Here’s How Long Condiments Really Last (2022)

We know you have a collection of condiments in your fridge or pantry, but here's how long you can safely use them.

Here’s How Long Condiments Really Last (1)Yulia Furman/Shutterstock

Whether it’s the ketchup you only pull out for summer barbecues or some fancy dressing you used six months ago to make a dip for your friend’s party, there are bound to be a few half-used bottles of condiments clogging up the shelves in your fridge. You might think it’s a good idea to keep them around to reduce your food waste, but a lot of condiments have a shorter shelf life than people realize.

Yes, condiments are going to last you a lot longer than a bag of chips or fresh fruit, but you should still pay attention to the “use by” date. Condiments are shelf-stable foods and can be stored unopened in the pantry for long periods of time. Optimal storage is in a dry, cool area below 85 degrees Fahrenheit, or in the fridge (if the condiment should be refrigerated after being opened) with a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Make sure you never eat these 13 foods past their expiration date.

The Food Marketing Institute recommends that you follow these guidelines and always read package labels before consuming the food.

Barbecue sauce

  • Unopened in pantry: 12 months
  • Refrigerator after opening: 4 months
  • In pantry after opening: 1 month

Ketchup, Cocktail, or Chili sauce

  • Unopened in pantry: 12 months
  • Refrigerator after opening: 6 months
  • In pantry after opening: 1 month

Chutney

  • Unopened in pantry: 12 months
  • Refrigerator after opening: 1-2 months

Horseradish in jar

  • Unopened in pantry: 12 months
  • Refrigerator after opening: 3-4 months

Mayonnaise

  • Unopened in pantry: 2-3 months
  • Refrigerator after opening: 2 months

Mustard

  • Unopened in pantry: 12 months
  • Refrigerator after opening: 12 months
  • In pantry after opening: 1 month

Olives (black and green)

  • Unopened in pantry: 12-18 months
  • Refrigerator after opening: 2 weeks

Pickles

(Video) This Is How Long Condiments Really Last In Your Fridge

  • Unopened in pantry: 12 months
  • Refrigerator after opening: 1-2 weeks

Salad Dressings

  • Unopened in pantry: 10-12 months
  • Refrigerator after opening: 3 months

Salsa, Picante, and taco sauces

  • Unopened in pantry: 12 months
  • Refrigerator after opening: 1 month

While you’re looking through your pantry for expirations dates, store these foods that should never be kept in the pantry elsewhere.

The Best Refrigerators to Buy in 2019

1 / 10

Best Side-By-Side: Kenmore, with Grab-N-Go Door

The benefit of a side-by-side refrigerator is its accessibility. People find the design incredibly functional in comparison to a French door refrigerator because the freezer compartment is more accessible. If accessibility is important to you, you'll love this beauty from Kenmore.The refrigerator offers a slim design with a 26.1 cu. ft capacity that allows you to store fresh groceries or leftovers while still providing room for party trays. The adjustable glass shelving is particularly helpful, as it lets you customize your organization based on what you're currently trying to accommodate in your fridge. You'll also find a gallon jug door bin and clear crisper drawers. And, bright LED lighting allows you to take stock easily.Perhaps the coolest feature is the Grab-N-Go door that gives you easy access to your snacks, leftovers, drinks and more at the touch of a button. Along with being functional, the door adds an aesthetic appeal guests will love.The GeniusCool technology is another benefit to this side-by-side. It moves clean air throughout the fridge, while working in unison with an electronic temperature management system and an air filter to help maintain proper temperatures and food freshness.Furthermore, the freezer provides ample space thanks to the in-door ice dispenser.These six maintenance steps will prevent most refrigerator breakdowns.

Best WiFi Enabled: LG French Door Smart Refrigerator

This stainless steel beauty is a smart home lover's dream because it incorporates SmartThinQ technology. Download the app, and then you can take advantage of all of the smart functions. Here are some of them: monitor the contents of your fridge; get notified if you left the door open; voice support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can order food from Peapod or add to a shopping list.Plus: Learn the best way for how to clean stainless steel refrigerators.Within the fridge you'll find four split glass shelves, a four-compartment crisper system, nine adjustable door bins and a three-tier organization freezer system to help keep food organized and accessible. There's even a smart-pull freezer handle that makes opening and closing the freezer a breeze.Other notable features include the door-in-door feature that makes it easier to access snacks and drinks without letting cold air out, and Smart Cooling Plus that's designed to monitor and maintain conditions to help keep food fresh.Check out these 14 cool tech gadgets that turn your home into a smart house.

