5 foods you should never keep in your pantry

5 foods you should never keep in your pantry

Tomato sauce

Your pantry may be stocked with tomato sauce you bought the last time it was a sale, but it always should go in the fridge after you open it. “In the old days, a lot of us used to keep tomato sauce in the pantry,” Lydia Buchtmann, spokeswoman for the Food Safety Information Council, told HuffPost Australia. “But since then these products have gotten a lot healthier, so they’ve got less unhealthy preservatives in them like salt.”

Dijon mustard

Although your favourite sausage condiment won’t spoil if it’s kept in the pantry, keeping it in the fridge removes any risk of your Dijon losing the flavour you love. Plus, it’ll last longer if it’s refrigerated.


Surprised? You may be used to keeping your bananas in prime pantry real estate, but if you keep them there, they just keep ripening. When they’re ready to eat, put them in the fridge, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says. If the peels turn brown, they’ll still be good to eat. Food storage is one of the factors as to why professional chefs never order these foods at restaurants.


You already know to keep raw meat like chicken and beef in the fridge (or the freezer if you’re not using it right away), and the same applies for cured meat like salami. In a 2006 study, researchers found that 23 per cent of the tested 1020 dry Italian salami contained the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.

Pure maple syrup

If you love syrup, why would you eat anything other than the 100 per cent pure maple stuff? However, unlike syrup that’s only maple-flavoured, this pure kind must be kept in the refrigerator to prevent mould. Store it in the freezer (don’t worry, it won’t freeze solid), and it’ll keep indefinitely.

Written by Claire Nowak. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.