How long is tomato paste good for?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long is tomato paste good for” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of tomato paste in different mediums. Moreover, we are going to discuss ways to spot bad tomato paste and ways to store tomato paste properly.

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

How long is tomato paste good for?

Commercially processed store-bought tomato paste lasts for about 5-7 days in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit once it gets opened.

On the other hand, commercially processed store-bought unopened tomato paste lasts for about 18-24 months if it is stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Thus, you can easily store your unopened store-bought tomato paste in a cool and dry corner of your pantry or kitchen cabinet. 

You can read about the uses of tomato paste here.

Can I consume tomato paste after the best-before date?

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the can of tomato paste refers to more of quality rather than safety so tomato paste 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 tomato paste but you can still use tomato paste that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

But if you spot a bulging lid or if the can of the tomato paste is swollen or has leakage then it is better to discard it to save yourself from contracting any microbe via consuming such tomato paste.

Can I store tomato paste in the freezer? 

Yes, you can easily store tomato paste in the freezer in air-tight containers or zipper-bags. Tomato paste can stay fresh for up to 3-4 months in the freezer. It can even last longer than this sometimes if stored appropriately but it is the time during which you can enjoy the best quality of the tomato paste.

How long does tomato paste last after being frozen and thawed?

The frozen tomato paste, if thawed in the fridge, can stay there for 2-3 days before cooking but if you are thawing tomato paste in the microwave then it is recommended to use it immediately.

You can even thaw the tomato paste in a bowl of cold water but it is best to use it immediately after this. 

How long is tomato paste good for if it is left out at room temperature?

Tomato paste lasts at room temperature for about 2 hours. 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit is the most suitable temperature for bacteria to grow therefore if your tomato paste has been there uncovered at room temperature for more than 2 hours then it is recommended to discard it as many bacteria would have already spread over it and would have spoiled it.

How to tell if tomato paste has gone bad?

If you see some mold or if the color of the tomato paste is changing to a more maroon shade and is darkening then it is an indication that your tomato paste has gone bad. Moreover the off-flavors and off-smell sometimes also is an indication that the tomato paste has gone bad.  

Moreover, if you see a bulging lid or if the body of the tomato paste can is swollen then it is better to discard such tomato paste can.

How to properly store tomato paste?

  1. Tomato paste loses its characteristic flavor and color when it comes in contact with the air owing to the oxidation reaction. Therefore to seal the freshness of tomato paste for quite a long time we recommend you store it in air-tight containers.
  2. Once your tomato paste can have been opened, it is recommended to transfer the remaining tomato paste to an air-tight container and store it in the fridge.
  3. On the other hand, an unopened can of tomato paste can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.
  4. You should not leave your opened tomato paste in open for more than 2 hours because a tomato paste that is kept open for more than 2 hours, there are greater chances of microbial growth to already have contaminated it.
  5. You can even freeze the tomato paste to prolong its shelf life and if you want to do so it is better to store tomato paste in a plastic freezer bag or heavy-duty freezer container.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long is tomato paste good for” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of tomato paste in different mediums. Moreover, we discussed ways to spot bad tomato paste and ways to store tomato paste properly.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18518

https://stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18519

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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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