How Long Can Tomatoes Sit Out And Does It Go Bad?

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, at no cost to you.

Tomatoes fall in the class of fruits from the nightshade family, native to South America. Despite being a fruit, it is treated and prepared like a vegetable. Unripe tomatoes are yellowish and hard; they turn into a bright shade of red once they are matured and ripe. Although the most common species of tomato is red, you can also find tomatoes in a variety of colors, including purple, green and orange.

A sweet and juicy tomato is filled with nutrients and antioxidants which aid in fighting against certain illnesses. You can enjoy tomatoes in a variety of ways, including salads, tomato sauces, as well as through several recipes that include tomatoes to enhance their taste.

How Long Can Tomatoes Sit Out?

Tomatoes are one of the fruits that do not require continuous refrigeration. You can rest assured and store your batch of fresh tomatoes at room temperature until you feel like it is time for the tomatoes to be refrigerated. Unripe tomatoes can last longer at room temperature and sit out for about a week if stored properly. Tomato sauce and other recipes containing tomatoes are a different story; do not let them sit out for more than two hours. 

If you have a half-cut tomato sitting on your countertop, cover the cut side with plastic wrap keeping the uncut side loose. Place the cut side down on a plate, and you can keep it at room temperature for a day or two like this. Fully ripe tomatoes that turn soft should not be left to sit out.

What Happens If Tomatoes Sits Out For Too Long?

The shelf life of tomato is longer at room temperature, and it shows its best flavor when stored at normal temperatures instead of in the refrigerator. Tomatoes can sit at the counter and remain perfectly safe for up to a week when stored properly. You wouldn’t have to worry about it going bad unless it has been a week already.

After this period, the tomatoes might begin to turn softer, and you might notice some dents or soft spots on them. Your tomato is now overripe, and this is when it requires refrigeration to increase its shelf life. If not, then it will go bad quickly. 

What Should You Do If Tomatoes Sits Out For Too Long?

You can finish off a batch of tomatoes and replace it with new and fresh ones in a week. There is no worrying about tomatoes being sitting out too long in this case. However, if you still have a week-old batch of tomatoes that have been overripe and is still sitting on the counter, you will have to check if it is safe to eat.

If you leave tomatoes for longer than necessary, look for signs of mold and blemishes. Cut the tomato in half to check if it is still fine. If not, it is time to discard it as it has spoiled.

How Long Can Tomatoes Be In The Car For?

Shopping for fruits and vegetables can take longer than you imagine. It takes a lot of browsing to find the perfect and fresh fruit to consume. If you have bought tomatoes at the start of the shopping, you can store them in the car at a cool place and away from sunlight.

Your fresh tomatoes can sit in the car easily until you get home. Do not let other things sit over it as they can damage the fruit.

Do Tomatoes Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?

The answer to this question depends on the condition of your tomatoes. If your tomatoes are overripe and have turned softer, you will have to refrigerate them to cease the ripening process or else it will go bad.

However, fresh tomatoes, under-ripe, or ripe tomatoes stay better at room temperature because refrigeration deactivates the enzyme that produces flavor in tomatoes.

Do Tomatoes Go Bad If You Lose Power?

Tomatoes are one thing that is not of concern during a power outage. As they sit on the counter at normal room temperature, the refrigerator is not concerned. Even if you have tomatoes stored in the refrigerator, they will not go bad during power outages if they remain inside.

Make sure to keep tomatoes in a cool place during a power cut in the summer season. The ripening process speeds up at a higher room temperature.

What Temperature Is Safe For Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are sensitive to temperatures; they can develop chill injuries if kept at very low temperatures. It is safe to store tomatoes at 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but the flavor might be compromised a little. Store tomatoes at 55 degrees Fahrenheit for better aroma and flavor. 

How to Store Tomatoes?

Storing tomatoes is not a big deal. You may have stored many vegetables for a long time; similarly, the same conditions are for tomatoes. They can be stored in the same way you store other vegetables. But if you are thinking of using the tomatoes without providing them in their suitable condition, then avoid doing it as storage is very important for long-lasting vegetables.

If you have some tomatoes sitting in your pantry for some days and are worried about their spoilage, you should store them properly. If you don’t know you, can you store the tomatoes then follow some important storage tips that we have given below:

Choose the fresh ones

You can buy fresh tomatoes from supermarkets or stores. Before buying the tomatoes, make sure that you choose the fresh ones. Fresh tomatoes are partially soft and pure red. These tomatoes can live for some time while the others will go bad very quickly.

Store in a cool and dark place

Tomatoes have a short shelf life, but you can keep them at room temperature for a couple of days. If you have some tomatoes and are planning to use them today or tomorrow, you can keep them at room temperature.

Find a cool and dark place for these tomatoes; you can store them in the basket and place them on the countertop. You can also place them in your pantry or kitchen for a couple of days.

Store in refrigerator

The best place for the storage of tomatoes is only the refrigerator. It is a place where tomatoes can stay fresh at their peak quality for some time. If you have no plans to use the tomatoes within a week, you should better store them in the refrigerator.

Avoid washing the tomatoes before storing them in the fridge and placing them in the fridge’s vegetable drawer.

Store in freezer

For the long-term preservation of tomatoes, a freezer is the best option to keep them fresh for months.

Can You Freeze Tomatoes?

Like other vegetables, you can freeze tomatoes in the freezer, and they also freeze very well if you have bought too many tomatoes and are unsure whether you will use them in a week or not. Then it will be best for you to store the tomatoes in the freezer where they can stay fresh for months.

Before storing the tomatoes in the freezer, wash them properly and wait for them to dry. Transfer all the tomatoes in freezer bags or airtight containers and place them in the freezer for long-term preservation. Before using the frozen tomatoes, it will be best for you to defrost them.

How Long Do Tomatoes Last?

Tomatoes don’t last for a long time, but you can help them last for a long time by storing them properly. The shelf life of tomatoes also depends on their storage. If you managed to store them in a good way, then they will last for a long time; otherwise, they will go bad quickly.

The normal period of tomatoes at room temperature is about a couple of days. After that, they might lose their texture. If you store them in a refrigerator, they will retain their freshness for almost a week. But if you store the tomatoes in the freezer, their shelf life will extend up to a couple of months.

How to Tell If Tomatoes Are Bad?

Spoiled tomatoes are quite different from fresh ones. They lose their taste, color, smell, and texture. These are their common signs of spoilage. You can tell whether your tomatoes are fresh or not by checking these signs.

  • Fresh tomatoes are pure red. If their color changes from red to yellow, then it means that they have gone bad.
  • Fresh tomatoes have a pleasant smell. To check their freshness, give tomatoes a good sniff; if they smell bad, then you should get rid of them at once.
  • Most importantly, check the texture of tomatoes to tell their freshness. If the tomatoes have become softer and mushier in texture and are leaking, it will be best for you to throw them away.