7 foods you think need to be refrigerated but actually don't

In the event of a power outage from a severe storm, there are many kinds of foods that are commonly refrigerated that don’t actually need to be.

In a power outage from a severe storm, many foods are commonly refrigerated that don’t need to be. Here is a list of food you can store and keep fresh without electricity.

Certain Fruits

Many varieties of fruit, including tropical fruits, citrus fruits, berries, apples, bananas and more, do not need to be stored in the fridge. While many fruits do stay fresh for longer while stored in the fridge, in the event of a power outage, the fruit will remain fresh at room temperature for a few days depending on the type.

Condiments & Dressings

Many condiments such as ketchup, mustard, hot sauce and soy sauce don’t need to be chilled and can be stored in the cabinet, even after opening. However, refrigerating them does cause them to last longer. Oil-based salad dressings will harden in the fridge; therefore, it’s also better to keep these items in your pantry at room temperature.

Cakes and other desserts

Refrigerating certain desserts can make them go stale faster than keeping them at room temperature, especially many kinds of cakes and cupcakes. When baking cakes topped with ganache or buttercream, it is best to leave them on the counter. Storing these desserts at room temperature keeps them moist for longer, while the refrigerator’s cold air tends to dry them out a lot faster.


While most people keep butter in the fridge, you can store it at room temperature. However, the USDA recommends only keeping it out for one or two days. Leaving it out for more than two days will cause it to go bad. In the event of a power outage, you can still use your butter for a short period.


While many people store jars of pickles in the fridge, especially after opening them, you don’t need to keep them cool. Their salty and acidic juice acts as a preservative to keep them safe to eat for about one to two years.

Onions and garlic

The best place to store onions and garlic is somewhere cool and dry, such as a basement or a dark pantry with little to no light. Keeping onions and garlic in the fridge exposes them to humid conditions, which in turn causes them to rot.

Potatoes and sweet potatoes

Like onions and garlic, potatoes and sweet potatoes should be kept in a cool, dry place where they are not exposed to much light or humidity. Keeping potatoes in the fridge causes their starch to turn into sugar, changing their taste and making them impractical to use when cooking.