Retail Handling Best Practices

Potatoes are  much easier to store and handle than many other types of produce.  Properly stored, they can last for several months.  Below are some best practices for retail potato handling:

  • Know your Refrigerator: Create a map of your refrigerator noting the coldest and warmest spots.  Potatoes do best when stored between 45 and 50 degrees.
  • Rotate inventory on an First-In-First-Out (FIFO) basis.  Make sure you place newer items in back so that you maintain proper rotation schedules.
  • Clearly stack boxes so received-on dates are visible.
  • Check produce as it arrives – note outages, shorts and spoilage.  Remove any spoiled potatoes so that they don’t negatively impact the rest of the order.

Potato Storage Tips

  • Store potatoes in a cool, dark, well-ventilated area, protect from direct light
  • Do not store in unventilated plastic bags
  • Storage between 45°F to 50°F is ideal
  • Potatoes will last 1-2 weeks at room temperature and several months at 45°F-50°F
  • Storing potatoes exposed to excessive light will cause them to turn green and develop a bitter flavor
  • If the potato has developed green, that section can be removed before cooking
  • It is best not to wash potatoes before storing
  • Do not refrigerate or freeze potatoes. At temperatures below 42°F the starch will begin to turn into sugar

What Shoppers Want

  • To know where their food comes from
  • More local produce options
  • More variety
  • Big interest in smaller potatoes – sales of petite potatoes is almost 100% incremental*
  • Digital recipes and product information