Storage & Cooking

How to Keep Potatoes Fresh for Longer

As part of our #StretchOutAndSave campaign, we’re sharing tips this month on how to keep popular summer foods fresh for longer. Next in the spotlight, it’s the turn of that great Irish staple: the simple spud.  

Potatoes have long been a key element of the Irish diet. And it’s not unusual to see several different spud dishes served up in one meal.

During summertime, baby potatoes can be boiled and combined with a range of other ingredients to make delicious seasonal recipes, or leftover mash can be transformed to make a tasty potato salad.

But, during warmer months, it can feel like your spuds begin sprouting almost as soon as you’ve unpacked them.

How to Stop Potatoes Sprouting

To get the most from your potatoes, remember the following key points:

  1. At warm room temperatures, potatoes will sprout and decay, so best to store them in a cool, dark, and dry place – away from any large appliances that generate heat. A cloth potato sack in a dark cupboard or pantry is perfect.
  2. Potatoes can be bought in a variety of different package sizes, so keep in mind where you plan to store them and for how long.
  3. If you’ve bought potatoes in plastic packaging, make sure to remove them from your bag as soon as you get home from the supermarket. Plastic packaging encourages condensation, which can cause potatoes to rot.
  4. Don’t store your spuds in the fridge as they can convert starch into sugars at fridge temperatures.
  5. Both onions and potatoes last longer when stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. However, don’t store them next to each other: the excess moisture onions emit can result in potatoes sprouting faster.
  6. Finally, make sure to store your potatoes away from ethylene-producing fruit and veg, as they can also result in potatoes sprouting faster. Ethylene is a gas released by fruits and vegetables, and it causes produce to ripen faster. Ethylene producers include bananas, apples, avocadoes, peaches, pears, peppers, and tomatoes – so keep these well away from your spuds!

For more handy tips on how to store your food to maximise freshness, check out our A-Z of Foods. And make sure to follow the #StretchOutAndSave campaign on social media this week.

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