Have you ever put a cantaloupe in the fridge for several days and then come back to check the fruit after a while with doubts on if it is still consumable? Many people have doubts about whether or not they can eat their refrigerated cantaloupe, especially if stored for more than a few days.
How long does cantaloupe last in the fridge? Generally, uncut cantaloupe can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge when fully ripe. An uncut cantaloupe can last about 5 to 7 days at room temperature. However, cut cantaloupe can last about 3 to 5 days in the fridge when fully ripe. At room temperature, cut cantaloupe will only last 2-4 hours.
It might be safe to eat a cut cantaloupe within 3 to 5 days if it is ripe. In most instances, the cantaloupe’s level of ripeness plays a crucial role in determining how long the cantaloupe can last in the fridge.
Therefore, it might still be safe to eat a cut cantaloupe after the 3 to 5 days’ time frame, but the cantaloupe will have an off-taste. With that said, the length of its viability greatly depends on when the fruit was packed and shipped to the store and when you bought it.
How to Know if Cantaloupe is Okay to Eat | How to Tell if Cantaloupe Has Gone Bad
How do you know if your cantaloupe has gone bad? You can tell if cantaloupe is edible by several means which include; smelling, touching, and looking closely at it.
Smelling a cantaloupe is always recommended to tell if the fruit is ripe and ready to eat. A fully ripe cantaloupe will have a sweet, musky kind of aroma that you can smell through the rind.
In the case where you don’t smell anything or barely can, the cantaloupe is probably not fully ripe. If your cantaloupe doesn’t have any scent at all, don’t worry — you can still purchase it and let it sit on your counter for a few days until it is just ripe enough. Keep in mind that the best part of the fruit to smell is the end opposite of the stem.
The sniff test will also tell if the cantaloupe has gone bad. It has likely gone bad if the cantaloupe has an unpleasant or fermented smell. While a cantaloupe may have gone bad, the cantaloupe may not have a smell before you cut it. But, the cantaloupe should definitely release a pungent smell once you do cut into it.
It’s advisable to wash your cantaloupe by scrubbing the rind under a stream of water before you cut it. It is also recommended to wipe off leftover moisture.
Touching the cantaloupe is another effective way to know if your fruit is still edible. A good cantaloupe will be fairly firm, but not hard enough to break a window.
Press the end opposite of the stem gently, and if it gives in a little bit, but not too much, it’s still good. If the inside or outside of the melon feels overly soft, mushy, or falls apart in your hands, then it has gone bad. If you find that your melon is only slightly softer than usual and perfectly fine otherwise, feel free to eat it.
Another way to know if a cantaloupe is rotten is by looking outside and inside the fruit. Starting with the outside, if you see discoloration or bruising on the fruit, or see any liquid coming out through the rind, then you should know that the melon has gone bad.
However, if there’s some mold, you may still be able to consume the cantaloupe. Just cut off the affected part as well as a couple of inches near it, and it can still be eaten. However, ensure that you wash the kitchen knife you used to cut out the mold before using it to slice up the remaining part of the fruit.
If you accidentally eat a moldy piece, do not panic. Nutritionists have assured that while some people’s digestive systems are more sensitive than that of others, the chances are that nothing will happen to you.
As for the inside of the cantaloupe: when the flesh appears to look brownish, it’s probably past its prime. If there’s mold on the inside, it means it is no longer good to eat. This mold will feel fuzzy in texture and either dark or white.
How Can You Store Cantaloupe in the Fridge to Last Longer?
Eating an unripe cantaloupe is not entirely unsafe; however, the taste will not be that great.
Some experts recommend that putting your cantaloupe in the fridge in an unripe state will be an excellent way to ensure that the cantaloupe lasts longer without going bad. However, this might not be the best approach for those who care about enjoying the best taste from their cantaloupe.
Slicing your cantaloupe in an airtight bag before storing the pieces in the fridge has proven to be a reliable storage method. As you slice your cantaloupe to store in the fridge, it is recommended that you don’t remove the seeds as the seeds will help the fruit retain moisture which may be needed to thrive under the cold refrigerator temperature.
Avoid storing your cantaloupes at a temperature less than 35°F. Cantaloupe may sustain some injury if kept at a temperature under this mark. This might result in browning the rinds, dryness, loss of sweetness, and fast deterioration. Ensure to check the temperature setting in your refrigerator to see that it is higher than 35°F.
An uncut cantaloupe will remain edible for about 7-14 days, and a cut cantaloupe should be edible for about 3-5 days when stored in a fridge. However, the cantaloupe might exceed the estimated time frame if properly stored. In addition, although the fruit may be edible, it might start losing its taste and even pigmentation after some days.