How Long Can You Leave Fruit Salad On The Counter?

Summertime is the perfect time to hit up the produce section and whip up some fruit salad. Whether you bring it to work for lunch, serve it as a side dish at your next backyard barbecue, or just keep it in the fridge as a healthy snack, it's hard to argue with this refreshing summer treat. Though it's hard to make just a small batch of fruit salad, you might be wondering how long it can last. The answer, unfortunately, is not long.

According to the U.S. FDA, perishable food should not be left out for more than two hours in temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees. Orbit Kitchen notes, however, that party buffets are often left out for longer periods of time and suggests a few workarounds. Orbit suggests that fruit salads at indoor parties can remain out for up to four hours if kept cool by ice or if it is kept covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent germs from accumulating to stop the fresh fruit from drying out.

Keeping it fresh

While fresh fruit may not last long in the open once it's cut up, you can preserve its shelf life in the refrigerator. Taste of Home notes that fruit salad can last for three to five days in the refrigerator if it is kept in an airtight container, though it is advised by Orbit Kitchen to serve fruit salad within 24 hours of making it.

Taste of Home also recommends adding some natural preservatives to your fruit salad to keep it fresh longer, whether you're putting it out as a side dish or simply helping yourself from the fridge. These can include things like lemon or orange juice, simple syrup, acidulated water, or even a lemon-lime soda like Sprite or 7-Up, all of which add an extra pop of flavor to your fruit and keep ingredients like apples and pears from browning.

No matter how you choose to serve it or how long you make your fruit salad last, this snack is a great source of fiber and vitamins as well as the perfect way to stay hydrated in the summer heat.