What happens if you don’t refrigerate Worcestershire sauce?

In this brief article, we will answer the question “What happens if you don’t refrigerate Worcestershire sauce?” methods to store the sauce and detect spoilt sauce.

What happens if you don’t refrigerate Worcestershire sauce?

Worcestershire sauce can remain fresh even if you do not refrigerate it. Worcestershire sauce contains preservatives like vinegar which helps it in keeping fresh for a long time at room temperature.

What is Worcestershire sauce?

Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment that was first prepared in a company named Lea and Perrins in Worcestershire, England. 

There are many variations of this sauce though it is usually a mixture of vinegar, onions, molasses, garlic, cured anchovies, tamarind paste, sugar, salt with a seasoning of mustard seeds, cloves, coriander, or pepper.

What is the shelf-life of Worcestershire sauce?

Worcestershire sauce usually comes with a best-by date as there is no estimated shelf-life for the product. It can last in good quality for 1-3 years though you can still use it later.

The sodium, vinegar and other preservatives present in the sauce can provide it an indefinite shelf-life.

Worcestershire saucePantryRefrigerator
Worcestershire sauce (unopened)Lasts in the best quality for 2-3 months__
Worcestershire sauce18-24 months2-3 years

The longer the sauce is kept, the more loss in the flavor of the sauce would be observed. 

How to store Worcestershire sauce?

  • Avoid storing the opened bottle of sauce in a warm place or close to sunlight as the sauce would lose its flavor.
  • Make sure to seal the bottle tightly after opening. This will reduce its exposure to air and moisture.
  • You can keep the sauce in the fridge which will help in extending its shelf-life to at least 2-3 years. 
  • You can keep Worcestershire sauce at room temperature as well if you are planning to finish consuming it soon.
  • You can store the sauce in powdered form. The dehydrated form of sauce can last for many years. 
  • Also, look at the best by date written on the pack of the sauce. The best-by date would provide an idea of how long the sauce would remain in good quality.

Is it possible to freeze Worcestershire sauce?

Yes, you can freeze Worcestershire sauce though it is not necessary as the sauce has an already long shelf-life. 

The salt present in Worcestershire sauce can make it difficult to freeze. The liquid can separate from the sauce and the solid part of the sauce can remain half-frozen as the sauce has a low freezing point. 

In certain scenarios though the sauce is frozen. While preparing steaks, some chefs freeze the steaks that have been marinated with the sauce. This can lend a delicious flavor to the steaks. 

Certain bartenders also add the sauce to cocktails and freeze them. As a result, you can freeze the sauce though there is an increased risk of the sauce developing lumps or a change in the texture of the sauce.

How to detect spoilt Worcestershire sauce?

If the sauce is not used for a long time, you might observe some clear liquid separated from the sauce at the top though it would still be safe to consume the sauce.

  • If you observe mold spots at the mouth of the bottle, it is likely to be spoilt. The mold spots are likely to be observed if the lid of the bottle is not closed tightly. 

The mold growth though is very rare as Worcestershire sauce is loaded with preservatives.

  • The odor of the sauce does not change though it can reduce over a period of time. Still, if you notice a bad smell or odor emanating from the bottle, it is better to discard it.
  • Another sign of spoilage could be the puffing up of the bottle containing Worcestershire sauce. When you open the bottle, you can likely hear a pop sound which could be a result of gas accumulation. 

Gas accumulation can occur regardless of the type of container in which the sauce has been stored.

Other FAQs about Worcestershire sauce that you may be interested in.

What can you use Worcestershire sauce for?

  • You can use Worcestershire sauce for making drinks like Bloody mary or Sangrita.
  • This sauce is an excellent choice for marinating fish or chicken. It can also be used as an alternative to soy sauce. You can also add it to steaks. Vinegar present in the sauce can help in making the steak more tender.
  • You can also use the sauce to prepare soups.
  • You can use the sauce to prepare barbecue sauces and store the sauce in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.
  • The dehydrated (powder form) Worcestershire sauce can be used in sandwiches or pasta.


In this brief article, we have answered the question “What happens if you don’t refrigerate Worcestershire sauce?” methods to store the sauce and detect spoilt sauce.