How Long Do Tomatoes Last? (Answer Explained)

Tomatoes are a produce item that can be eaten in a variety of ways. You can use them in cooking recipes, and you can use them on burgers and sandwiches to give your food more texture and flavor. With so many uses, it can be a good idea to keep many tomatoes on hand, but it may be a while before you get through your tomatoes. It makes you wonder how long your tomatoes will last.

There is no exact time frame for how long your tomatoes will last, but tomatoes tend to last for a week when left out on the counter and for two weeks when kept in the refrigerator. The shelf life of a tomato depends on how you store your tomato. Tomatoes last for different time periods depending on if they are kept at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer.

Continue reading to learn more about how long tomatoes last when kept on the counter, in the refrigerator, and in the freezer. Also, continue reading to learn about the signs that warn you that your tomatoes have gone bad.

How Long Do Tomatoes Typically Last?

When it comes to the shelf life of a tomato, it depends heavily on the method of storage you use. Depending on whether you decide to leave your tomatoes on the counter at room temperature, store them in the refrigerator, or keep them in the freezer, each will result in a different length of time in which the tomatoes are good to eat.

It is important to note that all tomatoes will reach a point where they can no longer be eaten. Like most other produce, tomatoes will begin to rot after a period of time has passed, and it is not safe to eat the tomatoes once this point has been reached.


A tomato can stay on the counter at room temperature for about a week. After a week has passed, you will begin to notice that the tomato will begin to rot. It is best to not leave fully ripe tomatoes out on the counter as they can spoil faster than unripe tomatoes. Storing them on the counter is the best way to store unripe tomatoes.

It is important to not leave the tomato on a counter that is in direct sunlight. The sunlight can cause the tomato to spoil faster.

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The refrigerator is the best place to store tomatoes that are fully ripe. It is best to avoid putting unripe tomatoes in the refrigerator as the cold temperatures can cause the ripening process to slow. Tomatoes can last in the refrigerator for a period of two weeks. After this time has passed, it is best to throw the tomatoes away.


When it comes to storing fresh tomatoes, you do not want to store them in the freezer. This is not the best way to store these tomatoes. If you have tomatoes that are sliced, stewed, or pureed, you can store them in the freezer as long as they are in a freezer-safe container that is completely sealed.

How Do You Store Tomatoes to Make Them Last Longer?

When it comes to storing tomatoes, you do not want to leave them out in the open for too long of a period of time. This can quicken the spoiling process.

It is best to not store tomatoes in direct sunlight or in areas that are hot. You want to keep your tomatoes in an area that is cool, but you want to keep the tomatoes at a temperature above 55°F. If the tomatoes are stored in areas that are too cold, it can damage the flavor, texture, and color of the tomatoes.

Since you want to keep tomatoes in an area that is cool and away from direct sunlight, it is best to store them in the refrigerator. This ensures that your tomatoes last longer, and you will be able to use them for a longer period of time than you would if you kept them on the counter at room temperature.

How to Tell if a Tomato Has Gone Bad

Once your tomatoes have gone bad, it is not a good idea to use them in any recipes. Unlike other foods, it is not too difficult to tell if tomatoes have gone bad. There are some obvious signs that give away whether or not a tomato has reached its point of expiration. These signs are:

  • Mold.
  • A change in the texture of the tomato.
  • A foul or unusual smell coming from the tomato.


Mold is one of the most common signs to look for when wondering if a piece of food has gone bad. Mold is a strong sign of bacterial growth on the food, and the food should not be eaten if mold has been found on it.

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Mold tends to be fuzzy in nature, so it should not be too difficult to find if mold has started growing on your tomatoes. If you find that your tomatoes have started to grow mold, it is best to throw the tomato out. While some say that you can cut the mold off and still eat the tomato, this is not a good idea as the bacteria that causes the mold can be growing in the tomato rather than on it.

Change in Texture

Another strong sign that a tomato has gone bad is if the texture of the tomato has changed. Tomatoes tend to be firm when ripe. When the tomato spoils, the texture becomes mushy and soft. You may also find that the tomato is very wrinkly or leaking liquid. Any of these signs are a strong indication that the tomato should be thrown away as it is no longer safe to eat the tomato in any form.


If you notice a foul or strange smell coming from the tomato, it is best to throw it away. A change in smell can be an indication of bacterial growth in the tomato.

Final Thoughts

Tomatoes can be used in many recipes. You can also cut them to place on sandwiches or burgers. You can buy tomatoes from the store, or you can grow your own tomatoes.

When storing tomatoes, it is best to keep fully ripe tomatoes in the refrigerator. You want to keep these tomatoes out of direct sunlight and in an area that is at a temperature no lower than 55°F. For unripe tomatoes, it is best to keep them on the counter, and the ripening process can slow when stored in the refrigerator.

A tomato can last for one week when kept on the counter, and it can last for two weeks when kept in the refrigerator.