How long can foodstuffs last? That’s a question many homeowners in the Upper Valley are asking now that they are spending considerably more time at home and preparing meals. The longevity of different condiments, jams, jellies, dips, sauces and similar items depends on if and when they are opened and how they are stored.
You can better track the useful life of the contents of your refrigerator and pantry by labeling jars and bottles with the date that they are opened. Don’t rely on use-by dates to determine useful life if something has already been opened. Store items that don’t need to be refrigerated before and after opening in a cool, dark place advises the Ohio State University Extension. Avoid storing foodstuffs in a warmer cabinet, in the oven, dishwasher or near the refrigerator exhaust.
Certain items that are typically stored in the pantry can have their freshness extended if they are stored in the refrigerator. These include: mustard, mayo, barbeque sauce, ketchup, soy and teriyaki sauces, Worcestershire sauce and salsa. Refrigerating sauces and condiments helps to maintain their freshness for longer periods. It’s more about taste than shelf life.
If you believe that many products can be used past their expiration dates, always check for suspicious odors, discoloration, mold or other signs that the product has gone off.
The following guidelines were derived from information on Foodkeeper (it has an app you can use to track), foodsafety.gov and Kansas State University Cooperative Extension.
|Product||Unopened and Unrefrigerated Shelf Life||Opened and Refrigerated Shelf Life|
|Barbeque Sauce||1 year||4 months|
|Chutney||1 year||1 to 2 months|
|Hoisin Sauce||18 to 24 months||3 to 6 months|
|Honey||2 years||Store in pantry|
|Horseradish||12 months (if refrigerated)||3 to 4 months|
|Hot Sauce||9 to 12 months||6 months|
|Jams, Jellies, Preserves||6 to 18 months||6 to 12 months|
|Jarred Pesto||6 to 9 months||7 days|
|Jarred Spaghetti Sauce||18 months||4 days|
|Ketchup||1 year||6 months|
|Maple Syrup||12 months||Longer if refrigerated|
|Mayo||3 to 6 months||2 months|
|Mustard||1 to 2 years||1 year|
|Oyster Sauce||18 to 24 months||3 to 6 months|
|Natural Peanut Butter||1 year||3 to 4 months|
|Regular Peanut Butter||6 to 9 months/1 year (if refrigerated)||2 to 3 months (in pantry)/3 to 4 months (if refrigerated)|
|Pickles||1 year||1 to 3 months|
|Relish||2.5 years||9 months|
|Salad Dressing||10 to 12 months||1 to 3 months|
|Salsa||1 year||1 month|
|Soy or Teriyaki Sauce||3 years||1 month|
|Tahini||1 year||3 weeks|
|Vinegar||2 years||1 year|
|Worcestershire Sauce||1 year||1 year|
For additional guidance for storing your food, organizing your kitchen or creating the kitchen your dreams, call our showroom at 603-448-9700 or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.