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How Long Do Condiments Last? A Definitive Guide.

Wondering "do condiments really expire"? Use this guide on how long condiments last to decide what can stay and what needs to go.

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Sauce Sachets On Green BackgroundMark Weiss/Getty Images

How Long Do Condiment Packets Last?

Just about everyone has a smattering of condiment packets from fast food joints in their fridge. Here’s how long each of these packets last:

Indefinitely: Honey, salt and sugar

Four years: Vinegar, hot sauces and pepper

Three years: Jam and jelly

Two years: Parmesan, soy sauce, mustard, oil and taco sauce

One year: Barbecue sauce, tartar sauce, mayo, ketchup, relish and salad dressing

If you’re not sure when you got a condiment, check to see if there is a “best-by” date on the packet. If not, open it up and see if it smells or looks off. It’s always better to err on the side of caution. Did you know there are foods you can keep past the expiration date?

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BBQ Sauce in Measuring CupMichelle Lee Photography/Shutterstock

How Long Does BBQ Sauce Last?

Whether it’s smoky and sweet or hot and spicy, you can store an unopened bottle of barbecue sauce in your pantry for up to a year. Once opened, it’ll keep in the pantry for another month, or in the refrigerator for four months. Go ahead and stock up on the best barbecue sauce brands in the USA.

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Pouring aromatic honey into jar, closeupAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

How Long Does Honey Last?

Believe it or not, honey doesn’t expire as long as it’s stored correctly. Keep that jar of honey sealed and in the pantry until you’re ready to enjoy it. Once opened, honey can stay in the pantry, just make sure to screw the lid back on tightly. If you notice your honey is forming crystals, it’s still perfectly safe to eat. Discover surprising ways to cook with honey.

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Spicy Hot Organic Red Buffalo Saucebhofack2/Getty Images

Does Hot Sauce Expire?

Given its spicy ingredients, hot sauce has a super-long shelf life. An open bottle of hot sauce can be stored in the pantry for six months or in the refrigerator (where it will remain fresher) for one to two years. Before it’s opened, hot sauce can hang out in the pantry for 3-4 years. Check out our ultimate guide to hot sauces to figure out which sauce is best for you.

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Classic hummusTaste of Home

How Long Does Hummus Last?

Whether served with pita chips or chopped vegetables, hummus is a convenient and healthy treat. Store packaged hummus in the refrigerator, unopened, until the “best-by” date printed on the side. After opening, hummus is best used within seven days. This is our Test Kitchen’s favorite homemade hummus recipe, which lasts in the fridge for up to a week.

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Peach raspberry jamTaste of Home

How Long Is Jam Good For?

Jams, jellies and preserves will remain fresh for up to three years before being opened. These sweet spreads should be used six to twelve months after opening when stored in the refrigerator. By the way, this is the difference between jam, jelly and other preserves.

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fresh tomato ketchup in dishneil langan/Shutterstock

How Long Does Ketchup Last?

Did you know that the average American eats 71 pounds of ketchup annually? That’s a lot of tomatoes! An open bottle of ketchup should be used within six months if stored in the refrigerator or one year if stored, unopened, in the pantry. This same timeline applies to cocktail sauce and chili paste, too. Here are more crazy facts about ketchup.

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Mayonnaise in a glass jar with a spoon on white wooden boards.sasha2109/Shutterstock

How Long Does Mayo Last?

Tangy and sweet, mayo is delicious on a BLT sandwich or in a chicken salad. An open jar of mayo stored in the refrigerator should be used within two months of opening. Before it’s opened, a jar of mayo will last in the pantry for about three months. And yes, mayo is the secret to a super-moist chocolate cake.

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Fresh made Mustard on a vintage background (close-up shot); Shutterstock ID 562035217HandmadePictures/Shutterstock

Can Mustard Go Bad?

Perfect as a hot dog topper or pretzel dipper, mustard has a great shelf life. Keep unopened mustard in your pantry for about two years. An open bottle can be stored for one year in the refrigerator. These are our favorite recipes to make with mustard.

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Variety of homemade sauces and salad dressings in mason jars including vinaigrette, ranch and honey mustardElena Veselova/Shutterstock

How Long Does Salad Dressing Last?

We can’t be the only ones with at least four different varieties of salad dressing open at the same time, right? Salad dressing should be stored in the refrigerator and used within three months after opening. Before they’re opened, you can store those bottles at room temperature for a year. These are the healthiest salad dressings you can buy.

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Homemade yogurt or sour cream in a rustic bowl; Shutterstock ID 369768824Fortyforks/Shutterstock

What Is the Average Sour Cream Shelf Life?

Whether used as a creamy dip or a topping for a baked potato, sour cream is a versatile condiment. After opening a container of sour cream, store it in the refrigerator and use it up within 1-3 weeks.

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How Long Does Soy Sauce Last?

This condiment—made from fermented soybeans and wheat—is a popular marinade ingredient that adds a delicious umami flavor. An open bottle of soy sauce can be stored for three years in the refrigerator. When unopened, soy sauce can be kept in your pantry indefinitely.

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Homemade canned spaghetti sauceTaste of Home

How Long Can You Keep Pasta Sauce in the Fridge?

Spaghetti is one of our favorite easy weeknight dinners, and you can keep a jar of sauce in your pantry for two years. After opening a jar of pasta sauce, it should be stored in the refrigerator and used within four days. By the way—we tested 11 jars of spaghetti sauce. This one was our favorite.

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Bowl of tahini with sesame seedsAlexander Prokopenko/Shutterstock

What Is the Shelf Life of Tahini?

This sesame seed-based condiment is a staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. An open jar of tahini can be stored for one year in pantry or for three weeks in the refrigerator. Tahini is the star ingredient in this halva recipe.

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Pineapple Chutney With CrackersLauriPatterson/Getty Images

How Long Does Chutney Last?

Whether it’s mango, pineapple or another flavor, unopened chutney can stay in your cupboard for up to a year. After the jar has been opened, store the chutney in your fridge for up to two months. Use chutney to top your favorite Indian recipes.

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Worcestershire sauce in dishneil langan/Shutterstock

What Is the Shelf Life of Worcestershire Sauce?

Hard to say, but easy to store. Keep an open bottle of Worcestershire sauce for up to three years in the refrigerator.

Next, read up on the long shelf life foods you should always have in your pantry.

Susan Bronson
Susan Bronson is a writer and editor based in Northern Wisconsin.
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