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Best Luxury: Sub-Zero Side-By-Side

If you're building your dream kitchen, then dream appliances are a must. The Sub-Zero 42-inch built-in side-by-side refrigerator features the most advanced food preservation technology on the market, so your greens won't wilt and your fruit won't wrinkle even weeks after you've brought them home, according to the manufacturer. Inspired by NASA, the technology ensures everything from ethylene gas to airborne bacteria, molds and viruses are continuously removed.Within the refrigerator you'll find four adjustable glass shelves, three adjustable door shelves and an adjustable dairy compartment.The freezer's design ensures things remain organized and in clear view. There are three adjustable wire shelves, three storage drawers and five adjustable shelves along the door.Get inspired for your kitchen remodel with these incredible ideas.

Best Budget: Insignia Top-Freezer Refrigerator

Maybe you're more interested in something simple for your home. Perhaps you just want a backup refrigerator in your garage or basement. Or, maybe you're looking for an affordable yet reliable fridge to give your adult child who is moving into their first home! Whatever the case, if you want quality on a budget, you'll find it with this Insignia model.This entry-level refrigerator features shelves that adjust to accommodate tall items and self-leveling legs that make installation easy. You can expect plenty of space for your produce, meats, leftovers and more in this refrigerator and freezer combo, which is 30 inches wide and has a full 18 cubic feet of space.Check out these cool tips for a garage refrigerator or freezer.

Here’s How Long Condiments Really Last (6)via Samsung

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Best Bottom Freezer: Samsung 4-DoorFlex

Bottom freezer refrigerators are ideal for those who don't depend on the freezer portion nearly as much as the rest of the refrigerator. They allow the most used items in the fridge to remain easily accessible. The Samsung 4-DoorFlex pulls out all the stops, with its French doors on top and a freezer on the bottom offering two separate compartments.This model's versatility is incredible, especially for those looking for more fresh food space, but with the option to boost frozen storage when needed. Turn the bottom right freezer compartment into a refrigerated section for when you need more storage for fresh foods. Later, when your frozen food storage needs increase, you can set the compartment back to freezer mode.Other notable features include the tall external filtered ice and water dispenser, digital touch controls and a triple cooling system.Straighten a crooked fridge door in less than five minutes. Or, replace a damaged door gasket.Buy it now on Amazon.

Best Top Freezer: LG Top Freezer with Ice Maker

Top freezers are great for those who like to use their freezer regularly. LG's 23.8 cu. ft. refrigerator allows you to store plenty of food in the fridge, and provides easy access to frozen items you use regularly.Notable features include tempered glass shelving and a variety of bins and drawers to help you keep everything organized for easy access. You can also expect LED panels located on the rear of the refrigerator that make for a bright interior.The freezer is complete with an automatic ice maker so you'll always have ice on hand.Here's why you should put an envelope in the freezer!

Best French Door: GE Refrigerator with Door-in-Door

There's a lot to be excited about with this GE French door refrigerator! As aesthetically pleasing as it is functional, it's packed with features, like an innovative door design that provides quick access to food and drinks, a second ice maker option, advanced water filtration that uses RPWFE replacement filter that reduces trace pharmaceuticals from water and ice, showcase LED lighting and five spill-proof glass shelves.The evaporators in this refrigerator separate climates in the fresh food and freezer sections, and with the right settings, provide a boost of cold air to restore interior temperature for optimum food freshness.Here's how to reverse a refrigerator door so it opens from the other side.

Here’s How Long Condiments Really Last (9) via Frigidaire

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Best Aesthetic: Frigidaire with French Doors

The best looking refrigerator is definitely in the eye of the beholder, but often the sleeker the better! This Frigidaire four-door refrigerator with adjustable storage options is a sight for sore eyes. The lack of door handles gives it a clean, classy, minimalist look.The glass shelves can be adjusted to fit your needs, the dual crisper drawers keep fruits and vegetables fresh longer and everything is easy to see thanks to the bright LED lighting. The freezer portions can also be adjusted to fit various frozen items.Replacing a refrigerator? Read this first.

Best Large Capacity: Super Capacity 4-Door with CustomChill Drawer

Big families with big appetites require a large capacity refrigerator to keep things organized, fresh and accessible. This LG fridge is a topnotch option. Featuring a French door design, its unique design is matched by its supreme functionality.The CustomChill drawer provides extra, adaptable space, serving as an additional refrigerator or soft freezer. It also has adjustable dividers that help keep things organized and accessible.You'll also love the easy-to-reach compartments that are right in front and ideal for storing small snacks, the two humidity-controlled crisper drawers, a full-width Glide-N-Serve drawer and a bonus drawer for fruits and vegetables.Here's how to install a refrigerator water filter.

