Is it really necessary to keep Ketchup and other condiments in the fridge?


For many years most condiments were stored in kitchen cupboards, but it appears that that has changed. Chutneys and jams now come with instructions to keep it in the fridge. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has started a debate after he admitted that he prefers to keep his ketchup in his kitchen cupboard.

The reasons why these products which have previously been fine for storage in our kitchen cupboards, but now need refrigeration are plentiful.

Below is a guide which you can follow:


Shelf life tests have been done by manufacturers to enable them to come up with storage recommendations. Some products have reduced salt and sugar in them, for health reasons. This causes a problem as salt and sugar act as preservatives. There is a reason why manufacturers stipulate that you store your ketchup in your fridge and it that’s what your bottle states, you should do so.

Mustard normally states that it should be refrigerated. If it is wet, store in the fridge. If it is dry mustard, it can be stored at room temperature.

Chutney and Pickles
Read the label as some may be safe for cupboard storage. If it is home-made, store it in the fridge.

You should not store Marmite in the fridge as it will go hard, even the contents of a squeezy bottle. It is so packed with salt that it can be stored in the cupboard.

Peanut Butter
Store peanut butter at room temperature unless the label states otherwise.

If you are using home-made marmalade or the jar has been opened, it should be refrigerated.

Generally, if you want to prevent mould, you should store your jam in the fridge.

Soy Sauce
If you buy the low salt version, you should consider keeping it in the fridge, but there is no need to put the normal one in the fridge.

Salad Dressing
Keep it in the fridge as it may go rancid at room temperature.

Once the bottle or jar has been opened, it should be refrigerated.

Eggs last longer in the fridge.

You can keep small amounts in a butter dish at ambient, but not longer than a few days. Otherwise, keep in the fridge.

They generally taste nicer at room temperature, but if you wish to keep them for longer periods, you should refrigerate.

If you place bread in the fridge, it will not go mouldy as quickly, but it will become stale faster. A tip is to keep it in the freezer and defrost, slice by slice, as you need it.

Image Credit: Richard Kelland


About Author

Emma Brown

Emma graduated in 2005 from the University of York with a degree in English Literature. A huge passion for writing and health topics, Emma is a perfect match for Health News UK. Hobbies include; cooking, writing (of course), musicals and her 2 dogs.

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