Here’s When It’s Time To Toss The Condiments In Your Fridge

condiment expiration dates


A fridge can be a black hole. Especially when you live with multiple people and you have to fight for fridge space. It’s easy to forget about those condiments that you’ve pushed to the back. Before you know it, you have fuzzy salad dressing and you have to throw the whole thing out. Here’s how to know when you should toss the condiments in your fridge.


If you’re ever questioning whether or not to put ketchup in the fridge, go with yes. The cold temperature slows bacteria growth and preserves its flavor. While most bottles of ketchup have an expiration date, this is just a guideline. While an unopened bottle can last anywhere up to a year, keep your eye on an open bottle. If you notice signs of discoloration, mold or any other weird chunks, it’s time to toss. Ketchup can last anywhere from nine to 12 months in the fridge.

Hot Sauce

In general, sauces tend to have a long shelf life. The shelf life of a hot sauce could depend on a whole range of factors including the pH level, the acidity of the ingredients being used, the salt level and the amount of sugar added. As a general rule of thumb, cap your hot sauce’s life at one year. If hot sauce is spoiled, you might see little black spots appear on the surface.


The shelf life of salsa depends on the number of preservatives used. A jar of store-bought salsa can last anywhere from one to two months, while homemade salsa will start to get moldy after a week.


Condiment Expiration Dates


Mustard, just like ketchup, has a pretty long shelf life. Stored in the fridge, it can last up to two or three years. The shelf life depends on the best-by date, the storage method and what kinds of ingredients are added. It’s the vinegar in mustard that helps to extend its life. You’ll know your mustard has gone bad when it starts to dry out and change in smell and color. You’ll probably end up throwing mustard away before it even spoils since the flavor quality diminishes over time.

BBQ Sauce

You can expect BBQ sauce to last anywhere from six to 12 months. With ingredients like vinegar and sugar, there’s a good chance you’ll have that BBQ sauce around for a while. Aside from looking at the best-by date — which isn’t the be-all, end-all — you’ll see some bacterial growth in the form of fuzziness.

Salad Dressing

A dressing will usually go bad anywhere between a month and four months after opening. Creamy dressings like ranch, blue cheese and Caesar won’t last longer than one or two months. Oil and vinegar-based dressings like Italian or balsamic can last you three or four months if you store them properly in the fridge. Salad dressings, like anything else, will last longer when there are more preservatives and additional ingredients. Odor and mold are the biggest signs of spoilage. Separation of a creamy salad dressing is also a good indicator that it’s past its prime.


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