It’s easy to bung food in the fridge with the hope of eliminating mould, bacteria, and giving it a longer shelf-life, especially in summer. But are you doing more harm than good?

Here’s seven foods commonly found in the fridge that are actually best kept at room temperature.

WHOLE WATERMELONS

It has been found that whole watermelons lose antioxidant content when placed in the fridge, which means they are more prone to going off.

Keep your melons out of the cold initially, however once the fruit has been cut, store it in the fridge in a container or covered with wrap.

HONEY

According to beekeepers, honey is best kept in a sealed container in a dry pantry or cupboard. Storing honey in the fridge causes it to crystallise, which makes it hard to spread and affects its texture.

The acidic pH and sugar content in honey will fight off any microorganisms, meaning it’ll stay sweet and good to spread for a very long time.

HOT SAUCE

Check the label first, but vinegar-based hot sauces (like tabasco) are best stored at room temperature. A chilly fridge will weaken the flavour and change its consistency, making it even harder to extract from the bottle.

TOMATOES

They look and taste like a vegetable, but tomatoes are part of the fruit family.

The confusion and debate around tomatoes carries on into storage options, however if your priority is taste, the message is clear.

Tomatoes kept in the fridge can change texture, giving them a grainy, mushy and sometimes icy consistency. If you want to avoid this then keep toms at room temperature and out of direct sunlight – in the fruit bowl, even.

ONIONS

The onion’s protective papery skin is developed after it is pulled from the ground and kept in a dry environment.

Onions need air circulation in order for them to stay good, so they’re best kept in a cool, dark (light will cause onions to become bitter) and well-ventilated place.

Spring onions have a higher water content, so they’re fine in the fridge.

OLIVE OIL

Olive, like all oils, don’t like to be chilly. Keeping oil in the fridge will change the consistency to resemble a thick, buttery-like paste, making it tricky to drizzle into a frypan or on to salad.

BREAD

Summertime means bread often goes to the ducks before we’ve had a chance to eat it, but avoid the temptation to store it in the fridge as it dries out.

Instead, store a few slices of bread (that you intend to use in the coming days) at room temperature, and freeze the rest of the loaf until you need to bring it out to thaw. Always keep bread wrapped and twist-tied so it retains its moisture.

BASIL

This tasty herb will spoil if left in the fridge, it not only wilts but will also absorb aromas of any food around it. Ol’ baz is best kept at room temperature, sitting in a cup of water (like cut flowers).