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Don’t Neglect To Refrigerate These Foods

Storing items in the appropriate place is essential to keep food fresh and safe. While it’s common to refrigerate eggs, milk, and butter, some foods like almond butter and tortillas also belong in the fridge. According to food scientist Bryan Quoc Le, Ph.D, foods with high water, sugar, fat, protein, and low acidity or salt concentrations are susceptible to spoilage from yeast, mold, and bacteria. Yannick Tirbois, a culinary instructor at Le Cordon Bleu, advises against challenging nature and suggests storing items correctly as soon as they’re bought or harvested.

Proper food storage can help reverse 30-40% of the annual food waste in the United States, saving an average family of four $1,500 and reducing environmental damage. Here are some commonly overlooked foods that require refrigeration.

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Hot Sauce

To determine how to store your hot sauce, consider its ingredients and consumption rate. Homemade hot sauces containing cream or eggs should be refrigerated, according to Tirbois. Store vinegar-based hot sauces in the refrigerator after opening for optimum flavor and preservation. According to Le, hot sauces without fermentation or high salt levels can spoil within one to two months. Tabasco, however, can last up to six months outside the fridge and maintain its flavor for years due to its unique aging process.


To prevent your tortillas from going stale, refrigerate them instead of leaving them at room temperature. Le warns that storing tortillas at room temperature can cause them to become moldy quickly.

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Maple Syrup

Maple syrup lacks preservatives and should be refrigerated after opening to prevent spoilage, as its high water content can facilitate yeast growth, according to Le. Although the syrup may cause sugar to crystallize around the container neck, refrigeration will not harm the product. This crystallization may make the bottle harder to open but does not indicate spoilage.

Nut Butter

Once opened, nut butter may deteriorate due to oil separation, mainly if natural nut butter isn’t preservative-free. According to Macarelli, an opened jar of nut butter with no preservatives can still be used for up to one month when stored in the pantry.