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Do Sun Dried Tomatoes Need To Be Refrigerated

Do Sun Dried Tomatoes Need To Be Refrigerated? Solved (2023)

Last Updated on January 2, 2023 by Shari Mason

Sun-dried tomatoes are a popular ingredient in many dishes, but how do you store them? Do sun-dried tomatoes need to be refrigerated? 

Let’s explore the answer to this question and discuss the best way to store sun-dried tomatoes.

We will look at how to preserve sun-dried tomatoes properly, how long they can be stored, and what to do if they go bad. 

Do You Need To Refrigerate Sun-Dried Tomatoes?

woman holding sun dried tomatoes

Yes, it would help if you refrigerated sun-dried tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes [1] are dried in the sun and packed in oil, so they are not shelf-stable and prone to spoilage. 

Refrigeration will extend their shelf-life, keeping them fresh and helping to prevent food-borne illnesses.

When storing sun-dried tomatoes, transferring them from the original packaging into an airtight container is important. 

This will help to keep them from drying out or becoming contaminated with bacteria. Sun-dried tomatoes are best used within a few weeks of purchase, so it is important to use them as soon as possible. 

The best way to tell if sun-dried tomatoes are still good is to check for signs of spoilage, such as discoloration, mold, or an off-odor. 

How Long Do They Last Without Oil?

Sun-dried tomatoes can last up to two weeks without oil if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. 

It is important to check the tomatoes regularly for signs of mold or spoilage and to discard any tomatoes that show signs of either. 

Can You Store Sun-Dried Tomatoes In Olive Oil?

Yes, you can store sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil. This is a great way to preserve the tomatoes and keep them fresh for longer. 

By storing them in olive oil, the flavors of the tomatoes will be sealed in and will remain flavorful and delicious. 

The oil also helps protect the tomatoes from spoiling while providing a tasty addition to your recipes.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes In Oil & Botulism

Sun-dried tomatoes in oil can be a delicious and nutritious addition to many meals, but they can also be a source of botulism, a rare but serious form of food poisoning. 

“There is nothing better than picking up sun-warmed tomatoes and smelling them, feeling them and scrutinizing their shiny skins for imperfections, dreaming of ways to serve them.”

– Jose Andres, Spanish Chef

Botulism [2] is caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum which is found in soil and can contaminate food if not handled properly. 

When sun-dried tomatoes are stored in oil, the low acidity and lack of oxygen create an ideal environment for the growth of botulism. 

To reduce the risk, sun-dried tomatoes should be stored in the refrigerator, not on the countertop, and should not be consumed if they have an off-odor or appear to have been in the oil for an extended period.

Can You Freeze Them?

Yes, you can freeze sun-dried tomatoes in airtight containers or sealed bags. Be sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. 

Using it within six months is best, as the texture and flavor may degrade with prolonged freezing. 

Additionally, sun-dried tomatoes can be rehydrated before use by soaking in hot water for a few minutes.

How To Tell If Sun-Dried Tomatoes In Oil Are Bad?

Sun Dried Tomatoes in olive oil

Sun-dried tomatoes in oil are prone to becoming worse over time. To tell if they have gone bad, keep an eye out for changes in color or smell. 

If the tomatoes have changed from their original red or orange hue to a darker, brownish color, this is a sign that they have gone bad. 

Additionally, if the tomatoes smell musty or off in any way, this is also a sign that they need to be discarded.

How To Store Sun-Dried Tomatoes Long Term

Sun-dried tomatoes can be stored long-term by placing them in an airtight container and keeping them in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or basement. 

To maximize the shelf life of the tomatoes, try to remove as much air as possible from the container. The tomatoes can also be placed in a freezer-safe bag and frozen for longer-term storage. 

It is important to remember that sun-dried tomatoes may become harder after freezing, so be sure to rehydrate them before using them in recipes.

FAQs

How long do sun-dried tomatoes last in the fridge?

Sun-dried tomatoes can last up to 3-4 weeks in the fridge.

How long do sun-dried tomatoes last once opened?

Sun-dried tomatoes that have been opened can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

What happens if I don’t refrigerate sun-dried tomatoes?

If you don’t refrigerate sun-dried tomatoes, they can quickly become moldy and unsafe. As they are no longer exposed to the sun, they will not dry any further and can quickly become soft and discolored. 

The best way to store sun-dried tomatoes is in the refrigerator, where they will stay fresh for up to two weeks.

Final Thoughts

Sun-dried tomatoes should be refrigerated if they are not used within a few days of being opened. 

Otherwise, they can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. We recommend using opened sun-dried tomatoes within two weeks after opening.

Refrigeration will extend the shelf life of sun-dried tomatoes and ensure that they remain fresh and flavorful.

References:

  1. https://www.food.com/recipe/make-your-own-sun-dried-tomatoes-oven-dehydrator-or-sun-263929
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/botulism/general.html
Shari Mason

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