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How long is cut watermelon good for? Learn how to make this summer fruit last

Watermelon is a summer staple — here's how to make it last

Sliced watermelon in a pile.
Floh Keitgen / Unsplash

Watermelon is the fruit of the summer, bursting with refreshing juiciness and a lightly sweet flavor. This summer fruit is most popular between May and September and makes the perfect pairing for cookouts, summer parties, or even as just a refreshing, healthy snack. Due to the high water content of watermelon, which makes up about 90% of its ingredients, proper storage of watermelon is essential to keep it long-lasting and fresh. But how long is cut watermelon good for, and how should you store it? Learn everything you need to know to help you get the most shelf life out of your watermelon this summer.

How long is cut watermelon good for?

Watermelon slice being held up in the air outside.
Beautytrend4u / Shutterstock

Watermelon, in its whole, uncut form, will last the longest — lasting about one when stored at room temperature. If you choose to put a whole watermelon in the fridge, you can extend its life for about two or three weeks. Once a watermelon has been cut into slices or cubed up, you can expect it to turn bad much faster than when it is left whole. In general, cut-up watermelon is good when stored in the fridge (in an airtight container) for about three to four days. The cold temperature of the fridge helps to extend the life of watermelon, both cut up or whole.

Although it might be tempting to throw your watermelon in the fridge to get the most life out of it, there are downsides to consider. One research study from 2022 found that putting a watermelon in the fridge might reduce its mineral and vitamin content when compared to leaving it at room temperature. Of course, this doesn’t mean all its nutrients will go away completely, but it is something to consider if you’re concerned with getting the most health benefits out of the fruit you eat.

Once cut, you can store your watermelon in any container that does not allow the air to enter. This could be a plastic Ziploc-type bag that is fully sealed or a glass container. If using plastic wrap, be sure it’s wrapped tightly to ensure no air can seep in and accelerate the spoiling process.

How do you know when watermelon goes bad?

cut up watermelon
Tamanna Rumee / Pexels

Despite our best efforts to use watermelon before it goes bad — life happens. Sometimes, we simply don’t get to use or eat the produce we buy before it begins to go bad. If your watermelon has already been cut up, it will be pretty obvious if it is beginning to go bad. Any signs or smells that are not normal are a sign it’s time to toss your watermelon in the trash. In terms of taste, watermelon that is going bad or has gone bad begins to have a sour taste. Any signs of a growth that are visible, such as fuzzy or black or white spots are a definite indicator that your watermelon has gone bad.

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Emily Caldwell
Emily is a freelance writer with a special focus on health, fitness, lifestyle, food, and nutrition topics. She holds a B.S…
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