Can you get sick from eating expired ketchup?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired ketchup” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired ketchup. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of ketchup.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating expired ketchup?

When it comes to ketchup, you do not necessarily get sick from eating expired ketchup as long as it was stored appropriately. 

So no doubt ketchup can still be eaten once they go past the date printed on them but you can feel a change in its texture and flavor after a certain time so as long as you are okay with it, you can eat the expired ketchup, it won’t make you sick.

It is worth mentioning that instead of the “expiration date”, you will find a “best by” or “best before” date written on the packet of ketchup. 

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the pack of ketchup refers to the quality rather than safety so the ketchup doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. 

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of the ketchup but you can still eat ketchup that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

Therefore, you should do the sensory evaluation of the ketchup. Certain indicators point out bad ketchup. You should consider the appearance, color, smell, taste, and condition of the bottle of ketchup to reach a final verdict whether or not it has gone bad.

Appearance

If you spot a mold on your ketchup, then it is an indication of bad ketchup and it is better to discard it. 

Color 

Moreover, if you notice that the color of ketchup has darkened then that does not necessarily mean that your ketchup has gone bad, it is just the indication that your ketchup has gone past its prime age. 

You should keep in consideration, the taste and the smell of the ketchup that has darkened to reach the final verdict about whether or not it has gone bad.

Smell 

If you notice some off-smells (like a striking sour smell) or something that does not quite smell like ketchup itself then it is the indication that your ketchup has gone bad.

Taste

If you feel some off-flavors or slightly bitter after-taste after tasting your ketchup, then it is the indication that your ketchup is past its prime age.

Bulging lid or bottle

In the case of the unopened bottle of ketchup that has been there for a long time, if you notice a bulging lid or a bloated bottle, it is the indication that your ketchup has gone bad. The reason behind the bulging is the gases that are formed as a result of microbial contamination. 

It is worth mentioning that when in doubt, it is better to get rid of the ketchup because it is better to be safe than sorry.

So what you gotta do is to do the sensory evaluation of your ketchup and if your sensory evaluation gives you a green flag, you are good to eat the ketchup without the risk of getting sick.

What is the shelf life of ketchup?

An unopened bottle of the ketchup lasts for about 1-2 years past the printed date if stored appropriately in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight. The shelf life of ketchup also varies depending upon the manufacturers and the ingredients of ketchup. 

As ketchup contains a high amount of vinegar in its formulation and has an acidic pH, therefore it retains its freshness for a long time and has a long shelf life.

An opened bottle of store-bought ketchup will last for about a month easily when stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry while it lasts for about 9-12 months easily when kept under appropriate conditions in the fridge. An opened bottle of ketchup should be stored at approximately 40°F or below in the fridge to preserve its flavor and aroma for a long time.

The ketchup can stay even longer than this time if refrigerated properly but the taste and aroma of the ketchup will start to change (degrade) gradually afterward.

As homemade ketchup does not have any added preservative apart from vinegar present in it therefore it has a shorter shelf life than the processed ketchup and hermetically sealed homemade ketchup lasts for about 2-3 months in the fridge.

It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of ketchup and it is the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality of ketchup.

You can read how to make ketchup here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating expired ketchup” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired ketchup. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of ketchup.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17472

https://www.canitgobad.net/can-ketchup-go-bad/

https://www.mashed.com/234074/heres-how-to-know-if-your-ketchup-has-gone-bad/

http://www.eatbydate.com/other/condiments/ketchup-shelf-life-expiration-date/

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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