Should ketchup be stored in the refrigerator? Most people are wrong

Written by hana

If ketchup is one of the most consumed sauces, the fact remains that many people still wonder about its storage. Should it be kept in the cupboard or in the refrigerator? According to specialists, this sauce can perfectly find its place at room temperature in your pantry. Unless you prefer your ketchup very fresh, know that it’s made with vinegar and tomatoes, the acidity of which prevents bacterial growth.

For the little story…

Pour the ketchup

Pour the ketchup – Source: spm

German-American businessman Henry John Heinz patented ketchup in 1876, a revolutionary sauce made only from ripe tomatoes, vinegar, spices, and sugar. The success story was almost instant. The famous “tomato sauce” flooded American homes before quickly conquering the entire planet. But in fact, the secret behind this spice is that it is of Chinese origin. Before the recipe was improved, and in particular the clever addition of sugar, raw ketchup was made rather from an ancient Chinese fish brine sauce called “ké-tsiap”.

Knowing that it wasn’t until 1925 that the first airtight household refrigerators appeared, in other words, ketchup didn’t need to stay cold for years.

Except for that, some habits have hard teeth. Whether it’s through social tradition or habits that originated in childhood, many of us have preconceived notions about whether or not to put food in the fridge. Ketchup is one of them. While some see no benefit in refrigerating this sauce at all, others are convinced on the contrary that it should be kept in the refrigerator to preserve its freshness. So the question is: is it necessary or not to keep ketchup in the refrigerator?

Ketchup contains natural preservatives

Store ketchup in the refrigerator

Ketchup in the fridge – Source: spm

According to a Heinz food company spokesperson, it is recommended that their products be refrigerated after opening to maintain better quality. Note that this applies to all of their products, including mustard, barbecue sauce, and all kinds of other seasonings. Of course, it’s not so bad if the bottle is kept at room temperature, but according to this expert, its quality will be better if you keep it in the refrigerator instead. Because this coolant space has the ability to slow down the deterioration process. As Cynthia James of the Cornell University Food Center explains: At room temperature, microbes grow more easily and multiply faster, while refrigerating food slows their growth“.

However, like mustard, ketchup can stay out of the refrigerator for a while. This is due to its acidity and sugar, especially thanks to tomatoes and vinegar, which act as natural preservatives. For this reason, often in restaurants, it is common practice to serve these sauces at room temperature. And that is, even if the brand still encourages consumers to refrigerate already opened bottles to maintain product quality.

Now you can perfectly store any commercial ketchup on your pantry. On the other hand, in the case of homemade ketchup, because it lacks preservatives, it is highly recommended to keep it cold.

Can you eat expired ketchup?

Although ketchup has an expiration date on the label, it is not necessarily considered “expired” on that particular day or even during the month. Therefore, this date is not important: it is only there for quality reasons, and most of the time, ketchup will still be edible even months later, as long as it shows no signs of deterioration of course. This also applies to all other non-perishable artificial sauces.

How do you know that ketchup has spoiled?

How do you detect spoiled sauce? The easiest way to do this is to note the texture of the ketchup and the smell of the product. If you notice that it gives off an unpleasant odor, different taste, or a questionable appearance, you should obviously avoid eating it. Likewise, if you notice mold spots, don’t think, you should get rid of them immediately.

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