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I buy fresh strawberries frequently. Unlike this question, I try to buy them to last, preferably a few days. I naturally avoid strawberries that look overripe (or worse mouldy), preferring punnets with some strawberries with a little white close to the top. I keep my strawberries in the fridge. Often I keep the punnet in a (loose) paper bag (the shop places them in this). The morning after I buy them they are generally fine, the next morning OK, and more often than not after that they seem to want to turn into compost.

Am I doing something wrong here (selection, way of keeping in fridge) or is this "just life"? I have tried changing supermarket, buying from the market, different varieties but there doesn't appear to be a lot of correlation.

This is in Switzerland if it matters, so no GM. Good quality supermarket. The refrigerator is if anything over-efficient. I'm keeping them in the main body of the refrigerator. I'm normally buying them at lunchtime and eating them in the morning for breakfast.

Prior research here: I've searched and looked (enviously) at this question (which suggests either I am doing something wrong or strawberries in the US are different), and this question (which suggests a couple of days is the minimum).

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Your berries may already have mold spores on their outsides. If you kill the spores before refrigerating the berries, they should last longer.

This source recommends submerging your berries in a bath of 1 cup vinegar + 3 cups water, then draining and thoroughly drying them in a salad spinner lined with paper towels. Then they recommend storing them in a wide, flat container so they can be laid in a single layer rather than crowded together and on top of each other. Line the bottom of the container with paper towels and leave the lid ajar.

If you are out out vinegar, the same source recommends a quick (30 second) dunk in a hot water bath (120°F - 140°F). Then dry and store the berries the same way.

Other sources recommend rinsing the berries with plain water after the vinegar bath to remove the vinegar smell and taste.

If you don't have a salad spinner, dry them by spreading them out in a single layer on paper towels. I use a wide pan with edges at least 2" high (a sheet cake pan works well). That way you can gently shake it, so the berries roll around on the paper towels and get dried off on all sides.

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  • The vinegar smell should dissipate without needing a second rinse - that could cause more molding later! – Luciano Sep 18 '20 at 9:20
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Perhaps you should take them out of the paper bag?

Punnets are open to promote ventilation, and by leaving the paper bag you might be accumulating too much moisture from the fridge, accelerating the spoilage of the strawberries.

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You don't say how they're being handled. If bruised by being shaken about they'll spoil far more quickly. Some shop staff are heavy-handed so changing shops may help, but it could also be how you transport them home. I often shop by bike and pack fragile things carefully within space constraints, but the road home can be quite bumpy. Any that get soft bits from the journey need to be eaten first

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