Do Olives Need to Be Refrigerated? (Explained!)

While olives are, without any doubt, awesome, it isn’t precisely the thing that would get eaten in a minute. Quite the contrary, you’ll usually have to hold onto them for quite a while before you finish them. And because of that, you should surely know the answer to this question:

Do olives need to be refrigerated? No, olives usually don’t need to be refrigerated. This is the case mainly when talking about canned or brined olives, but even fresh olives can be safely left out for at least a few hours.

But this was just an exceptionally brief answer, and if we really want to understand this topic, we’re going to have to dive deeper.

So without any further hesitation, let’s just jump right into it!

Do Olives Need to Be Refrigerated

Do olives need to be refrigerated? 

Believe it or not, olives don’t need to be refrigerated; well, at least usually. While canned or jarred olives can be safely left out for even as long as six months, even after opening, things change a bit when talking about fresh olives.

Although even fresh olives can be safely left out unrefrigerated for a couple of hours, generally speaking, they should be stored in the fridge. That’s because after five hours or so without refrigeration, they might become dangerous to consume.

Do kalamata olives need to be refrigerated? 

No, kalamata olives don’t need to be refrigerated; well, at least usually, when they’re kept in brine or another similar liquid. On the contrary, kalamata olives need to be refrigerated when they’re served dry.

Do green olives need to be refrigerated? 

In most cases, green olives don’t need to be refrigerated because they’re kept in a brine – however, when they’re served dry, green olives should be kept in the fridge because otherwise, they could spoil in just a couple of hours.

Do black olives need to be refrigerated? 

As you can probably guess by now, black olives don’t need to be refrigerated unless they’re kept dry. In that case, refrigeration suddenly becomes a necessity because there’s no brine that would make the black olives shelf-stable.

Do stuffed olives need to be refrigerated? 

While an unopened pack of stuffed olives can be kept even in the pantry, stuffed olives need to be refrigerated once they are opened. Additionally, you should also make sure that the stuffed olives are fully submerged in their brine.

How long do olives last in the fridge? 

As we have explained above, in most cases, there’s no reason to keep your olives in the fridge because they will last for up to six months, even at room temperature. However, it can’t do any harm either, which means that olives last for about six months in the fridge.

How to store olives in the fridge? 

Usually, olives don’t need to be refrigerated, thanks to their brine and packaging, but putting them into the fridge might be a smart thing once they are opened. When you decide to store olives in the fridge after opening, just make sure that they’re fully submerged in their liquid.

Can unopened olives be unrefrigerated? 

Yes, unopened olives can be left unrefrigerated. The reason is pretty simple – olives are prepared (a.k.a. canned and brined) precisely so that they won’t require refrigeration until opening. 

And in many cases, refrigeration actually isn’t needed even after opening; more about that’s coming in the following answer, though. 

Do olives need to be refrigerated after opening? 

So as we have already touched a bit in the previous answer, olives don’t need to be refrigerated after opening. However, there are some other essential rules regarding storing once opened olives. 

First, you always have to ensure that the olives are kept away from direct heat and sunlight, although at room temperature. Second, it is crucial that ALL of the olives are completely submerged in their brine.

How to store olives without refrigeration? 

As explained above, olives don’t need to be refrigerated in most cases, but that doesn’t mean you can store them just as you would like.

To properly store olives without refrigeration, you most importantly have to ensure that they’re away from direct heat and sunlight, so putting them into the pantry seems like the smartest choice.

How long can olives stay unrefrigerated? 

Believe it or not, olives can stay unrefrigerated for six months! However, this is the case only when talking about canned/jarred olives because fresh olives can stay unrefrigerated for just a couple of hours.

Is it safe to leave olives at room temperature? 

Yes, it is safe to leave olives at room temperature, provided we’re talking about canned or jarred olives. Since those, precisely thanks to their packaging, don’t need to be refrigerated, leaving them at room temperature can’t do any harm. 

But with that in mind, you have to remember that fresh olives, on the other hand, can’t stay outside of the fridge for much longer than a few hours. And that means that it is not safe to leave fresh olives at room temperature.

What happens if you leave olives unrefrigerated? 

As we have explained above, the vast majority of olives, a.k.a. the canned/jarred ones, don’t need to be refrigerated, so nothing bad happens if you leave those olives unrefrigerated. 

However, since fresh olives should always be kept in the fridge, these ones might spoil if you leave them to sit out.

How do you know if olives have gone bad? 

And now you’re probably wondering – how can I tell that olives have gone bad? Here’s your answer – first of all, you should take a closer look at them. Then, if you’re still not sure, you can also try to smell them.

Have you noticed any weird changes in their smell or appearance? If not, the olives are probably still good to go, but otherwise, you should simply throw them out as soon as possible.

Summary 

Most often, olives are sold, brined either canned or jarred. And precisely because of that, olives usually don’t require refrigeration – the brine itself (especially when combined with the packaging) is more than enough.

And that means that canned or jarred olives will stay suitable for up to six months even at room temperature; however, fresh olives won’t even last more than a few hours of sitting out. Hence, you should always store your fresh olives in the fridge.

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Image credits – Canva

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