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You’ve Been Storing This Popular Condiment Wrong

A bottle of ketchup and a bottle of mustard sit on a restaurant table.

Most of us have a condiment shelf in the fridge, full of our favorite spreads and toppings. What’s on your shelf? Things like mustard, mayo, and most salad dressings need to be refrigerated.

But, if you have ketchup in there with the rest of the condiments, it might not need to be!

You’ve probably been to a diner or restaurant where there were bottles of ketchup on every table. It’s not just nostalgia. It’s because they’re going through those bottles a lot faster than most people do at home.

Ketchup is a shelf-stable product due to its natural acidity. That means it can be stored for a long time (before opening) without going bad. Even after you open a bottle, it will take a while for the contents to spoil.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup (2 ct Pack, 50.5 oz Bottles)

You can safely keep your ketchup out on the table - just use it as quickly as possible!

So, do you need to refrigerate your ketchup at home? Maybe.

Restaurants can get away with keeping bottles of ketchup out because they don’t have to worry about them not getting used for weeks or months. They replace them frequently with new bottles.

But, how often do you use ketchup at home? If it’s only for the occasional burger or squirted across your scrambled eggs, you might want to keep it in the fridge. While keeping it out for a while won’t cause it to go bad any time soon, you’ll preserve flavor and the shelf-life by keeping it cold.

If your family loves ketchup and you tend to go through a bottle every few weeks, there’s no reason why you can’t safely leave it on your own counter or table and enjoy having the condiment at your fingertips whenever you want it.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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