Does watermelon go bad in heat? Or do you need to put it in the fridge?

You’re wondering if watermelon goes bad in the heat or if it needs to be refrigerated, and you’re not the only one. We researched several health and nutrition studies on watermelon, as well as data written by relevant authorities about its ideal storage. We have the expertise to answer your questions.

Let’s get right into it!

Does watermelon go bad in heat?

Yes, watermelon does go bad in heat. Exposure to high temperatures accelerates the ripening process, leading to faster spoilage. It’s best to store watermelon in a cool place, and once cut, it should be refrigerated.

Why does watermelon go bad in the heat?

Heat can significantly affect watermelon, altering its texture, taste, and nutritional value. When exposed to high temperatures, the water content in the fruit starts to evaporate, leading to a loss of crispness and sweetness.

Research indicates that watermelons can sustain heat up to a certain limit. They thrive in warm conditions, with optimal growth temperatures between 70°F and 85°F. However, prolonged exposure to temperatures above this range can cause damage.

Watermelons do go bad in excessive heat. High temperatures accelerate the ripening process, leading to over-ripening and eventual spoilage. The fruit may become mushy and develop an off smell, indicating it’s no longer safe to eat.

Remember, proper storage is key. To maintain its freshness, store your watermelon in a cool place away from direct sunlight. If cut, keep it refrigerated and consume within a few days.

So, when you’re enjoying a juicy slice of watermelon on a hot summer day, remember that heat is both a friend and foe to this refreshing fruit. It helps it grow but can also lead to its downfall if not managed properly.

Should watermelon be refrigerated?

While it’s not necessary to refrigerate a whole watermelon, it can help extend its freshness. However, once a watermelon is cut, it should definitely be refrigerated to keep it fresh and prevent bacterial growth. The cut pieces should be wrapped in plastic or stored in an airtight container. Refrigeration is essential for maintaining the quality and safety of cut watermelon.

Why would watermelon need to be refrigerated?

Whole watermelons do not require refrigeration. They can be stored at room temperature until they are cut open. This is because the thick rind of the watermelon acts as a natural barrier, protecting the fruit inside from spoilage.

However, once you cut a watermelon, it’s a different story. The exposed flesh can attract bacteria and other microorganisms, leading to rapid spoilage if left at room temperature. Therefore, it’s crucial to refrigerate any cut pieces of watermelon.

Refrigerating cut watermelon can extend its freshness. When properly stored in the refrigerator, cut watermelon can last for about 3-5 days. It’s best to store it in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing odors of other foods and to maintain its freshness.

The reason behind this is that refrigeration slows down the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. According to scientific research, most bacteria grow rapidly between 40°F and 140°F, a range known as the “Danger Zone”. Refrigerators keep food below this range, thus slowing bacterial growth and prolonging the freshness of food.

Remember, the quality of your watermelon will deteriorate over time, even in the fridge. So, it’s best to enjoy your cut watermelon within a few days for optimal taste and texture.

Does unopened watermelon go bad in heat?

Yes, unopened watermelon can go bad in heat. Heat accelerates the ripening process and can lead to the fruit becoming overripe, mushy, or fermenting. It’s best to store unopened watermelon in a cool place, ideally around 55°F (13°C). If the temperature exceeds 60°F (16°C), the watermelon may spoil more quickly.

watermelon might go bad in the heat, so be careful. Here's some tips on how to tell if you should store it in the fridge instead

I left my watermelon out for a few hours. Is it still safe to consume?

Yes, your watermelon should still be safe to consume if it has only been left out for a few hours. However, if it has been cut open and left out for more than two hours at room temperature, it can start to grow bacteria and become unsafe to eat. Always remember to store cut fruits in the refrigerator to keep them fresh and safe.

What happens if I leave my watermelon in a hot car?

If you leave your watermelon in a hot car, several things could happen. Firstly, the heat can accelerate the ripening process, causing the watermelon to become overripe and potentially spoil. Secondly, if the temperature inside the car gets too high, it could cause the watermelon to dehydrate, affecting its texture and taste. Lastly, in extreme heat, there’s a risk that the watermelon could burst or explode, creating a mess in your car.

What are the signs that my watermelon has been adversely affected by the heat?

Sure, here are the signs that your watermelon has been adversely affected by the heat:

1. Shriveling or Withering: If the watermelon appears to be shriveled or withered, it may be a sign that it has been exposed to too much heat.

2. Soft Spots or Bruising: Excessive heat can cause soft spots or bruising on the watermelon. These areas may appear darker than the rest of the fruit.

3. Discoloration: A change in color, particularly a dulling of the watermelon’s typically bright green exterior, can indicate heat damage.

4. Altered Texture: If the flesh of the watermelon is mushy or overly soft, it could be a result of heat exposure.

5. Unpleasant Odor: A foul or off-putting smell is a strong indicator that the watermelon has been adversely affected by heat.

6. Change in Taste: If the watermelon tastes sour, bitter, or otherwise off, it may have been damaged by heat.

Remember, it’s always best to store watermelons in a cool, dry place to prevent them from being damaged by heat.

Is it harmful to consume watermelon after it went bad due to heat?

Yes, do not consume any watermelon that went bad in the heat. You would probably get very sick.

Interesting facts about watermelon

Can you consume watermelon after its expiry?

Yes, you can eat watermelon after its expiry. The ‘Best By’ date on watermelon  is a quality indicator provided by the manufacturer. It suggests the time frame within which the product will maintain its optimal taste and texture. It does not mean the product has spoiled yet. However, if you leave it in the heat, this might not be a good idea.

Does the taste of watermelon change when refrigerated?

What next:

Now that you know if watermelon go bad in heat and if it needs to be refrigerated, you might be interested in learning better tips on food storage. We happen to have written a guide on how to properly store and preserve watermelon to extend its shelf life.

Other articles about watermelon:

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