Here are five common food items that have been known to be stored in the fridge. But do these items actually need to be refrigerated?
Vegemite: According to the CSIRO, vegemite doesn’t contain much water, so it’s harder for bacteria to grow. One of the frequently asked questions on Vegemite’s website is “How do I store Vegemite?” The answer is: Vegemite is a shelf stable product and once opened, can be stored in the cupboard or pantry right up until the best before date.
Honey: According to Capilano Honey, with proper storage – an airtight container away from moisture – honey will last indefinitely. Storing honey in the fridge accelerates the crystallisation process, so honey is best stored in the pantry. Bear in mind, crystallisation is not an indicator of spoilage and if it does occur, simply immerse the jar of honey in hot water and stir the honey until the crystals dissolve. Depending on the brand of honey you have at home and where it came from, it may or may not have an expiry date. It’s not a legal requirement in Australia for honey packaging to display an expiry or best before date. However, when exporting their honey overseas, there may be a requirement for Capilano to specify a best before date, which is usually 2 to 3 years after the packed date, depending on the country the honey is exported to.
Peanut butter: As with vegemite, peanut butter doesn’t contain much water, so it can be stored in your pantry. The National Peanut Board claims, it is not necessary to refrigerate an opened jar of commercially manufactured peanut butter. An opened jar of processed peanut butter will usually keep well for about 3 months when stored in a dark cupboard at normal room temperature.
Coffee beans: Coffee experts will generally advise against storing your beans in the freezer or fridge as the humidity and temperature changes can cause condensation, which can cause the cell structure of the bean to change. This means losing oils, which is what gives coffee its beautiful aroma and flavour. It’s recommend you store your coffee in an airtight container in the dark. Additionally, whole coffee beans retain their freshness longer than ground coffee beans. Store-bought coffee beans could be up to twelve months old by the time it hits the shelves, so for the best home brewed coffee, it’s recommended you purchase freshly roasted beans from your favourite coffee bean supplier.
Nutella: According to food shelf life website, eatbydate.com, Nutella will “keep fresh longer by storing it in a cool dry place like your pantry, away from heat and light. Nutella should be stored with the lid tightly closed to keep out moisture and other contaminants. Keep it away from heat or the oils will separate. Nutella should not be refrigerated, as refrigeration will make it hard and unusable”. Additionally, Nutella labelling states, “no need for refrigeration”.
This article originally appeared on BHG.