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Watermelon, with its juicy and refreshing taste, is a beloved summer fruit that brings delight to picnics, barbecues, and sunny days.
But once you’ve sliced open that delicious melon, how long can you keep the leftovers in the fridge before it starts to lose its freshness?
In this article, we’ll explore the question, “How long do watermelon last in the fridge?” and provide you with essential tips to extend the shelf life of your watermelon, ensuring it remains at its juicy best.
The Shelf Life of Whole Watermelon
A whole, uncut watermelon can last at room temperature for about 7 to 10 days. However, once you’ve cut into the melon, its storage requirements change, and refrigeration becomes necessary.
Also Read: Can You Freeze Watermelon?
Refrigerating Cut Watermelon
Once watermelon is cut, it’s best to refrigerate it promptly to prevent spoilage and maintain its quality:
Refrigerator Storage: Place the cut watermelon in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap. Alternatively, you can store it in a resealable plastic bag.
Shelf Life: Refrigerated cut watermelon can stay fresh for approximately 3 to 5 days.
Signs of Spoilage
Before consuming refrigerated watermelon, check for signs of spoilage:
Mold Growth: Any visible mold on the flesh indicates that the watermelon has spoiled, and it should be discarded.
Off Odor: A sour or unpleasant smell coming from the watermelon is a sign of spoilage.
Discoloration: Noticeable changes in color, such as darkening or browning of the flesh, may indicate that the watermelon is past its prime.
Properly Sealed Containers
To extend the freshness of cut watermelon, ensure you use a properly sealed container:
Airtight Containers: Store cut watermelon in airtight containers to prevent exposure to air, which can cause it to lose moisture and become mushy.
Plastic Wrap: If you don’t have an airtight container, cover the cut side of the watermelon with plastic wrap and secure it tightly.
Temperature and Placement
Proper temperature and refrigerator placement are essential for maintaining the quality of cut watermelon:
Refrigerator Temperature: Set your refrigerator to 40°F (4°C) or below to slow down bacterial growth and maintain the watermelon’s freshness.
Shelf Placement: Store the cut watermelon on a shelf in the middle of the refrigerator, away from raw meats and other strong-smelling foods that may transfer odors.
If you find yourself with more watermelon than you can consume within its shelf life, consider freezing it for future use:
Cube or Slice: Cut the watermelon into small cubes or slices, removing any seeds.
Freeze in a Single Layer: Place the watermelon pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer. This prevents them from sticking together during freezing.
Transfer to a Bag: Once the watermelon pieces are frozen, transfer them to a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container.
Thawing: When ready to use, thaw the frozen watermelon in the refrigerator. While the texture may be slightly softer after freezing, it remains suitable for smoothies, slushies, or eating as a frozen treat.
In conclusion, whole, uncut watermelons can last for about 7 to 10 days at room temperature.
However, once cut, watermelon should be refrigerated in an airtight container or sealed with plastic wrap, and it can stay fresh for approximately 3 to 5 days.
By following proper storage practices and checking for signs of spoilage, you can enjoy the delicious and juicy goodness of watermelon for days after it has been cut.
If you have extra watermelon, freezing it is a great way to extend its usability and enjoy its refreshing flavor long after the summer days have passed.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. Results may vary, and individual experiences may differ. It is always recommended to exercise caution and use your discretion when freezing and thawing food items. The freezing process may alter the texture, consistency, and flavor of the food. Follow proper food safety practices and consult a professional for specific advice or concerns. The author and publisher are not liable for any adverse effects or damages resulting from the use of the information provided. Use your best judgment when freezing and consuming food items.