How Long Does Grapefruit Last?

You have a couple of grapefruits in storage for a few days already, and you don’t want them to spoil. That makes you think: how long does a grapefruit last?

Or maybe you came home with a bunch of pink, red, or white grapefruits, and you’re wondering what’s the proper way to store them.

Can you keep them on the countertop in a fruit bowl, or should you refrigerate them? How much of a difference choosing one storage method over the other does?

If either of these questions sounds familiar, this article is for you. In it, we talk about:

  • storage options for grapefruits
  • the shelf life of this citrus fruit
  • signs that your grapefruit is no longer safe to eat

Interested? Read on.

Grapefruit in hand

How To Store Grapefruit

The optimal place to store whole grapefruits is the crisper drawer in the fridge, and the fruits sealed in a plastic bag. If you’re okay with a much shorter storage time, leaving grapefruits at room temperature is okay too.

Whether you choose to refrigerate grapefruits or not depends on how long you need to store them ([PU]).

If you plan on eating them within a couple of days, feel free to leave them in a fruit bowl. But if you’re not quite sure if you’re going to gorge on these bad boys today or in a week, the fridge is a much safer choice.

Two grapefruits
Two grapefruits

Like with lemons, if you want to get some extra storage time, put the grapefruits in a plastic bag or airtight container. Either will help with retaining moisture for longer.

Info

Grapefruits you buy are already ripe and ready for eating or juicing. The same is true for other citrus fruits, such as limes or oranges. That means wherever you put them, they can sit there until you’re ready to eat them.

When it comes to cut grapefruits, they belong in a resealable container or bag and in the fridge.

Peeling grapefruit: work in progress
Peeling grapefruit: work in progress

How Long Does Grapefruit Last?

Whole grapefruits last about a week at room temperature and between two to three weeks in the fridge. Cut grapefruits last for 3 to 4 days until they start getting mushy.

To get the longest possible storage time, make sure you choose grapefruits that are firm to the touch, uniform in color, and without any sunken spots or damaged areas.

Warning

If you buy grapefruits on a sale and they’re already on the softer side, cut the mentioned storage time in half. Or, better yet, eat them as soon as possible.

Grapefruit closeup
Grapefruit, after removing its albedo and membrane

Once you peel grapefruits, their storage time decreases to only a couple of days. If you want to prep them in advance to snack on during the week, don’t make more than you need for three days.

Tip

If you’re not already doing it, try removing the albedo, the white layer between the peel and the fruit, before eating grapefruit. The albedo is bitter, and I guarantee you’ll love the grapefruit taste so much more if you remove it.

PantryFridge
Whole grapefruit1 week2 – 3 weeks
Cut grapefruit3 – 4 days
Please note the periods in the table above are only estimates.
Peeled grapefruit in circle
Peeled grapefruit in circle

How To Tell If Grapefruit Is Bad?

Discard grapefruit that:

  • Is rotten or moldy. If either is the case, it’s pretty apparent the fruit is gone.
  • Is soft or leaking water. Grapefruit loses moisture content over time. If the whole fruit feels soft or mushy, its quality isn’t good enough to eat anymore. The same applies if it’s already leaking water.
  • Smells off or stale. This is especially important for cut-up grapefruit that sits in the fridge.
  • Sits in storage for too long. If that whole grapefruit sits in the veggie drawer for like a month, or those cut-up pieces for a week, it’s time for them to go. Better safe than sorry.
  • Seems off in any other way. Your senses are pretty good at spotting fruits that are no longer safe to eat. Use your eyes, nose, and taste buds to ensure that old grapefruit is still okay to consume.
Peeling grapefruit
Peeling grapefruit
Tip

Some small sunken spots or damaged areas on the peel are okay. If need be, discard nearby piece or pieces, and use the rest.

The first sign that your grapefruit has started deteriorating is usually the collapse of stem-end ([PU]) due to moisture loss.

If you notice that yours is soft near that area, it’s time to use it, or at least make a plan of doing that within a day or two. Otherwise, that specimen might get to a point it’s no good anymore.

Peeled grapefruit on a plate
Grapefruit endocarp – the actual fruit you eat

Sources