Growing up, an ongoing debate at our house was whether or not you can leave real butter out of the fridge. My dad always said no, and my mom said, yes. Who was right?

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My grandparents (my mom's parents) always had a fresh stick of butter on the table. One thing I noticed was that my grandma would never put the stick of butter back in the refrigerator. She simply left it on the dish all the time.

Mom always did the same thing at our house, but my dad would freak out. He feared the butter would spoil. His parents never left the butter out.

So, which is the right thing to do? And, are there similar foods that we think need to be stored in the fridge, but don't?

Can you leave butter on the counter?

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According to the Food Network,

Butter is safe at room temperature. But if it's left out for several days at room temperature, it can turn rancid causing off flavors. The USDA does not recommend leaving it out for more than one to two days

Can you leave mustard out of the refrigerator?

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Yahoo Life says, no.

While refrigeration will help maintain flavor, it's not necessary to refrigerate if you prefer to consume your mustard at room temperature. The recommended shelf life from the date of manufacture of French's Mustard is 18 months in a squeeze bottle, and 24 months in a glass jar.

Is it safe to leave ketchup out of the fridge?

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 The website Pure Wow says,
In terms of safety, there's no real need to refrigerate ketchup. Tomatoes and vinegar, the main components in ketchup, help preserve the condiment at room temperature due to their natural acidity.

Does Nesquik need to be kept in the fridge?

We had this debate, on the air, a few years ago. Turns out it says on the label, no. Goodness.com describes it like this,
Because NESQUIK syrup does not have high fructose corn syrup, refrigerating it will cause crystallization. For optimum quality, we recommend storing NESQUIK syrup at room temperature.

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