Can tomatoes go bad in the fridge? (5 Pieces of Advice)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can tomatoes go bad in the fridge? We will discuss the proper way to store tomatoes to prevent them from going bad. We will discuss the handling technique suited to the condition and origin of the tomatoes. 

Can tomatoes go bad in the fridge?

Tomatoes can go bad in the fridge after they have been stored for a few days. Tomatoes sometimes will undergo a decline in quality after being stored in the fridge.

Your tomatoes will stay good for five to seven days in the refrigerator, after which they will start to rot. In the pantry or a cellar, the tomatoes will go bad in about 1-5 days.

Tomatoes also experience a decline in flavor, texture, and quality in the refrigerator as they will undergo a loss in firmness and will become bland. 

When you want to use the tomatoes that were stored in the fridge, keep them at room temperature for 30 minutes. 

What happens to tomatoes in the fridge?

Refrigeration can extend the shelf life of tomatoes. Refrigeration comes with a downside as it can deteriorate the flavor of tomatoes causing them to become soft and mushy.

Refrigeration can cause chilling injury to the tomatoes. As a consequence, the tomatoes experience pitting and will ripen unevenly.

The volatile compounds that give flavor to tomatoes deteriorate in the fridge. A study proved that storing tomatoes in the fridge causes a reduction in the activity of genes that are responsible for the synthesis of such enzymes. 

Hence keeping tomatoes in the fridge will make them lose their sweet and complex flavors.

Freezing tomatoes will also worsen the taste and texture but will make them last for 2-3 months. Frozen tomatoes are good for use in cooked dishes. 

How to make most of your tomatoes?

You can make decisions on how to use your tomatoes depending on their condition. Unripe tomatoes left at room temperature are the best for eating. 

Raw tomatoes are very good for you. 95% of a tomato is water and is also a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber.  They also play a role in protecting the eyes and helping in improving vision and also support healthy skin. 

The vitamin K in tomatoes helps in blood clotting and wound healing. Moreover, they help in the reduction of menopausal symptoms such as anxiety and elevated heart rate. 

However, the overripe tomatoes put in the fridge can be used for cooking. Squishy, overripe can be used in tomato sauces, relishes, and chutneys. The lack of flavor will go unnoticed when you use the tomatoes for cooking instead of eating.

How to store tomatoes?

When you buy tomatoes at the supermarket, keep them in the refrigerator. When the tomatoes have been introduced to the cold chain, they need to be put in the refrigerator, otherwise, they will go bad.

However, if you picked the tomatoes from your garden or bought them at the local farm, you do not need to put them in the refrigerator. Keeping the tomatoes at room temperature will keep them juicy, plump, and flavorful. 

However, if you fear that the tomatoes will go bad soon, then keeping them in the refrigerator is probably better for you. 

Keeping tomatoes in the fridge makes them last longer than at room temperature.

You do not need to refrigerate under ripe tomatoes. Under Ripe tomatoes have a green outer layer. 

Under ripe tomatoes must be put at room temperature to let ethylene gas cause ripening until they are either ready to eat or go into the fridge.

Whole tomatoes should be placed in a paper bag, clamshell packaging, or plastic bag with some small gaps to allow ventilation to occur.

The tomatoes need a little room to breathe as it is crucial for minimizing the moisture loss from tomatoes. 

Therefore, put tomatoes in a paper bag, a plastic bag with small holes, or a plastic box with a lid. 

Cut, boiled, and peeled tomatoes must always be put in the refrigerator. Place the cut, boiled, and peeled tomatoes in an airtight container or plastic bag. 

A sealed container or Ziploc bag helps to keep the air out and prevents oxidation reactions from occurring. It also inhibits the growth of bacteria. 

When you are ready to eat the cut tomatoes, take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before eating.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can tomatoes go bad in the fridge? We discussed the proper way to store tomatoes to prevent them from going bad. We also discussed the handling technique suited to the condition and origin of the tomatoes. 

Citations

https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/why-shouldnt-you-put-tomatoes-in-the-fridge/
https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18529
https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/food/how-to-store-tomatoes

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.