Can sauces go out of date?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can sauces go out of date? We talk about the expiration date of sauces and whether it is better to keep them in the fridge or not. 

Can sauces go out of date?

Eventually, all sauces go out of date, however, you can consume most of them even months after their expiration date. Those that have a high concentration of salt, are fermented and can be kept out of the fridge and consumed years later as is the case of soy sauce. Although experts warn, you have to be careful if you choose healthy ones with less salt content.

Sauces with perishable ingredients, such as eggs, dairy, fruits, and vegetables, are better cold and have a shorter shelf life. In any case, it must be borne in mind that, no matter how well preserved they are, the sauces are not eternal and it is convenient from time to time to review and discard those that have been left behind, either in the refrigerator or in the pantry.

Now let’s see some examples:

Soy sauce can lose its flavor over the years, but it will never expire. A large amount of salt in the composition helps it to last so long, so it is not advisable to use it too often. Excess salt is harmful to health.

Industrial sauces (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise) – These products have acidified formulas, which allows them to be stored for a long time. These are stable products, microbiologically non-perishable, so no danger for consumption a few weeks after the deadline. 

These sauces can go bad a year or two after their expiration date even if they have not been opened: they can become rancid, have a bad taste, or change in color or appearance (the ketchup is darker, the mustard goes out of phase with the vinegar above…). 

If you observe such changes, it is better not to consume them. If the product has not moved, there is no danger in consuming it. The storage conditions after opening and the date after opening must be observed for this type of product. Mold on the tip signals the end of the sauce’s life, do not consume it.

Please note, these recommendations only apply to products sold at room temperature and not to products sold in the fresh department.

How long do sauces last?

As a general rule, practically none of the sauces that are purchased prepackaged require a refrigerator before opening. But when in doubt, you just have to look at where they were in the store and do the same. It is also a good idea to check if the label advises something in this regard.

When it comes to condiments made from perishable foods, such as fruits, eggs, or milk, not only do they have to be kept cold once opened but also their duration, which is usually shorter, must also be taken into account.

If a mayonnaise or a tartar sauce is homemade, you have to directly dispose of what is left over, just as it happens with those made from milk, cream, or yogurt. Something that should never be done is to spread anything that is going to accompany the sauce directly on the pot or put the cutlery that is being used because they could contaminate the sauces.

Nor, of course, add the sauce that has not been used and that has been in contact with other foods. Here are some tips on storing some of the more common sauces.

Barbecue. Unopened, one year in the pantry. Then a month or so without refrigeration and up to 4 in the refrigerator.

Chutney. It resists a month closed and out of the fridge. When it is opened, it must be consumed in a maximum of a couple of months.

Sour cream. Since its main component is dairy, it is one of the sauces that must be discarded if the one in the pot is not used.

Guacamole. Always in the refrigerator, its life does not extend beyond one or two weeks without opening and at most two days after starting to use it.

Ketchup. It can be kept in the pantry for more than a year unopened. Once started, it is not necessary to leave it in the refrigerator if it is used frequently, but it should not be kept for more than a month. If it is only taken once in a while, better refrigerated and not kept for more than half a year. The same can be applied to the cocktail sauce.

Mayonnaise. Look at the expiration date, although unopened it can be between 3 and 6 months. As it is made with eggs, it is mandatory to keep it cold, but never exceed 2 months, although there are those who advise not keeping it for more than four or five weeks. Outside the fridge, it won’t last for more than a couple of hours once the jar is opened. The same rule applies to the pink sauce and the tartar.

Mustard. It is very resistant and can be kept unopened for up to two years. Once the pot has started, it resists in the kitchen cupboard for about two months and up to a year in the fridge. Although not all mustards are the same. The semi-liquid ones hold out of the refrigerator, but those from Dijon and the like, better cold.

Pesto. If you are careful to keep it in the fridge as soon as you get home, it will keep up to six months later, but it should only be used up to three days after opening.

Oyster sauce. A basic component in many oriental preparations, it lasts between 18 and 24 months until after purchase, and when it has started to be used it is not advisable to extend its life beyond 6 months.

Soy. Nothing happens if you leave even three years in the pantry unopened. Opened, it holds out of the refrigerator because, apart from having a lot of salt, it is fermented and does not spoil.

Tabasco. It will be better in the fridge when it opens and it is best to use it in the following 6 months. Although they do not turn bad, they change color and they do not seem so appetizing.

Tahini. This sesame paste is one of the ingredients of hummus and other Arabic preparations. Unopened it can be kept for three years and three months in the fridge once opened.

Fried tomato. Before opening, it keeps for up to a year and a half and then up to 30 days in the fridge. It is preferable to cover what is leftover with a layer of olive oil. It can be frozen for two months. If it is tomato without frying, it should not be more than a couple of months in the pantry.

Worcestershire. Known as Perrins sauce, it holds up to a year in the pantry. After opening, up to six months and it is not essential to keep it in the fridge.

The bottom line

In this blog post, we answered the following question: Can sauces go out of date? We talked about the expiration date of sauces and whether it is better to keep them in the fridge or not. 

Most sauces go out of date and it is still safe to consume them even if expired. In any case, it must be borne in mind that, no matter how well preserved they are, the sauces are not eternal and it is convenient from time to time to review and discard those that have been left behind, either in the refrigerator or in the pantry.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

References

Savingdinner.com

homebrewersassociation.org

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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