Whether you are a grower or consumer of fruits and vegetables, at some point you will probably be concerned about the optimal temperature at which to store your produce. Since we are in the cold storage business, we thought a handy guide would be fun to share with our readers.

There are many benefits of keeping your vegetables and fruits at the optimal temperature until eating or cooking with them. Produce that is chilled appropriately will always taste better than produce kept at warmer temperatures where spoiling could occur. Also, as you might expect, produce will last longer when stored at the proper climate. Finally, storing fruit and vegetables at the right temperature helps prevent the slow growth of bacteria that can lead to foodborne illnesses.

Below, we have grouped various fruits and vegetables by the optimal temperature at which each item should be stored, from coldest to warmest. For cold storage produce, it is recommended to store the fruits or vegetables pretty close to the optimal temparature (within 1-2 degrees). As you increase in optimal storage temperature, a wider temperature range is more acceptable (5-7 degrees). All temperatures are Fahrenheit.

Just Below Freezing

Pears (30°), sweet cherries (30.5°), horseradish (31°), apricots (31.5°), currants (31.5°), elderberries (31.5°), gooseberries (31.5°), grapes (31.5°), Jerusalem artichokes (31.5°), nectarines (31.5°), peaches (31.5°), plums (31.5°), prunes (31.5°), quinces (31.5°) and raspberries (31.5°).

Freezing

Bean sprouts (32°), broccoli (32°), brussels sprouts (32°), bunched or topped beets (32°), cabbage (32°), carrots (32°), cauliflower (32°), celery (32°), celeriac (32°), chard (32°), collards (32°), endive (32°), escarole (32°), garlic (32°), green peas (32°), greens (32°), kale (32°), kohlrabi (32°), leeks (32°), lettuce (32°), mushrooms (32°), parsley (32°), parsnips (32°), radishes (32°), rhubarb (32°), rutabagas (32°), salsify (32°), sour cherries (32°), spinach (32°), strawberries (32°), sweet corn (32°), turnips (32°), watercress (32°) and witloof chicory (32°).

Just Above Freezing

Blackberries (32.5°), artichokes (33.5°), asparagus (33.5°), beets (33.5°), blueberries (33.5°), bok choy (33.5°), cauliflower (33.5°), cherries (33.5°), chicory (33.5°), Chinese pea pods (33.5°), figs (33.5°), green peas (33.5°), herbs (33.5°), kiwi (33.5°), napa cabbage (33.5°), onions (33.5°), persimmons (33.5°), salad (33.5°), sprouts (33.5°), tangerines (33.5°), pre-cut fruit (34°), pre-cut vegetables (34°), apples (35°), cantaloupe (37°) and lima beans (39°).

40-49 Degrees

Cranberries (40°), southern peas (40.5°), hot chili peppers (41°), ripe avocado (41.5°), green beans (42.5°), lychees (42.5°), oranges (42.5°), snap beans (42.5°), pomegranates (45.5°), summer squash (45.5°), guavas (47.5°), okra (47.5°), potatoes (47.5°) and unripe avocado (47.5°).

50-59 Degrees

Eggplant (50°), sweet peppers (50°), winter squash (50°), limes (51.5°), cucumbers (52.5°), mangos (52.5°), melons (52.5°), papaya (52.5°), pineapple (52.5°), pumpkin (52.5°), lemons (53.5°), basil (54.5°), dry beans (55°), coconuts (57.5°), grapefruit (57.5°), sweet potatoes (57.5°) and ripe bananas (58°).

60-69 Degrees

Jicama (60°), ginger root (62.5°), tomatoes (62.5°), watermelon (62.5°) and green bananas (66°).

If your farm’s produce distribution plan requires the cold storage of fruits or vegetables in the Seattle area, don’t hesitate to contact Washington Cold Storage.

Photo credit: Bucklin Buildings

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