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Ketchup is Shelf-Stable

Tracy Davenport Tracy Davenport
Food & Beverages
15th August 2021
Ketchup is Shelf-Stable
Good news for anyone who's eaten at a diner (Getty Images).

The Claim

Ketchup should not be refrigerated.

Emerging story

American rapper Coi Leray, who has over 5 million followers on Instagram, reignited the age-old argument of whether or not the condiment ketchup should be stored in the refrigerator. 

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Misbar’s Analysis

We discovered that whether or not ketchup (or catsup) needs to be refrigerated is one of the most “hotly contested questions of our time” according to Reader’s Digest. The pandemic reminded us how loved this condiment is in the U.S. when ketchup king Kraft Heinz couldn’t keep up with demand

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The answer to the great debate about where to store your ketchup seems to be relatively straightforward according to Nicole Kulwicki, director of brand building for Heinz Ketchup: “Because of its natural acidity, Heinz Ketchup is shelf-stable. However, its stability after opening can be affected by storage conditions. We recommend that this product be refrigerated after opening to maintain the best product quality.”

And what about those packets of ketchup at fast food restaurants that are not refrigerated and may be under your car seat? According to Kraft Heinz spokesperson Lynne Galia: “You don't have to refrigerate ketchup packets because they are a shelf stable product. They have a shelf life of about 9 months. After that though, the ketchup still probably won't harm you if you eat it because of those long-lasting ingredients like vinegar, tomatoes, sugar, salt and spices; but it probably won't taste like the best ketchup you've ever had, either.” However, once you open the packets you either need to use them or throw them away. 

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Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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