Here’s How Long Condiments Really Last (11)

Best Overall: Maytag 36-In French Door Refrigerator

<For a French door refrigerator that marries style and functionality, Maytag's 36-inch 25 c.u. ft. French door refrigerator tops the list. The fingerprint-resistant stainless steel makes for a beautiful aesthetic that stays clean without effort.Dual crispers feature a humidity-controlled system that keeps your fruits and vegetables fresher longer. The Power Cold function brings food back to safe temperatures after long grocery trips, while the dedicated deli drawer offers convenient storage for cold cuts and specialty cheeses. It also features a slide-out function that makes it perfect for storing party trays —and it's deceptively large!You can organize contents with ease thanks to the three adjustable half-width shelves and three adjustable gallon-capacity door bins.The full-width lower freezer drawer is equally impressive, with its upper and lower wire slide-out freezer basket and LED lighting. The layout feels organized and roomy.Bottom line: This refrigerator offers you a little bit of everything. It's affordable, aesthetically pleasing and spacious.You should also check out the 10 best reviewed refrigerators on Amazon. Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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FAQs

How long do condiments last past expiration date? ›

Mayonnaise: 2-3 months after the “Use by” or “Best by” date. Miso: 1 1/2 years. Mustard: 1 year. Olives: 1 year or date on the package (jarred or canned), 2-3 months (from the deli)

How long do condiments from restaurants last? ›

Guidelines:
CondimentFor Optimal Flavor
Mayonnaise1 year
Relish1 year
BBQ Sauce1 year
Tartar Sauce1 year
17 more rows

How long do homemade condiments last? ›

We recommend consuming dressings and sauces within 3-4 days to be safe. Food safety aside, we tend to prefer the taste of freshly made dressings, especially when using citrus, yogurt or garlic, and find that 3-4 days is the sweet spot.

Do packaged condiments expire? ›

Yes, they spoil. They lose their flavor over time, and those plasticky metal packets only go so far to protect the spicy flavor that's buried inside of the casing. Same with ketchup, mayo, mustard, BBQ sauce, or relish.

What condiment never expires? ›

Soy Sauce

So if your soy sauce is properly sealed and stored in a dark cupboard, it will stay perfectly usable indefinitely.

Is it OK to eat expired condiments? ›

While nonperishable foods are generally safe, make sure you never eat these foods past their expiration date! Condiments are shelf-stable foods and can be stored unopened in the pantry for long periods of time.

What condiments have the longest shelf life? ›

Information
  • ketchup, cocktail or chili sauce 6 months.
  • chutney, 1 to 2 months.
  • horseradish, 3 to 4 months.
  • mustard, 12 months.
  • olives 2 weeks.
  • pickles, 1-3 months..
17 Jul 2019

What condiments last the longest? ›

Here's how long each of these packets last:
  • Indefinitely: Honey, salt and sugar.
  • 4 years: Vinegar, hot sauces and pepper.
  • 3 years: Jam and jelly.
  • 2 years: Parmesan, soy sauce, mustard, oil and taco sauce.
  • 1 year: Barbecue sauce, tartar sauce, mayo, ketchup, relish and salad dressing.
28 Sept 2022

What condiments should never be refrigerated? ›

Common condiments that don't require refrigeration include soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, honey and hot sauce. Feingold says vinegars and olive oil (stored in a cool, dark place) are pantry-bound; coconut oil is actually best kept out of the fridge since it hardens below room temperature.

How do you make condiments last longer? ›

Packed with beneficial bacteria, whey can be used to culture condiments like ketchup, salsa, and even mayonnaise. It's the same process that transforms cabbage into sauerkraut, or tea into kombucha, but it takes just 2-4 days and doesn't affect the flavor of whatever you are culturing.

Does ketchup expire? ›

Yes, ketchup and other condiments do expire.

How do you store condiments long term? ›

Most condiments are processed to be shelf stable. This means they can sit for long periods of time on shelves without spoiling. You can store most shelf-stable condiments safely at room temperature, even after you open them. Brands tell you to refrigerate their products because they stay fresh longer that way.

How long can you keep unopened condiments? ›

Ketchup: 1 years; 6 months (see note above on shelf-stable). Maple syrup: Consume within 12 months if stored in pantry, refrigeration will extend life. Mayonnaise: 3 to 6 months; 2 months (see note above on shelf-stable). Mustard: 1 to 2 years; 1 year (see note above on shelf-stable).

