Does Ketchup Go Bad? And Much More!

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Wondering if ketchup can go bad? We are, too — and we’ve found the answer. Find out what you can do stop your condiments from going bad in this article!

Does Ketchup Go Bad? And Much More!
Does Ketchup Go Bad And Much More

Yes, ketchup can go bad, much like any other condiment. However, there are some distinctions on how it can go bad, and how you would be able to tell if it has.

To know how to properly store ketchup, the average ketchup shelf life, and how you can use old ketchup, you can read this article.

So, how long does ketchup last? Let’s find out more below:

How Long Does Ketchup Last?

It depends!

It can last around 3-6 months if the unopened bottle of ketchup is left in the pantry.

An opened bottle of ketchup, however, will last only a month in the pantry. If you store the ketchup in the fridge, the shelf life lengthens. It can last anywhere from 6 months to a year.

How Long Does Homemade Ketchup Last?

Homemade ketchup can last for around a week in the fridge. As it’s not pasteurized compared to store-bought ketchup, it’s not safe from all the microbes possible! It only has natural preservatives.

Homemade ketchup is susceptible to spoilage easily due to such an acidic environment. Acidic conditions will let microbes grow much faster.

Consume homemade ketchup within a week. It’s advisable to do so before you end up with a lot of expired ketchup in your hands. Proper food storage with homemade ketchup should have the product in the refrigerator as much as possible.

How to Tell If Ketchup Has Gone Bad

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How to Tell If Ketchup Has Gone Bad

Can ketchup go bad? Definitely. You have to be on the watch for the signs so you can decide whether to throw out the bottle or not.

There are some common signs to see if you have bad ketchup in your hands. You can tell if ketchup has gone bad with the signs below:

  1. Mold Has Started to Form

Mold can form along the neck of the bottle. Once you see that, it’s confirmation that what you’ve got is spoiled ketchup. Throw it away and buy a new bottle!

Another way to tell is if ketchup has started to separate into watery liquid and a heavier, tomato paste-like consistency.

A bloated bottle is rare, but you might notice the neck of the ketchup bottle bloating when it’s spoiled.

  1. It Smells Sour

If you have an unopened ketchup bottle, it’s time to open it up to smell it. Anytime condiments smell sour, it’s a bad sign. A yeast-like odor may happen as well.

  1. The Taste is Different

If you want to confirm if the ketchup has really gone bad, you can also open it up to taste it. Yes, usually, ketchup already tastes sour, but you’ll know when a spoiled taste has come.

A sour, off taste will confirm if it’s time to discard ketchup bottles into the trash.

What About the Best-By Date?

The printed date on the bottle is there as a guide. However, a best-by printed date doesn’t always mean your ketchup has expired or spoiled. It only means that the best quality of your ketchup is best consumed by a certain time.

Food Storage 101: How to Store Ketchup

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How to Store Ketchup

Food storage is pretty straightforward with most condiments.

Ketchup is the same. There’s nothing out of the ordinary in storing opened and unopened ketchup. Simply put the ketchup bottle inside the pantry or the refrigerator. You may prefer the latter, as ketchup lasts longer there.

As much as possible, you should keep it in its original container and leave it in a cool place. A dark place is also preferable to keep it away from sunlight!

If you’re going to transfer it, keep it in an airtight container.

If you need ketchup to last for a long time, you can choose to freeze ketchup in an ice cube tray. Take them out when needed – just a cube or two according to your needs – and let the others sit in the tray for as long as you like!

The Shelf Life of Condiments

Don’t let ketchup expire! Here’s a guide to its shelf life, along with other condiments:

Ketchup

The shelf life of ketchup is around 3-6 months in the pantry. The shelf life of ketchup, however, can be extended by putting it in the fridge, which puts it at around a year.

You can take a look at the best by date on the label, but it’s not an expiration date. It’s only when it can be safely used in your meals. Knowing if it’s expired depends on how it looks, smells, and tastes.

Mustard

The shelf life of mustard is longer than one might think — it’s around one to two years in the the pantry itself! However, it can be cut down to a year once opened. Remember to look at the expiration date as a guide.

Mayonnaise

Unopened, it can last at least a couple of months to three months. Opened, it’s best consumed within a month or so. Look at the printed date as a guide for when you can eat it.

Where to Use Your Ketchup

Food costs a lot these days, so you don’t want any part of your pantry to go to waste.

Want to use up your ketchup before it expires? More than a mere condiment, ketchup is also an ingredient you can use in many meals. Here are some examples to get you started, may it new or old ketchup sitting around in your pantry:

  1. Omurice
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Omurice

This beloved meal comes from Japan! It’s quick and easy to make, and delicious, too. Fry up onion and chicken before adding rice and mixed vegetables. Add your ketchup and some soy sauce before mixing it all together!

Now that you have your rice, put it in another container and prepare the eggs. Make a fluffy omelette and fold it on top of a cup of rice. Drizzle some ketchup onto the egg and rice, and you’re good to go!

  1. Glazes

Ketchup can be used for glazes before its shelf life catches up to it. You can blend it with other condiments and ingredients from your pantry, including soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and mustard. You can easily add it to your food and it will definitely enhance the taste of meals!

  1. Dips
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Dips

For dips, you can mix it with sour cream and Worcestershire sauce. Or maybe you want a deeper flavor and bright red look with teriyaki sauce and dark brown sugar.

  1. Sweet and Sour Sauce
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Sweet and Sour Sauce

Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and finally, your tomato ketchup. If you don’t have tomato ketchup, tomato sauce is also a good alternative. Just mix it all together and you’re good to go. You can use it for a variety of meals!

  1. Chicken with Ketchup
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Chicken with Ketchup

Simply take some boneless chicken thighs and fry both sides until golden brown. Then, remove it from the pan. Fry in some cayenne peppers and garlic before adding ketchup. Let it simmer to a thicker liquid before adding in the chicken and mixing them all together.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long ketchup lasts is finally answered! Now, let’s turn to your other questions:

Is it OK to eat expired ketchup?

No, it’s not OK to eat expired ketchup. You could suffer from various health issues if you do so, and there’s no telling what the adverse effects can be immediately after you consume it!

How long can you eat ketchup after expiration date?

Look for signs of spoilage first. There are times expiration dates aren’t accurate, or you could be look at the best by date on the label. Some ketchups can still be consumed after a prolonged period of time, months past the date.
If there are no signs of spoilage, you can take a gamble and use it in your meals. If it hasn’t been properly stored, and has been exposed to fresh air and direct sunlight, it might not be good to eat it.

How long is opened ketchup good for?

Ketchup should have a pretty long shelf life. It can retain quality up to a year or two.

Is it OK to eat expired ketchup?

No, it’s not OK to eat expired ketchup. You could suffer from various health issues if you do so, and there’s no telling what the adverse effects can be immediately after you consume it!

How long can you eat ketchup after expiration date?

Look for signs of spoilage first. There are times expiration dates aren’t accurate, or you could be look at the best by date on the label. Some ketchups can still be consumed after a prolonged period of time, months past the date.

If there are no signs of spoilage, you can take a gamble and use it in your meals. If it hasn’t been properly stored, and has been exposed to fresh air and direct sunlight, it might not be good to eat it.

Now, if it’s showing signs of spoilage, your ketchup is bad and you should throw it out!

How long is opened ketchup good for?

Ketchup should have a pretty long shelf life. It can retain quality up to a year in the fridge.

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