How long does ketchup last after opening?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long does ketchup last after opening” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of an opened ketchup bottle in different mediums. Moreover, we are going to discuss the ways to spot bad ketchup.

Condiments play an important role in imparting unique flavors in our dishes and ketchup is one of the most used condiments. From burgers to fries, hot dogs to pizzas, ketchup is used as a topping in all. As it is used in a small quantity therefore it is just normal that a bottle of ketchup lingers for a while in our kitchen. So if you are wondering “how long does ketchup last after opening” then you are at the right place as we are going to tell you all about the shelf life of the ketchup.

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

How long does ketchup last after opening?

An opened bottle of store-bought ketchup will last for about 6-12 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.

You should also keep an eye on the best by date written on the label or bottle of the store-bought ketchup as that is the estimated time during which you can enjoy the peak quality of the ketchup. 

You can read more about the shelf life of different food items here.

How long does ketchup last after opening in the pantry?

An opened bottle of ketchup lasts for about 1 month when stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry. Care should be taken to never store the opened bottle of ketchup in a humid environment. Moreover, it should be kept away from direct sunlight.

How long does an unopened bottle of ketchup last?

An unopened bottle of the ketchup lasts for about 1-2 years 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.

How long does homemade ketchup last in the fridge?

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 lasts for about 2-3 months in the fridge.

Can you store the ketchup in the freezer?

So when it comes to freezing the ketchup, yes, you can easily store the ketchup in the freezer in air-tight containers or zipper-bags. But we won’t recommend you to do so as the frozen ketchup after thawing won’t have the same flavor and aroma to it. 

So it’s better if you just refrigerate your open bottle of ketchup to preserve its flavor for a long time. 

How to tell if ketchup has gone bad?

There can be several ways including appearance, color, smell, and taste of the ketchup, that can indicate whether or not the ketchup has gone bad.

Appearance

The presence of off-colors or the presence of molds is the indication that your ketchup has gone bad. 

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 the microbial contamination. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long does ketchup last after opening” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of an opened ketchup bottle in different mediums. Moreover, we discussed the ways to spot bad ketchup.

Citations

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

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