Heinz Finally Ends Debate On How To Properly Store Ketchup

How to properly store ketchup is an ongoing debate, but thanks to Heinz and the crowdsourcing power of social media, we may finally have a clear answer. Storing ketchup at room temperature or in the fridge is a question that experts often have contradictory answers to and people's preferences seem divided on. Now, as if sensing that the internet dispute has gone on far too long, Heinz weighed in on Twitter, stating with definitive punctuation " FYI: Ketchup. goes. in. the. fridge!!!"

Of course, this isn't the first time Heinz has tried to make this clear, as its own website has stated for years that ketchup should be refrigerated after opening. But that slightly hidden answer apparently wasn't loud enough to stop pronouncements that anyone who stored ketchup either in the fridge or the pantry was doing it wrong. 

In fact, even Heinz's own Twitter declaration wasn't enough to satisfy people, as commenters immediately started questioning why it was stored at room temperature at grocery stores and questioning the authority of the people who actually make the ketchup in ways only internet commenters can. This prompted a follow up survey by Heinz, which ended with "Fridge," as the clear winner. 

Ketchup tastes better when stored in the fridge

There is no accounting for where people pick up their personal food habits, but the debate over ketchup and condiment storage seems to stem from one big issue. Ketchup is in fact shelf-stable due to its acidity and safe to store at room-temperature according to Heinz, but that doesn't mean it's the best way to do it. 

The issue is one of quality, and the company says that refrigeration maintains ketchup in the best condition after it's been opened. This is why ketchup storage can come down to personal opinion, as the flavor of refrigerated ketchup versus room temperature is as much a matter of taste as science. For what it's worth, the U.S. Department of Agriculture agrees with Heinz, noting that ketchup is best refrigerated and eaten within six months of opening.

As for all the ketchup you see sitting out at restaurants? Well that's a matter of volume, as most establishments are going through ketchup far quicker than you would at home, making the degradation in flavor over time less of a problem. Some restaurants will even refill the open ketchup bottles with fresh ketchup from the fridge each day and dump the ketchup that's been sitting out. So while we don't want to stop you from enjoying ketchup the way you like, just know that the professionals are keeping it in the fridge.