The Great Fridge or Cupboard Debate

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Are our fridges stuffed with food that could also be kept in the cupboard? A long time ago, people kept butter, eggs and sauces in the cupboard without getting ill. So why do many of us insist on keeping it all chilled?

A supermarket has started stocking ketchup in the fridge section as well as on shelves. Recently, Asda conducted a poll with 54% saying ketchup belonged in the cupboard and 46% saying they stored it in the fridge. The reality is that ketchup may have a different taste or colour if kept in a cupboard, but the sauce will be safe to eat.

The trial, at an Asda superstore in southwest London, was prompted by fierce social media exchanges over where ketchup belongs. One cynic commented: “Asda are only putting it in the fridges because they’re empty due to the salad shortage!”

On Heinz bottles, the advice is to refrigerate after opening and then to use within eight weeks.

This supported by Microbiologist, Dr Peter Barratt, who said: “Ketchup could keep safely in the cupboard for a couple of weeks, but it’s best kept in the fridge and eaten within the stated eight-week period.”

What about other foodstuffs? Storing tomatoes at 5˚C can affect their flavour. Bananas will last longer in the fridge but should be left outside to ripen first. Eggs are best stored in the fridge, as they will be kept at a constant temperature.

Leftovers should be cooled within two hours if possible and then refrozen provided they’re then consumed within two days. Bread can dry out and go stale more quickly in the fridge but can be frozen. Onions and potatoes are best stored in a cool, dark cupboard. Butter, especially if unsalted, should be kept in the fridge, but its fatty content means it can last at room temperature for a day or two.

Lily, Year 6

Heighington Millfield Primary Academy