Do mustard and mayo packets expire? ›

Yes, they do go bad eventually.

How long do individual packets of condiments last? ›

That said, here are the best estimates for how long to keep packets of various condiments: One year for mayo, relish, BBQ sauce, tartar sauce, horseradish sauce, maple syrup, salad dressings and ketchup. One to two years for olive oil, Parmesan cheese, taco sauce, mustard and soy sauce.

Can canned food last 20 years? ›

Most shelf-stable foods are safe indefinitely. In fact, canned goods will last for years, as long as the can itself is in good condition (no rust, dents, or swelling).

What is the only food that Cannot expire? ›

According to Eat By Date, granulated white sugar, white sugar cubes, raw sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, sugar substitute, Equal, and Sweet n Low all last indefinitely. Although their textures might change, sugar never completely expires.

What is the only food that never spoils? ›

HoneyHoney is the only food that actually lasts forever and never spoils. We can thank nature for the whole process of making and procuring honey. It is made using the nectar of the flowers which mixes with the enzymes extracted by the bees.

Why do restaurants not refrigerate ketchup? ›

In terms of safety, there's no real need to refrigerate ketchup. Tomatoes and vinegar, the main components in ketchup, help preserve the condiment at room temperature due to their natural acidity.

Do sugar packets expire? ›

"Technically sugar never spoils," explain food safety experts from the US Department of Agriculture's Food Service and Inspection Service, though they do add, "for best quality it is recommended to use within two years of opening."

Does mustard expire? ›

Does mustard go bad? No, mustard doesn't go bad, but it can lose its flavor in the long run, or when not properly stored.

Does hot sauce ever really expire? ›

In general, any hot sauce will have a pretty decent shelf life. That's because most contain vinegar and chili peppers as essential ingredients. It's safe to say that an opened bottle of vinegar-based hot sauce could last three-to-five years if its refrigerated, and unopened could last even longer.

What unopened food lasts longest? ›

1. Dried beans. Just like with rice, if you properly package dried beans they can last for up to 30 years. To get the longest shelf life out of dried beans they have to be stored in air-tight containers with moisture prevention to prevent the spoilage that happens in kept foods.

Which is the oldest condiment since 1814? ›

Colman's
An old Colman's advert at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre
Product typeMustard
CountryNorfolk, East Anglia, England
Introduced1814
Previous ownersReckitt & Colman (now Reckitt Benckiser)
1 more row

What condiments can survive a power outage? ›

Condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, relishes, piquant sauce, oil and vinegar-based salad dressings, Worcestershire sauce and steak sauces should be fine. The acid in them is a natural preservative. Jams, jellies, preserves and syrups are all right, too, because sugar is a preservative.

Is expired mayonnaise safe? ›

As long as the product has been stored properly, your mayonnaise should be good for three to four months after the best before date.

What is the least popular condiment? ›

According to the results of a survey conducted in June 2021, the most hated condiment by consumers in the United States is hot sauce, with approximately 24 percent of respondents indicating that they hate hot sauce. In second place was relish, which was hated by around 21 percent of respondents.

Why you should not keep eggs in the fridge? ›

The eggs stored in cold temperature tend to undergo condensation when they are taken out to room temperature. This promotes the growth of bacteria over the egg shell, thereby contaminating the egg and making it harmful for human consumption.

Why do we keep eggs in the fridge? ›

Cleaning the eggs removes the cuticle, so the eggs must be kept at refrigeration temperature. Otherwise, the bacteria could easily enter the egg and multiply to dangerous levels. By keeping it out of the danger zone, salmonella can't multiply rapidly.

What condiments need to be throw out after power outage? ›

If opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish, commercial garlic in oil or other spreads (or any salads made with those items) have been held at 50 degrees or above for more than eight hours, discard them.

Should mustard be refrigerated? ›

While refrigeration will help maintain flavor, it's not necessary to refrigerate if you prefer to consume your mustard at room temperature. The recommended shelf life from the date of manufacture of French's Mustard is 18 months in a squeeze bottle, and 24 months in a glass jar.”

Should ketchup be refrigerated? ›

“Because of its natural acidity, Heinz Ketchup is shelf-stable. However, its stability after opening can be affected by storage conditions. We recommend that this product be refrigerated after opening to maintain the best product quality.”

