Do these Foods Need to be Refrigerated?


It seems like today everyone wants to refrigerate everything.  When I was a child may things were routinely left out, and it never seemed to cause a problem.  So after a little research here is a list of foods that are best not refrigerated or just don’t need to be.

From the Heinz FAQ: “Because it is a very acidic product, ketchup does not spoil easily. Once opened, in order to maintain the product’s quality more effectively, we do suggest that ketchup (and any other processed food) be refrigerated after opening because refrigeration retards spoilage.”

Soy Sauce:
From Kikkoman’s site: “Remember that all soy sauces should be stored in a cool place.”

From French’s website:“The FRENCH’S® Dijon Mustard can lose heat and distinct flavor, if left unrefrigerated, so we encourage refrigeration. For all other mustards, refrigerating will help maintain its flavor; however, if you prefer your mustard to be room temperature, it is not necessary. There are no ingredients in mustard that spoil. ‘Refrigerate After Opening’ is not required for food safety. It is recommended to maintain optimal product flavor.”

Peanut Butter:
From Jif’s FAQ: “In the first three months after opening, Jif doesn’t require refrigeration. If your family doesn’t gobble Jif up by then, you may want to refrigerate the peanut butter to help prevent flavor loss.”

From Smucker’s FAQ: “The food items we produce are classified as non-perishable. Refrigeration is not necessary but recommended. Under normal conditions, unopened products should remain safe to eat indefinitely. However, over time the flavor and color of products will decline.”

Pickles, remember that pickling is a method of preserving without refrigeration.

Maple Syrup (REAL stuff, like from trees)
From Maple Grove’s FAQ: “Maple Syrup is an all natural product with no preservatives. Unopened containers of pure maple syrup may be left in a cool, dark place for about one year without refrigeration. After opening, the syrup should be refrigerated. Freezing keeps open or unopened containers indefinitely, and the liquid will not solidify. Any harmless mold that forms on the surface of opened syrup may be skimmed off, and the product may be used after reheating on the stove or in the microwave. Place reheated syrup in a fresh, clean container and refrigerate.”

Hot Sauces that are vinegar based can be store in the cupboard for long periods of time.

Here is a list of foods that are actually made worst by refrigeration.

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes cold breaks down the cell walls and makes them mushy
  • Bananas
  • Melons, can be refrigerated after being cut up
  • Stone fruit, they should be ripened at room temperature with the stem end down
  • Potatoes
  • Bread, if you end up refrigerating, the loaf will get tough and less tasty.

With any of these items you want to store them in an area where they are, cool, dry and out of the sunlight.



2 thoughts on “Do these Foods Need to be Refrigerated?”

  1. gonewiththewind

    It depends. For example peanut butter. If you eat it by the spoon like I do then you will introduce bacteria from your spoon when you double dip. But on the other hand if when you use peanut butter you take it from the top, that is don’t stick your knife deep into the PB and allow air and “whatever” to get down into the middle of your PB, then it will always have the exposed surface removed. I have never actually seen PB go bad, I have seen it get a little dry and maybe an off taste but not so bad I wouldn’t eat it. Anyway I have never refrigerated PB.

  2. Basically, if it is vinegar based we never refrigerate… including salad dressings, pickles, ketchup, etc. (Ranch dressing or creamy may be different)

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