If you’re like me, you get excited when summertime rolls around, and baskets of blueberries start popping up at the grocery store. But before you get too carried away, you need to ask yourself, how long do blueberries last?
Fresh blueberries can last up to 3 days on the counter or five to ten days in the fridge. If you want them to last a little longer, store them in the freezer. Frozen blueberries may last up to six months but are best used within two months.
In this article, I’ll explain further about the shelf life of blueberries in your fridge and your freezer.
Should Blueberries Be Refrigerated?
If your eyes are exactly the same size as your stomach, and you plan to finish your blueberries within the next day or two, you can leave them out on the counter at room temperature. You don’t even need to change the container you bought them in.
However, you should always start by giving your blueberries a quick once-over as soon as you get them home. Separate any mushy, moldy, or shriveled blueberries from the rest and throw them out.
You can keep the soft ones, but you should separate them from the firm berries. Overripe berries have a higher moisture content, which makes them more attractive to bacteria, mold, and pests like fruit flies.
Make sure to handle your blueberries with care. They’re small, fragile, and easy to bruise, so try to keep the jostling to a minimum.
Don’t wash your blueberries before storing them on the counter or in the fridge. The excess moisture will cause them to spoil much more quickly. When you’re ready to serve, give them a good cleaning beforehand.
If you don’t want to refrigerate them, I recommend at least covering an open container but making sure that they can still get some airflow. If there are holes in the container that they came in, plastic wrap over the top will help keep excess moisture and humidity at bay for a while at least.
Blueberries are a highly perishable berry, but they do better than some others, such as strawberries. And they won’t ripen further after being picked and stored at room temperature because the ethylene gas responsible for ripening has less of an effect on this berry.
However, they will spoil more quickly in the presence of moisture, humidity, and heat.
How Long Can Blueberries Last In The Fridge?
Fresh blueberries should last about a week when stored on the middle shelf in the fridge. They can be tricky to keep fresh because too much humidity will cause them to spoil, and too little will cause them to dry out and shrivel.
Under strict laboratory conditions, blueberries can last up to 10 days refrigerated, but at home, our refrigerators are constantly being opened and closed, which affects humidity and temperature.
And, unfortunately, your crisper drawer is not the ideal place to store blueberries. The humidity and lower air circulation can speed up spoilage. Depending on your fridge, the door, top and back areas are prone to constant temperature changes that can damage your blueberries.
You also don’t want to store blueberries in an airtight container as this will allow humidity to build up and molds to grow. Also, if blueberries absorb too much excess humidity, they can split and spoil within hours.
How Long Do Blueberries Last In The Freezer?
You can freeze blueberries for up to six months to maintain the best quality. However, you will need to start with high-quality blueberries, to begin with. It’s best to get them home and freeze them as soon as possible.
Freezing blueberries in the last moments of their shelf life is a bad idea. Just because the berries are frozen doesn’t stop the spoilage process. They will still spoil, just much slower. By the time you get around to using them. They won’t taste good at all.
The longer you leave your blueberries in the freezer, the more likely they will become freezer burnt, lose flavor, and become mushy when thawed.
And finally, freezing blueberries is the only time you should wash them before storing them. In fact, any moisture on the outside of the berry can help protect them from frost damage.