Heinz settles the debate about where to store ketchup


Apparently, there’s been a debate raging about where to store your ketchup.

The label does say to refrigerate after opening, but it’s no wonder there’s a debate, considering that even the U.S. Department of Agriculture gives mixed messaging when it comes to food safety and storing our condiments. USDA notes that ketchup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months … and it also lists ketchup among a slew of shelf-stable foods that do not require refrigeration.

In 2017, a ketchup fan posed the question to Heinz’s U.S. account, which responded, “Because of its natural acidity, Heinz Ketchup is shelf-stable, but refrigerate after opening to maintain product quality.”

I just put mine in the refrigerator after opening it, as the label instructs me. But it turns out that this is hardly a universal action. Many, many people believe that ketchup belongs in the room-temperature cupboard, not in the frigid fridge.

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On June 27, Heinz UK entered into the debate, declaring its position on ketchup placement in no uncertain terms on Twitter:

The response was swift β€” and vehement. There were over 1,200 replies, with many people asking why it’s not in the refrigerator at the grocery store or at restaurants. Others cited a practical matter.

“Cold sauce on hot food? No,” wrote John Sterne.

“Mmmm… A nice piping hot steak bake … Let me smother it with a condiment the same temperature as my milk,” crabbed El Crabbito.

The best part about this announcement wasn’t the message itself. It was the way that Heinz UK’s social media spokesperson responded to the comments.

When Scallywag wrote “Never, ever has it ever gone in my fridge, nor anybody else’s 😠,” Heinz UK replied, “It does and they do. Case (fridge) closed πŸ‘€.”

When Tom wrote, “Heinz don’t even know where their product should be stored 😭,” Heinz UK replied, “The fridge,” and then added a GIF of Beyonce doing a mic drop.

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Granted, Heinz UK did have its supporters in this matter.

“Yes Heinz πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ can you tell my boyfriend to do so πŸ˜†, he keeps it the countertop and it tastes πŸ₯΄,” cheered Hattie. (To which Heinz UK responded: “Hattie’s bf… PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE. 😌.”

Heinz UK is obviously enjoying the debate β€” and the free publicity it’s generated. Actually, the company itself generated the conflict when it polled its Twitter followers about this.

And look which side won! According to its poll, 63% said “Keep it cool,” while 37% said “Never!!!”

Do you think the results were rigged? Heinz would love for you to weigh in.

Curiosity, Food

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About the Author
Jennifer Graham Kizer
Jennifer Graham Kizer has written features and essays for over a dozen magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Health, Parents, Parenting, Redbook and TV Guide. Visit Scripps News to see more of Jennifer's work.

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