skin.

Apples:

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Apples, just like tomatoes, start to loose flavor and texture after spending time in the fridge. Leave them on the counter, and toss them in the fridge for 30 minutes prior to eating if you want a crisp bite.

Onions:

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The best place for onions is in a paper bag in a cool, dark cabinet or drawer. If stored in the fridge, they soften and impart an oniony scent on nearby foods.

Peanut butter:

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Peanut butter does just fine stored in a cool, dark cupboard.

Bread:

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You might be tempted to store bread in the fridge, but it actually dries out faster. Instead, store it in a cool cupboard or bread box for a fresh slice.

Bananas:

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Leave those bananas on the counter, and if they turn brown before you get to them, toss them in the freezer to make banana bread at a later date.

Most oils:

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Pretty much all oils are safe to store at room temperature. If the oil has lower saturated-fat content, such as safflower or sunflower, it will benefit from being kept cool, so store it in a dark cabinet or the fridge door.

 

Peppers:

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Red, green, yellow, and even chili peppers are just fine stored in a paper bag in a cool cupboard or drawer.

Citrus:

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Store oranges, lemons, and limes at room temperature on your kitchen counter. Just be careful not to bunch them too closely, or they will tend to mold.

Ketchup:

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Yup, your ketchup is just fine in your pantry — even after it has been opened. Because of the amount of vinegar and preservatives, it will do just fine (think ketchup packets at your favorite fast-food restaurant).

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