Food Safety And Storage

We work hard to get the freshest premium produce and local artisan groceries delivered directly to your door. When everything arrives, the first things you should consider washing, and food storage.

How to wash produce

Vegetables:
  • Root Vegetables – rinse under cool running water and scrub with a vegetable brush. For extra cleaning power add baking soda!
  • Lettuce + Herbs – submerge herbs or lettuce in a bowl or sink filled with cool water. Lightly toss to loosen anything unwanted. Let herbs or lettuce sit for a moment to allow undesirable items (dirt) sink to the bottom. Remove, and voilà!
Fruits:
  • All Other Fruits + Veggies – rinse under cool running water and let dry in a colander.

Storage Tips for Ultimate Freshness

 

Meat Storage:
  • All NECM meat comes fresh from a supplier several times per week. Additionally, all meat comes in Cryovac packaging, which is a superior packing technology that allows fresh meat to be kept fresher for longer.

**Please note: the meat will also sweat while in the packaging and can result in an unpleasant smell when you first open the packaging, which is not an indication of the freshness of the meat. Additionally, meat that has been deprived of oxygen will become darker and the smell is not an indicator of a problem with the meat, it’s known as “confinement odor” and is a result of the vacuum sealing process. After a few minutes the smell will disappear and the color will return to normal.

  • Meat kept in the refrigerator is recommended to be used within 3-5 days. We recommend you use meats that are put in the freezer within 4 weeks.
  • The USDA recommends storing all frozen foods at 0° F (or lower) to retain vitamin content, color, flavor and texture for optimum taste and tenderness.
Dairy Storage:

Once opened, all milk lasts four to seven days past its printed date, if refrigerated. If unopened, whole milk lasts five to seven days, reduced-fat and skim milk may last seven days, and non-fat and lactose-free milk last seven to 10 days past its printed date, if refrigerated properly. How you store your milk is pivotal to its freshness. According to the FDA, if milk is left unrefrigerated for more than two hours, it’s considered unsafe to consume. Additionally, there’s even a recommended, specific location in your refrigerator where you should store your milk — and it’s not on the door’s shelves. Milk should be stored at 38° to 40°F in the same container it came in, and far away from the door. When milk is stored on the refrigerator door’s shelves, it’s being exposed to warm air each time it’s opened, which encourages bacterial growth.

Produce Storage

Fruits:
  • Apples – If apples are refrigerated they can last up to a month. If left at room temperature, they last about a week.
  • Bananas – To extend the lifeline of bananas, simply place them in the produce drawer of a refrigerator. Refrigeration slows the ripening process considerably. The peel will continue to turn brown, but the fruit will stay fresh and firm for 1 to 2 weeks. To ripen, leave outside the refrigerator.
  • Citrus – We all love a bowl of lemons and limes on the table, but they only last a couple of days! For the longest lifeline, the best way to store any citrus fruit is in the refrigerator in the fruit drawer. Citrus fruits should last for a few weeks!
  • Melons? Watermelons? Berries? Stone Fruit?

 

Vegetables:
  • Avocados – Once an avocado is soft and ripe, eat within a day or two. Alternatively, store avocados whole in the refrigerator for up to three days. Cold slows down ripening. If you want an avocado to soften, we recommend placing them in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana for two to three days until they are ripe.
  • Bagged Salad Greens – Store in the fridge, preferably in the produce crisper drawer. As long as there is no wetness or wilting, can be consumed after best by date.
  • Beets – Beets like a cold and moist atmosphere. Store beets as close to freezing as possible. For longest lifeline, place beets in a perforated plastic bag. Beets keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 months.
  • Bell Peppers – Refrigerate peppers in the vegetable drawer. Keep peppers dry, as moisture can cause rot. Red and yellow peppers can last four to five days; green, about a week.
  • Carrots – Always keep carrots refrigerated, they last about a month.
  • Cucumber – wrap cucumber individually in paper towels. Place the wrapped cucumbers inside a plastic bag. Put the plastic bag in a refrigerator, and the cucumbers will stay fresh for the whole week.
  • Head Lettuces – Left whole and unwashed, head lettuce, like romaine, will last one to three weeks in the fridge. Better yet, store in the crisper drawer with paper damp towels to keep in moisture.
  • Hearty Cooking Greens (Swiss Chard, Kale, Collards) – Place greens in a plastic storage bag and wrap tightly, squeezing out as much of the air from the bag as possible. Keep in the refrigerator where greens for up to 5 days.
  • Mushrooms – Do not wash mushrooms until you are ready to eat them, as they may become soggy. They should last in the refrigerator up to a week.
  • Onions and Potatoes – Store in a dark, cool, dry and well-ventilated room. Places include pantry, basement or garage.
  • Tomatoes – Ripe tomatoes should be kept out of the sunlight at room temperature. They should be in a single layer (not touching one another) and stem side up. Consume within 3-5 days. Overripe tomatoes are soft are best kept in the fridge, these can last up to a month.
  • Radish – Store them in a plastic container in the crisper drawer for up to a few weeks.
Other:
  • Bread -While fresh bread is such a treat, it only stays fresh for a day or so. Truthfully, bread is best kept in the freezer. Remove bread only when you want to use it. It should only take about 1-2 hours.If you plan on heating the bread, it only needs 350 oven for a couple minutes or throw it in the toaster frozen and on a slightly higher setting than you would use if the bread was room temperature!
  • Cheese – Cheese stays for about two weeks after opening (as long as it is properly sealed and stored). The best location in the refrigerator is close to the bottom.
  • Eggs – Eggs should be stored in the middle of the refrigerator. Keeping them on the refrigerator door doesn’t ensure a consistent and cool temperature.
  • Herbs – To keep fresh herbs for several weeks, wash the entire bunch in water. Shake and dry-off all moisture using a paper towel. Wrap herbs in a paper towel and seal in a plastic bag.

MINIMUM ORDER & FREE DELIVERY

To complete checkout, you must have a minimum of $75 in your cart.

For FREE delivery, you must have over $150 in your cart AND your delivery address must be within 495.

For our Cape Cod customers, we offer Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday delivery, and a $20 delivery service charge will automatically be applied.

For our Rhode Island customers, we offer Thursday delivery, and a $20 delivery service charge will automatically be applied.

Welcome to New England Country Mart

Welcome to New England Country Mart, a grocery home delivery service brought to you by J.W. Lopes, a fourth-generation family owned and operated business in Boston, MA!

We are steadfast in our commitment to quality, safety, health and the highest level of customer service and look forward to welcoming you to our NECM family!

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