18 Foods You Should Never Store Together

Written By Jill Taylor

When organizing your kitchen, it’s super important to know which foods to keep separate. Storing them wrong can make them spoil faster, cause cross-contamination, and create bad smells. Here are 18 common food pairings to avoid so your meals stay fresh and tasty.

Apples and Bananas

Photo Credit: Jana Ranincova/Shutterstock

As Live Strong highlights, if you store apples and bananas together, they each will speed up the ripening process. That’s because they release ethylene gas, which causes other fruits to spoil faster. Storing them separately is an easy trick that lets you enjoy your apples and bananas at their best.

Raw Meat and Vegetables

Photo Credit: pilipphoto/Shutterstock

Never store raw meat with vegetables—cross-contamination is a serious risk. Meat juices can leak and contaminate your veggies, which isn’t good for your health. Always keep raw meat in sealed containers on the bottom shelf of the fridge, far away from fresh produce.

Apples and Carrots

Photo Credit: ERainbow/Shutterstock

Even though both are fridge-friendly, apples and carrots don’t get along well in storage. Apples can actually make carrots bitter, so it’s best to store apples either in the fridge or at room temperature and carrots in a cool, humid drawer to keep them sweet.

Onions and Potatoes

Photo Credit: IGOR_SINUS/Shutterstock

Potatoes and onions are pantry must-haves, but you should always keep them separate. Onions give off moisture and gases that can make potatoes spoil faster. Just store your onions in a cool, dry spot, and keep your potatoes in a dark, dry place.

Garlic and Other Vegetables

Photo Credit: alfernec/Shutterstock

Garlic can really take over the flavors of other veggies when stored together. Plus, it has such a strong smell and its moisture can make them spoil faster. To keep your veggies tasting fresh, store garlic in a cool, dry place away from other produce.

Bananas and Other Fruits

Photo Credit: Bigc Studio/Shutterstock

Keep your bananas away from other fruits since they are notorious for speeding up ripening and making other fruits spoil faster. Leave bananas on the counter and pop the other fruits in the fridge.

Bread and Potatoes

Photo Credit: mama_mia/Shutterstock

Bread and potatoes might seem like they go well together, but storing them side by side is a bad idea. Potatoes can make bread moldy and stale faster because of the moisture they release. Instead, keep your bread in a bread box or the fridge and store your potatoes in a cool, dark spot.

Apples and Oranges

Photo Credit: Mahmudul-Hassan/Shutterstock

To keep your apples and oranges fresh, always store them separately since apples can make oranges go bad quickly. Pop your apples in the fridge or leave them on the counter, and keep your oranges in a cool, well-ventilated spot for the best results.

Melons and Other Fruits

Photo Credit: 5 second Studio/Shutterstock

Another fruit that speeds up ripening is the melon. Melons like cantaloupe and honeydew can also accelerate ripening, so keep them away from other fruits. Store your melons on the counter until you cut them, then pop them in the fridge separately.

Cucumbers and Tomatoes

Photo Credit: WildStrawberry/Shutterstock

This may seem like a great combination, but storing cucumbers and tomatoes next to each other can be tricky. Tomatoes also give off ethylene gas, which will make cucumbers go bad quicker. Leave tomatoes at room temperature and put cucumbers in the fridge.

Avocados and Apples

Photo Credit: Sergey Cherviakov/Shutterstock

Keep your avocados and apples apart to keep them fresh. Leave avocados at room temperature until they’re ripe, then pop them in the fridge. Store apples somewhere else, as they can make avocados ripen too fast.

Berries and Ethylene-producing Fruits

Photo Credit: Subbotina Anna/Shutterstock

Berries are pretty delicate and can go bad fast if you keep them with fruits like apples and bananas. Just keep them in the fridge in a breathable container away from those ethylene-emitting fruits.

Tomatoes and Leafy Greens

Photo Credit: madcat13shumbrat/Shutterstock

Don’t store tomatoes and leafy greens like lettuce together, either. Tomatoes will make your greens wilt and spoil faster, so keep them at room temperature and stash your leafy greens in the fridge in a sealed container.

Cheese and Strong-smelling Foods

Photo Credit: MaraZe/Shutterstock

If you store cheese with strong-smelling foods like onions and garlic, it can absorb the odors, changing the flavor. To keep it tasting great, store cheese in a separate, airtight container in the fridge.

Citrus Fruits and Apples

Photo Credit: Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Keep your citrus fruits and apples apart to prevent spoilage. Store your citrus fruits in a cool, dry place and keep your apples separate to keep everything fresh longer. Otherwise, you’ll soon notice that your citrus fruits will start to deteriorate.

Bread and Cheese

Photo Credit: RoYam/Shutterstock

If you store bread and cheese in the same place, you might end up with moldy bread and stale cheese. Try putting bread in a bread box or the fridge and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge.

Peppers and Certain Fruits

Photo Credit: BGStock72/Shutterstock

Peppers should not be stored with fruits like apples and bananas as they can easily spoil faster than they should. Keep peppers in the fridge in a separate drawer or container to maintain their crispness and freshness.

Milk around Strong Odors

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

If stored together, milk can absorb strong odors from foods like onions, garlic, and certain cheeses, which can affect its taste. To keep it tasty, store milk in its original container, sealed up, away from strong-smelling foods in the fridge.

Up Next: 17 Phrases Older People Use That No One Else Gets

Photo Credit: CREATISTA/Shutterstock

Each and every generation has its own phrases and sayings that separate it from the rest, and the boomers certainly have plenty. Discover 17 popular boomer phrases that aren’t often used today and what they mean. Maybe you’ll want to bring some of them back!

17 Phrases Older People Use That No One Else Gets

People Who Don’t Show Empathy Usually Have These 18 Traits

Photo Credit: Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock

The world would be a better place if everyone had a little more empathy. But sadly, in reality, some people show much less empathy than we’d like. Here are 18 traits of people who don’t show empathy.

People Who Don’t Show Empathy Usually Have These 18 Traits

The 17 Unhappiest States in America

Image Credit: Ems Images/Shutterstock

The US has hit an all-time low position in the World Happiness Index, tumbling to 23rd in 2024. However, it’s important to remember that location is an important factor; many US states are very happy, unlike the following 17 US states that appear to be the most unhappy.