Does salsa have to be refrigerated?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does salsa have to be refrigerated” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not salsa needs to be refrigerated. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of salsa, ways to spot bad salsa,  and the proper way to store salsa.

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

Does salsa have to be refrigerated?

Once you have opened the can of salsa, it is recommended to refrigerate it to preserve its freshness and flavor for a long time. Moreover, in the case of the homemade salsa, it is also recommended to store it in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the shelf life of salsa?

A salsa that is sold unrefrigerated, if it is unopened then it lasts for about 6 months if stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat. On the other hand, opened salsa that is sold unrefrigerated lasts for about 1 month when stored in an air-tight container at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the fridge.

In the case of unopened salsa that is sold refrigerated, it lasts for about 7 days or even more sometimes if stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, salsa that is sold refrigerated last for about 5-7 days if it is stored in an air-tight container at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, after it gets opened. Homemade salsa only has a shelf life of about 5 days when it is stored properly in the fridge.

Once opened salsa lasts for about 2 hours at room temperature. Bacteria grow at a faster pace between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit and if you have left out your salsa for more than 2 hours at room temperature then it is better to discard it as there are great chances of the bacteria have already spread in it and they can eventually spoil it.

Moreover, if the outside temperature is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit then the shelf life of opened salsa decreases further and it is recommended to discard salsa that is left open for more than 1 hour when the temperature outside is 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the packaging of salsa refers to the quality rather than safety so salsa doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. It is the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of salsa but you can still use salsa that is past this date as long as it was stored properly and there is no leakage or mold in the can of salsa.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of the salsa and salsa can even last for more than this, provided that they are stored properly.

You can read how to make salsa at home here.

How to tell if salsa has gone bad?

Certain indications can point out whether or not your salsa has gone bad. You have to consider the appearance, and smell of salsa to give a final verdict about the quality of salsa.

Appearance

If you spot a mold on your salsa, then the best thing you can do is to get rid of salsa as it is an indication of bad salsa and if you consume such salsa, it can cause many foodborne illnesses including food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and sometimes even fever.

Smell

If you smell something acidic, sour, or something that quite does not smell like the salsa itself while taking a sniff test then it is better to get rid of such salsa.

How to properly store salsa?

  1. An unopened pack of salsa sold unrefrigerated can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat and it can stay there for quite a long time but you can also store it in the refrigerator to further prolong its shelf life.
  2. Once you open the can of salsa sold unrefrigerated, it is recommended to store the leftovers in the fridge properly.
  3. On the other hand, the salsa sold refrigerated should be stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit no matter if it is opened or unopened.
  4. In case of opened salsa, transfer the leftovers in an air-tight container and store them in the fridge.
  5. Homemade salsa should be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge.
  6. You can even store your salsa in the freezer to further prolong its shelf life. You can keep the salsa in a plastic freezer bag to freeze it.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “does salsa have to be refrigerated” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not salsa needs to be refrigerated. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of salsa, ways to spot bad salsa, and the proper way to store salsa.

Citations

https://oureverydaylife.com/long-can-fresh-salsa-left-out-41432.html

https://findanyanswer.com/is-salsa-bad-if-not-refrigerated#:~:text=Once%20salsa%20is%20opened%2C%20it,of%20opened%20salsa%2C%20freeze%20it.

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-salsa-go-bad/

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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