Where do you keep your ketchup? When I worked in the restaurant industry, we always kept it in dry storage. However, I always keep mine in the refrigerator. Oh, the great debate.
As it turns out, Heinz has finally answered this question for us, but it's such a boring answer. I expected a more in-your-face right-or-wrong approach, but I guess this one makes everyone happy:
"Because of its natural acidity, Heinz ketchup is shelf-stable. However, its stability after opening can be affected by storage conditions. We recommend that this product be refrigerated after opening. Refrigeration will maintain the best product quality after opening."
Huffington Post reports that a food safety consultant and microbiologist claimed that the low acidity and low pH keeps the ketchup from spoiling in the pantry, but that every time you open it, air (which carries mold and bacteria, yuck) gets to it and alters the quality.
If you have any more ketchup questions, Heinz probably has them covered. According to its FAQ page, ketchup is gluten free and has a shelf life of 15 months if you don't open it. The more you know, right?
If you're interested in learning about what other ketchup brands are saying about how you should store their product (hey, not everyone chooses Heinz every time), here's what some of them had to say.
Hunt's: “It’s all a matter of preference. Hunt’s has great tomato taste in the fridge or right off the shelf. It’s truly a matter of choice.”
Annie's: “When it comes to the question of where the ketchup belongs, ‘the pantry or refrigerator,’ we’re in a bit of a squeeze. When we thought more about it, shook well and turned the whole thing upside down, we decided the best place for Annie’s Organic Ketchup is the fridge…once it’s been opened. For starters, when a new ketchup bottle is opened, it’s typically not used all at once, and we imagine that our simple, certified organic recipe would also want to be in close proximity to its other condiment friends, which typically hang out on the fridge door.”
So there you have it. Don't make your ketchup sit in the lonely old cupboard. The fridge is where all the action's at!