I Just Don't Get It
Flour Power?

Why Refrigerate Ketchup?

Q: Why does my ketchup bottle say to refrigerate after opening? When I was a child, we used to keep the ketchup in the cupboard.

Good question! And it's not only ketchup.  The same thing applies to soya sauce and a bunch of other items.

There are four possible reasons for the change.  The first, and most cynical, is perhaps because  manufacturers don't like to be sued.  Warning you to keep the ketchup in the fridge is one way to prevent such problems.  If you were to get sick with something that can be traced back to the ketchup and  you didn't refrigerate it, the problem is yours, not theirs.

A second reason is that the preparation of many foods has changed.  Because of the availability of refrigeration, it is possible to keep foods longer with lower levels of the preservatives.  Pickles can be made with less salt and vinegar, which makes them taste less harsh and gives a nicer texture, but the trade-off is that they don't keep as well.  That's why some brands of pickles tell you to always keep them refrigerated, even before the first time they are opened.

Which leads us to the third reason - consumer awareness and health.  Reducing levels of some of the chemicals typically used to keep foods, such as salt, improves their healthfulness.  With increased consumer attention to salt, sulphates, nitrates and other preservatives, which can now be found listed on food labels, consumers are demanding more healthy products.  Products change to meet these demands.

And finally, regulation.  Through various regulations and agencies, the government is responsible for maintaining a safe food supply.  This has brought about dramatic changes in the way foods are prepared and handled.  The instructor of the meat-cutting class which I took opined on the first day that we are handling food with such care, and reducing so many risks, that we may be killing off our tolerance to the occasional stray bug.  Certainly, the way foods are stored and displayed in many countries varies hugely from what we are used to in North America.  At the same time, allowable levels of those same chemicals, mentioned above, used to preserve foods have been reduced, as we learn more about their impact on the body.

All of these changes suggest that keeping your ketchup in the fridge is the best option for food safety.

So, because of the changes, for your own health, and since KitchenSavvy also doesn't like to be sued any more than anyone else does, always follow label directions.

KS Poll
Where do you keep your ketchup?
Fridge
Cupboard
Other
KS Poll is Powered by Perseus ExpressPoll


If you have food or cooking questions, send them to Questions@KitchenSavvy.com
Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered.
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward



Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward

Comments

Hey that is a good explanation and thank you.

Looking really good so far Dave. Keep up the good work. Sorry, I don't have any questions about food at this time, but now I know who to ask when I do. Take care and happy holidays!!

Steve-0

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)