Is it OK to use expired Dijon mustard? ›

But, like many other products, mustard may have a best by date or use by date which is simply the last date by which a manufacturer will vouch for a product's quality, not its safety. Because of this distinction, you may safely use your mustard after the use by date has expired.

Does tomato sauce expire? ›

Generally, homemade tomato sauce will last for three to five days; however, as long as it doesn't contain cream or cheese, you can easily freeze it in airtight quart containers. "You can freeze any unused sauce in an airtight container, using within six months for the best quality experience," says Birmingham.

Is expired unopened ketchup safe? ›

Expired Ketchup

Ketchup comes with a best-by (or best-if-used-by) date, and that date is about food quality, not safety. It's not an “expiration date”, but rather a producer's estimate of how long their product should retain quality. That means ketchup should stay safe for some time after the printed date.

Is year old ketchup safe to eat? ›

You can store unopened ketchup for up to a year past the date on the label. Once you open the bottle, it keeps for at least a couple of months (up to a year, depending on the quality and when you open it) in the fridge.

How long does Worcestershire sauce last? ›

How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last? Worcestershire sauce has a shelf life of 1.5 to 3 years and easily lasts way past the printed date. Once you open the bottle, the condiment keeps quality for about a year in the pantry and around 3 years in the fridge, but it stays safe to use much longer.

How long can you keep mustard? ›

Surprisingly, mustard goes hand in hand with ketchup, but it outlasts it in terms of shelf life. If it's in the pantry, mustard is good to use for one to two years after it was bought. If it's in the refrigerator, that gets cut down to one year since it's opened.

How long is Miracle Whip good after expiration date? ›

Refrigerated: Jars of refrigerated and unopened Miracle Whip last up to two months past its best-by date. Unopened bottles have printed instructions in storing miracle whip properly and can last longer in the fridge without completely freezing it.

How long is Miracle Whip good for once opened? ›

Miracle Whip will last for one week past the printed date, but it will stay for a month if it is stored in the refrigerator without completely freezing.

Is unopened expired mayo still good? ›

Is unopened expired mayonnaise still good? This is a question that many people have when they see an old jar of mayonnaise in their refrigerator. The answer is yes, unopened expired mayonnaise is still good. The reason for this is that mayonnaise is a fermented food, and the fermentation process preserves the food.

How long after ketchup expires Is it still good? ›

You can store unopened ketchup for up to a year past the date on the label. Once you open the bottle, it keeps for at least a couple of months (up to a year, depending on the quality and when you open it) in the fridge.

Do condiments go bad in fridge? ›

Bottles of salad dressing should be refrigerated after opening, and it's best to consume them within three months. Check the expiration date and throw away the bottle if it's been damaged in any way (such as a cracked lid). The exposure to air can cause the product to spoil sooner.

How long after expiration can you use ketchup? ›

Unopened ketchup can last 1-2 years beyond a date stamp if taken care of properly, but there are always certain things to look out for in deciding if your ketchup has gone bad. The shelf life of ketchup, regardless of such things as the best by date or use by date, is very long due to the acidic conditions of ketchup.

What is the only thing that doesn't expire? ›

According to Eat By Date, granulated white sugar, white sugar cubes, raw sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, sugar substitute, Equal, and Sweet n Low all last indefinitely. Although their textures might change, sugar never completely expires.

What is the oldest condiment in the world? ›

The first condiment was salt. Salt has always been used both as a preservative and to enhance the flavor of food. Vinegar has also been used since ancient times. Its name is probably derived from the French words vin aiger meaning sour wine.

Is it OK to eat expired mustard? ›

Fair warning, don't eat expired mustard if the taste or consistency seems irregular. It's not necessarily a dangerous undertaking to eat mustard past the best-by date, but at some point, it can become unsafe for consumption.

How long does mayo last after expiration? ›

As long as the product has been stored properly, your mayonnaise should be good for three to four months after the best before date.

Should you throw out condiments after power outage? ›

Condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, relishes, piquant sauce, oil and vinegar-based salad dressings, Worcestershire sauce and steak sauces should be fine. The acid in them is a natural preservative. Jams, jellies, preserves and syrups are all right, too, because sugar is a preservative.

Is it safe to eat expired unopened ketchup? ›

Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the ketchup's texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, it will still be safe to consume if it has been stored properly, the bottle is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below). How can you tell if ketchup is bad or spoiled?

How long can mustard sit out? ›

At room temperature, the mustard will keep its quality for about 1 to 2 months, while refrigerated it should stay in good shape for about a year. One last thing when it comes to storing and shelf life of mustard. Many producers put storage guidelines on the label of their products.

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