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How Long Does Celery Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: One to Two weeks

The word “celery” is derived from the French word “celeri” and refers to the marshland plant. Celery is a popular vegetable which is cultivated for centuries. The vegetable plant is characterized by its long fibrous stalk being tapered onto its leaves.

Celery is a plant of the family Apiaceae, its genus is Apium, and the scientific name of the vegetable is Apium graveolens. Celery is a very cost-effective vegetable and it is cheaply available. Moreover, it supplies the body with great quantities of proteins and other significant nutrients while cutting down on the consumption of calories at the same time.

How Long Does Celery Last?

Mode of StorageTime Lasts For
A. Whole Celery
1. On the counterOne to two weeks
2. In the fridgeThree to four weeks
3. In the freezerOne to two years
B. Packaged Celery
1. On the counter Three to four days
2. In the fridge One to two weeks
3. In the freezer A year
C. Cooked Celery
1. On the counter One to two days
2. In the fridge One to two weeks
3. In the freezer Seven to nine months

Celery is generally available in two forms, fresh and unpacked celery and packaged celery. Celery can also be stored after it is cooked. The mode of storage of celery can be either on the counter, in the fridge, or in the freezer.

Fresh and unpackaged celery is the most natural form of vegetable. It can last for about a week or two in open but it can last for a few weeks in the fridge. When freezer, the celery can last for as long as a year or two.

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Packaged celery has shorter shelf life than unpacked ones. It can last for three to four days in the open, a few weeks in the fridge, and about a year in the freezer.

When celery is cooked, its life further decreases due to heating and the resultant warmth. It can last for about a day or two on the kitchen shelf and about one to two weeks in the fridge. However, when stored in the freezer, it can last for about seven to nine months.

Why Does Celery Last So Long?

Celery has a shorter shelf life of about a few weeks like many other vegetables. The life of the celery increases as proper storage conditions are provided to the vegetable. Moisture and heat are the main determinants of the shelf life of celery. Proper storage conditions enabling the favorable amount of moisture and heat lead to a long life of celery.

It is generally observed that the increase in heat or high temperatures enable the growth of microorganisms. High temperatures create the necessary environment for an increase in microorganisms. The growth of these microorganisms brings about an early rotting of the vegetables and makes them unsafe for edible purposes. Consuming vegetables infested with harmful microorganisms may lead to food positioning.

In contrast to this, the cool temperatures of the refrigerator and the freezer bring about a delay in the rotting of the vegetables. Cool temperatures discourage the growth of microorganisms resulting in longer life of celery. Moreover, when stored in the freezer, there is an almost complete stop in the rotting of celery which lets it last for longer.

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It is also observed that packed and chopped celery has a shorter life than fresh and unchopped ones. This is on account of the reason that unchopped celery has greater moisture retention than chopped ones.

Conclusion

Fresh and unpacked celery has the longest shelf life of about three to four weeks when kept in the fridge. In comparison, packed and chopped celery last for only one to two weeks and if the celery is used, its life is further shortened and it may only have a life of about a few days.

Celery undergoes natural degradation over time, just like any other vegetable. However, when it is stored in a cold temperature condition, it experiences less moisture and a cool environment. This results in the growth of microorganisms slowing down resulting in the long shelf life of the vegetable.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00222080
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2156587217717415
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