Have you ever walked through the produce section and noticed how some foods are left out at room temperature, and others are in coolers?
This may get you thinking about food storage and how it applies to your kitchen. Grapes are sold at the grocery store while sitting at room temperature.
So how long can grapes sit out? Below you will get the full answer.
Grapes can stay out at room temperature for up to 2 days and still be safe to consume. However, grapes become soft and mold forms quicker when they are left unrefrigerated. For optimal results, grapes should be stored in the refrigerator.
Why Are Grapes Kept Out At The Store?
As we all have seen, some foods like grapes and bananas are kept out all day at the grocery store.
When it comes to grapes, we will assume that they put them in the fridge overnight and then reshelve them in the morning or switch them out every few hours.
Fruits like grapes are transported in refrigerated trucks because they still fall under that USDA recommendation.
Grapes taken out of the United States and into Canada are subjected to approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Vitis vinifera or Vitis labrusca, and hybrids of both, are the fresh grape varieties typically transported over the northern border.
Do Grapes Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
Yes. Grapes left out of the fridge can go bad, especially if you leave them out longer than a day. The shelf-life of grapes is extended when you refrigerate them.
If you leave them out, they can get moldy fast, and you won’t always know. Moldy grapes are not always apparent to the eye.
Blue cheese is an example of edible mold. But that doesn’t mean all mold should be eaten or won’t be harmful.
When it comes to fresh fruits, even apples, you will extend their shelf life if you keep them in the fridge.
Cut fruit should always be refrigerated and never be left out longer than 2 hours.
How Do I Properly Refrigerate Grapes?
Storage conditions are different for every food type. Some fresh fruits, like watermelon, require an airtight box for storage. This is not the case with grapes.
Leave the grapes in the plastic bag it’s stored in at the grocery store if you can. It has holes in it and grapes require air. If they didn’t come in a bag, perforate one before storing.
Tip: Also, remove any moldy, discolored, or soft grapes before refrigerating.
Tip: Don’t wash your grapes before storing them because that will cause excessive humidity in the bag and accelerate deterioration.
Can You Leave Grapes On The Counter?
No. Well, you can, but your shouldn’t.
When you are in the mood for a healthy snack, go to the refrigerator and take out a helping. Don’t wash all of them. Only take out what you plan on serving.
The best way to wash grapes is to use a fruit cleanser available in most stores.
Or you can combine two-thirds water and one-third white vinegar in a spray bottle to create your own.
When you are ready to eat a few whole grapes, spray them with this solution and let them run under cold water.
Place the grapes in a single layer on a paper towel and pat dry. Throw them in a bowl and eat away.
If you have them sitting on the coffee table while watching a movie, be sure to put them back in the refrigerator within 2 hours of serving.
How Long Does It Take For Grapes To Spoil?
Sources are mixed when it comes to this question. Some say whole grapes can sit out for 3 to 5 days, but we still recommend keeping them in the refrigerator when you aren’t eating them because they last 5 to 10 days in there.
When it comes to prolonging the shelf life of your foods, the fridge is always best.
Can Cut Fruit Be Left Out Overnight?
No. Cut fruit doesn’t have the same protection the outer layer of whole fruit does. Cut fruit that is left out overnight should be discarded without a thought.
Some may think natural sugar provides a preservative, but that’s not the case.
Once cut fruit, or any food left out, reaches that 2-hour mark, it becomes a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
Tip: Don’t cut fruit until you’re ready to serve it if you can. This will prolong their life, so your raw grapes remain in the best quality condition for serving.
How Long Can Grapes Sit Out Before Going Bad
The USDA says fresh grapes can only sit out 2 hours before going bad and moving into that Danger Zone. Others say differently, which we covered earlier in this article.
As a rule of thumb, it’s typically a good idea to proceed with as much caution as possible, especially when storing the food you and your loved ones will consume.
Cooked foods, raw or frozen, are always best when kept in the refrigerator.
Tip: Frozen grapes are delicious, and the freezing process prolongs their life. When you get hungry and go to the freezer, pull out a snack that’s good for you.
Grapes are a great source of Vitamins C and B-1 and flavonoids, antioxidants, manganese, and potassium.
Here are the benefits that come with yummy frozen grapes.
- Vitamin C protects your immune system and fights cardiovascular disease.
- Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamine, which aids metabolism.
- Flavonoids will help you fight diabetes, cancer, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
- Antioxidants kill free radicals from your body cells, which fights diseases associated with the heart and cancer.
- Manganese helps with the health of connective tissues, bones, and blood clotting.
- Potassium ensures the best functioning of nerves and muscles and regulates the heartbeat.
Tip: Before freezing grapes, remove the stem, wash them the way you would if you eat them, pat them dry, and freeze them.
The prewash is essential when freezing. Grapes will last in the freezer for six months.
How Long Can Fresh Grapes Sit Out?
Fresh grapes are susceptible to bacterial growth when they sit out longer than the 2-hour USDA recommendation.
Other sources say you can leave them out, as long as five days. We suggest going with the safest choice because bad grapes have a better chance of carrying pathogens that could lead to foodborne illness.
The USDA regulates food safety, and its standards are relatively high.
Grocery stores seem to leave their grapes out longer, so how do we know the grapes in the fresh produce section of my local store are safe to purchase?
Supermarkets are subjected to guidelines and health inspections, so their methods of keeping the grapes you see when shopping is regulated.
Typically, they put them out in the morning and store them in the refrigerated coolers in the back. They also rotate the stock to prolong the life of those grapes.
The California Table Grape Commission recommends storage conditions that fall between 30˚F and 32˚F with high humidity.
When storing them at home, keep them in a perforated plastic bag, and remember to wash them before eating. Wet grapes decay faster.
How Long Can Open Grapes Sit Out?
The answer to this question depends on what is meant by the word “open.”
If you’re referring to cut grapes, which are opened with a knife, then they can sit out for 2 hours at the most before they move into that Danger Zone set by the USDA.
If the bag of grapes has been opened, the USDA still recommends that you still adhere to the 2-hour rule.
Don’t wash the grapes and put them in the fridge, in the perforated bag from the supermarket.
How Long Can Grapes Be Left Out?
If you leave food out at room temperature, get it back into the fridge within the 2-hour limit.
If you leave food outside on a hot day, you have only an hour before it moves into the Danger Zone set in the USDA guidelines.
Is It Ok To Leave Grapes Out Overnight?
The FDA and the USDA have set the 2-hour limit for a reason.
While other sites claim that your grapes can be left out for a day or even five days, we are still recommending you not eat grapes that were left out overnight.
The decision is yours to make, but we always play it safe to prevent foodborne illness.
The good thing is storage and safety guidelines we’ve informed you of here will extend the life of your grapes.
Can Grapes Sit Out Overnight?
They can, but you risk foodborne illness if you eat them.
Food that sits out longer than 2 hours moves into the Danger Zone we talked about earlier. You can let them sit out overnight, but to be on the side of caution.
Grapes are full of flavor and health benefits, so eating a few every day can’t hurt. We suggest storing them in the fridge, so they last the longest fresh.
If you are interested in freezing your grapes, they will last up to 6 months and provide a healthy snack when you’re in the mood.
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.