How To Store Strawberries So They Last, According to Driscoll’s

The experts weigh on whether you should wash strawberries before storing and when it's time to toss them out.

Strawberry season is finally upon us. I love fresh strawberries so much—they’re awesome sprinkled on spinach for a refreshing salad, blended in a smoothie, and of course, devoured as is. I always stock up on peak-season strawberries, but sometimes I buy a container and stash it in the fridge, only to rediscover the strawberries mushy and rotten.

I reached out to experts to learn tips for how best to store strawberries. Here's what I found out.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images </p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

The Best Way To Store Strawberries

The experts at Driscoll’s say the key to long-lasting berries is simple. “For best results, Driscoll’s recommends that you refrigerate your unwashed strawberries in their original container for up to five days," says Frances Dillard, Vice President of Marketing for the family-owned and operated California-based berry company.

Always make sure you refrigerate your berries as soon as you can, and keep them as dry as possible, Dillard suggests. It’s best to store them between 32°F and 34°F.

The ideal place to keep your berries is the produce drawer. “Store strawberries in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer in its original plastic container or a reusable plastic bag that is slightly open, or with air holes, to maintain humidity,” adds Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RDN.

Keep them as dry as you can and don’t wash them until right before you’re ready to eat them or use them in a recipe.

“Washing strawberries before storing them will add more moisture, which can cause early spoilage and make it a breeding medium for mold,” says Dandrea-Russert.

When you’re ready to use them, gently rinse them under cool water, with the leaves and stems still on, then pat dry with a paper towel. Once they’re washed, remove the leaves and stems.

Wash only what you’ll use and store the rest of the berries without washing them. “They should be completely dry before storing to avoid early spoilage or mold growth,” says Dandrea-Russert. 

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images </p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

When You Should Toss the Strawberries Out

Driscoll’s says if stored in ideal conditions, their berries can stay bright and juicy for three to five days in the refrigerator. They suggest following the “best used by” date on the package and “keeping a close eye on the sheen and rich, even red color of the berry,” says Dillard.

They may be able to last as long as a week, but it depends on how fresh they were when you bought them. “If they’ve spent time in transport and on grocery store shelves, they may have a shorter shelf life in your fridge,” says Dandrea-Russert.

Don’t eat strawberries that are discolored with large green or white areas that have become soft, or if they are slimy or moldy.

Don’t leave strawberries outside the refrigerator unless you’re snacking on them. They should be refrigerated within two hours of washing and cutting them. Toss them in the compost bin if they’ve been sitting out longer than that.

Get Recipe with Title: Strawberries and Cream Semifreddo

<p>Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm</p>

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.