Posted by: David | July 22, 2007

Refrigerate After Opening NOT

Look at a bottle of (America’s Favorite) Heinz Tomato Ketchup. Heinz executives will probably deny this and put a hit squad out for me, but, YOU DON’T NEED TO REFRIGERATE KETCHUP. This has been true for decades. That’s why they can leave the bottles of ketchup on the tables in the restaurants all across this great nation of ours.

NEW! “FRIDGE DOOR FIT”. Why does the ketchup want into the fridge? Sorry about the shadow, the close-up lens attachment actually blocks the camera’s built-in flash. D’OH!

OK, we love our ketchup. It is a food group unto itself. Remember when they decided that it could be considered a vegetable serving? It’s not vegetable. Tomato is a FRUIT. Dammit. And corn is a grain. Together they make the All American Condiment (corn syrup ingredient #3). Don’t put a hit out on me Theresa Heinz Kerry. I voted for what’s his name. Even if he was super lame.

But ketchup does not need refrigeration. It is room temperature stable. Why? Because it’s tomatoes, vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, and regular corn syrup. And salt. But the labels implore you to put it in your refrigerator. Both the front and back labels have images of the ketchup bottle all cozy in the door of your fridge. Right next to the things that really do need refrigeration. WHY?!

“For Best Results Refrigerate After Opening”

Heinz is concerned that you have the Best Results. So keep your ketchup cold. In the fridge. WHY WHY WHY? Are THEY afraid that you’ll stop buying their ketchup if there’s the tiniest bit of runny tomatoey goop squirting onto your burger? How will I know if I am truly getting the Best Results? Where’s the bit on the label about me getting a full refund if don’t actually achieve “BEST RESULTS”?

Maybe I will just buy the Shurfine catsup next time. Or Hunt’s brand. Anything. Maybe I’ll just go with mustard or mayo. I mean look at the frackin nutrition facts! Heinz ketchup gives you 0% of several important nutrients … It looks like you can at least get some sodium and sugar from it. And a tiny little touch of vitamin A. Otherwise zip, zero, zilch. But it’s red, sweet, and just plain YUMMY. I am happy to report to the Ketchup Board and pope ( I mean just pope, not THE pope, in re: Bonnie’s comment)  that I eat ketchup regularly. At least once every other week. And on Michaelmas and Easter. Ketchup washes away my sins. It’s actually pretty good on the body of Christ wafers too. Though my fave is worcestershire sauce on communion wafers, with some sauteed onions. And one fava bean. That’s what Jesus would have wanted, I think.

Have I adequately offended everyone? Sorry. I mean it in a nice way.

So please, don’t put your Heinz Ketchup in the fridge, it’s a waste of electricity. Even if you think you need, want, or deserve “best results”.


  1. What if I like my ketchup cold? I promise never to buy Heinz, but I like it cold.

    (Incidentally, ketchup really does live forever. We just recently finished the bottle of Western Family store brand which I think we bought in Spokane, which would be last October.)

  2. Ahh, so you prefer your ketchup served like revenge, eh?

    Nothing against Heinz- it’s just the advertising and its purpose that is of interest. Oh and please do buy Heinz, I wouldn’t dream of disrecommending it. For every bottle of Heinz ketchup sold, an angel sneezes.

  3. Sadly, refrigerating your ketchup, or catsup, does not keep if from emitting the watery stuff. I wish it did, for I too enjoy cold ketchup. And how fortuitous is that, because it would be a marital calamity akin to ye old toilet seat issue if I enjoyed room temperature ketchup and Keath liked his chilled. Although, we don’t actually have the toilet seat issue, either. Aren’t we adorable?

  4. Fookin’ adorable, yeh! You don’t have the SALAD issue either apparently. I promise a future post on the topic of mustard.

    Mustard means quite a lot to me.

  5. Put the ketchup* in the ketchup cozy in the door of the refrigerator close the door, and back away from the appliance, sir…nice and slowly.

    I am bound by the oath of the CIA:
    (Condiment Investigatory Authority) to preserve, protect, and proclaim the official optimal storage temperature for this and all opened condiments to be 2-8 degrees Celsius.

    I am sorry, Mr. Levine, but that is protocol, and it must be followed. Who *ever* heard of opened condiments being stored anywhere else besides the fridge, for crying out loud? We don’t care if it’s got enough vinegar and sugar in it to carry it into Stardate 3042, facrissake, just refrigerate the *&%$@#! ketchup, already….uh, sir, Mr. Levine, with all due respect, of course!

    Apologies for my fervor, but we CIA agents take our jobs very seriously indeed…… pass me the damn relish, wouldya’?….and it better be cold, or you got some ‘splainin’ to do, Lucy!!

    *(or,catsup, if you like…does anybody still use this alternate spelling? What’s the deal with that? Is one the “proper” term, and the other the “slang” form? If so, which is which???!!!!)

  6. YOU stay out of my A. O. B!

  7. Oh, and by the way, CATSUP is construct from Latin roots. It translates as “blood of the patron saints of tomatoes”. Roughly.

    Our founding fathers had this very idea in mind long before the “fridge door fit” bottle was dreamt up by the scribes and pharisees. Our founding mothers were sick of canning tomatoes. Thus the claims that “love apples” were poisonous. That and the fact that tomatoes are nightshades (like potatoes, tobacco, and red meat).

    So, I’ll take my ketchup at whatever temperature it happens to be.

  8. Ketchup comes from Ké Tsiap (茄汁), a Chinese ketchup-like fish sauce.

    Thank you Kavin. I never knew that. I’ll have to see if it passes the Google test.

  9. rather than adhering to a civilized verbal battle I’d prefer a real live ketchup squirting battle worthy of Animal house.

    I totally agree with you Lynne! This post, about ketchup, has been visited 1300 times. It’s the fifth most popular post in my world-famous award-winning epic blog. I wonder why. Thanks for your comment.

  10. I agree 100%

    So you don’t refrigerate your ketchup either then?

  11. Ignoring safety labels for the sake of convenience. What does it matter if only 1 in 100,000 get food poisoning from catsup? I’ve never worn a seat-belt all my life! Care to leave your house doors unlocked at night? Be glad if you just get flatulence or loose stools.

    Thanks for your comment Derrick. It’s a clever comment and I can’t tell if you agree or disagree with whatever the muddle-brained thinking was behind this post. I CAN tell you this however, I’ve worn seat belts ever since they’ve been mandatory. In 7th grade they made us watch a movie call “Mechanized Death“. Thank you Hallandale Junior High School.

    In conclusion, flatulence and loose stools are just a fact of life I’m afraid.

    • I disagree with ignoring safety precautions. There are no seat-belt laws in my country and even if there had been, there is no enforcement. I have had my share of patients almost dying from food poisoning and diarrhea is the number one cause of infant death here. So yes, loose stools is a fact of life, but one that is within our ability to minimize.

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