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People Are Only Just Learning Where You're Supposed To Store Ketchup

Come on now people.

James Felton

James Felton

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

James is a published author with four pop-history and science books to his name. He specializes in history, strange science, and anything out of the ordinary.

Senior Staff Writer

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A hand holding ketchup in a store.

In stores, ketchup is often kept out of the fridge.

Image credit: Naqiuddin zakaria/shutterstock.com

It's a debate that is wheeled out on social media every week or so, when people aren't having heated arguments over bread: should ketchup go in the cupboard or the fridge?

It's a topic people apparently have strong opinions on, including ketchup manufacturers. Roughly among the public (according to unscientific Twitter polls) opinion is split, with fridgers just beating the cupboard-users. In one poll conducted by ketchup maker Heinz, around 58 percent keep theirs in the fridge vs 42 percent in the cupboard. 

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Other polls have shown similar results. 

Weirdly, a slightly more scientific survey found that 56 percent of British people keep their ketchup in the cupboard. So, where is it supposed to be kept? As the old adage goes, "don't trust the British". The "correct" location is the fridge.

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It's easy to see why people think ketchup (and maybe even mayonnaise) is fine to keep in the cupboard, as the condiments are often not kept in the refrigerated aisle at the store. However, they are both sterilized prior to being vacuum sealed, making them safe to store at room temperature until they are opened. Once mayonnaise is opened, it begins to spoil.

Ketchup is not like mayonnaise, and will not spoil if you keep it out of the fridge, thanks to its acidity as well as its sugar and salt content. But you should have higher standards for your condiment than "will this give me diarrhea?". Though ketchup won't become harmful in the cupboard – ketchup was actually sold before refrigerators were invented – the flavor can develop an altered taste in there, as well as change color. 

While it might be perfectly safe to consume, why not treat your tastebuds to food that hasn't developed a funky new flavor hanging out next to the beans?


ARTICLE POSTED IN

humansHumans
  • tag
  • food,

  • food safety,

  • ketchup

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