Can jam go in the fridge?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “Can jam go in the fridge?”. We will discuss how long you can keep jams at room temperature and how long it can last after opening.

Can jam go in the fridge?

Yes, jam can go in the fridge. It can also remain stable at room temperature while it is unopened because it contains a lot of sugars, which act as a preservative for jams. 

You can put the jam in the fridge once you’ve opened the jar. After taking as much as you need, ensure to carefully close the jar and return it to the refrigerator. (1)

This guarantees that the jam keeps its quality for as long as possible and reduces the risk of microbial infection, which might cause it to deteriorate.


Can I keep my handmade jams on the shelf for a long time?

It is advised that all home-canned goods be consumed within a year for the optimum quality. (1)

Most homemade jams and jellies that are created from a proven formula and treated in a canner should keep their optimum quality and taste for up to a year.

They should be kept in a cool, dark, and dry environment between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the jar seal is unbroken and the food displays no apparent symptoms of spoiling from molds or yeasts, the jam should be safe to consume. (1)

Because they lack the complete preservative properties of sugar, reduced sugar jams may degrade in color and texture more rapidly. With less sugar available, certain fruits may brown more rapidly. (1) 

What are the factors that affect jam storage?

Generally, mold can not grow easily on jam because jam is made from acidic fruits and due to their high concentration of sugar within the jams and jellies. However, mold can develop in several cases. (2)

By sealing jars while they are still warm from sterilization, the amount of air above the surface is reduced, thereby limiting the presence of oxygen. 

However, once a jar is opened, the oxygen limitation is no longer effective, and it also allows potentially contaminating microbes to enter. 

It’s worth noting that fungi, including yeasts, which can grow on the surface of jam, exhibit resistance to high sugar levels and may even thrive in such conditions. (2)

Low sugar jams are particularly vulnerable to fungi and yeasts which can tolerate high sugar levels. (2)

Moreover, if you add your prepared jam to an unclean and unsterilized jar, bacteria can contaminate your product and develop easily. (3) 

Furthermore, lack of refrigeration after opening can lead to mold development, however, some molds can proliferate at refrigerator temperature and secrete toxins and lead to food spoilage and poisoning. (2)

How long can I store the jam after opening it?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, if the jam is in the pantry from the date of purchase, it can last from 6 to 18 months, and if it is refrigerated after opening, 6 to 12 months. 

In general, the preservation of jams involves implementing a combination of measures to hinder spoilage. These measures typically include adjusting the pH level, reducing water activity through the addition of solutes, applying heat treatment, and utilizing preservatives.(4)

Different types of jams have different shelf lives depending upon the ingredients that are used to make them and the processing techniques they have to go through.

Full Sugar Jam

Unopened store bought jam lasts for about 6 to 18 months when stored in a cool, dry and dark corner of your pantry, away from direct sunlight and heat.

As long as the jar sea remains intact and there are no visible signs of spoilage such as the presence of molds or yeasts, a typical fruit jam or jelly made with full sugar should be considered safe to consume. (5)

Homemade jam

It is recommended that all homemade jam be consumed within a year. Most homemade jams should retain the best quality and flavor for up to that recommended time. (5)

Homemade jams should be kept in the refrigerator for only 1 month after opening. (1)

Low sugar or sugar-free jam

Reduced sugar jams have a higher likelihood of experiencing faster deterioration in terms of color and texture since they lack the comprehensive preservative effects provided by sugar. 

Additionally, certain fruits may darken more rapidly when there is less sugar present. Any flavor changes that occur over time become more apparent in reduced sugar jams, as they are typically masked by the higher sugar content in regular jams. (5) 

Jams with lower sugar content or no added sugar may have a relatively shorter shelf life when refrigerated and opened compared to those prepared with the traditional amounts of sugar. (5)

Other FAQs about Jam that you may be interested in.

Can you eat kaya when pregnant?

Can you eat jam when pregnant?

Can you eat jam when you have diarrhea?


In this brief article, we answered the question “Can jam go in the fridge?”. We discussed how long you can keep jams at room temperature and how long it can last after opening.


  1. National Center for Home Food Preservation. Making Jams and Jellies.
  2. Isaac, S. Why does jam go mouldy, even in the fridge?. Mycology Answers. University of Liverpool. 
  3. National Center for Home Food Preservation. General Canning Information
  4.  Vilela Borges, S., Shelf Life of Jams in Polypropylene Packaging. Universidade Federal de Lavras, Departamento de Ciencia dos Alimentos.
  5. National center for home food preservation. Frequently Asked Jam and Jelly Questions.
  6. United States Department of Agriculture. Food Keeper