PotatoStorage & Handling

Where should you store potatoes? Find out by clicking below. Interested in delicious recipes, see our Potato Recipes page.

Buying & Storing Potatoes

Buying

Look for clean, smooth, firm-textured potatoes with no cuts, bruises or discoloration.

Proper Storage & Handling

Download the Fresh Handling and Storage Guide

  • Store potatoes in a cool, well-ventilated place.
  • Keep potatoes out of the light.
  • Colder temperatures lower than 50 degrees, such as in the refrigerator, cause a potato’s starch to convert to sugar, resulting in a sweet taste and discoloration when cooked. If you do refrigerate, letting the potato warm gradually to room temperature before cooking can reduce the discoloration.
  • Avoid areas that reach high temperatures (beneath the sink or beside large appliances) or receive too much sunlight (on the counter top).
  • Perforated plastic bags and paper bags offer the best environment for extending shelf-life.
  • Don’t wash potatoes (or any produce, for that matter) before storing. Dampness promotes early spoilage.

What to Do with “Green” or Sprouting Potatoes
  • Green on the skin of a potato is the build-up of a chemical called Solanine. It is a natural reaction to the potato being exposed to too much light. Solanine produces a bitter taste and if eaten in large quantity can cause illness.
  • Will consuming potatoes with green patches make you sick? Click here to find out.
  • If there is slight greening, cut away the green portions of the potato skin before cooking and eating.
  • Sprouts are a sign that the potato is trying to grow. Storing potatoes in a cool, dry, dark location that is well ventilated will reduce sprouting.
  • Cut the sprouts away before cooking or eating the potato.

Take Care: How to Handle and Store Fresh U.S. Potatoes

U.S. fresh potatoes are living foods! They continue to undergo metabolic processes after harvest, making proper handling and storage critical to quality. Familiarize yourself with these best practices to keep potatoes in prime condition from the point of purchase onward. And remember: careful treatment can slow potato metabolism, but it can’t stop it.

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Environmental Factor: Handling

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References: Fresh Potato Handling and Storage Guidelines. Dr. Joe Guenther, University of Idaho.

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