Does Worcestershire Sauce Go Bad?

Worcestershire sauce – that savory, tangy addition that gives a special kick to so many dishes. But when you pulled it out from the back of your fridge, you probably asked yourself, “does Worcestershire sauce go bad?”

In this post, we’ll explore the world of Worcestershire sauce and dive into its shelf life and storage tips.

Does Worcestershire Sauce Go Bad?

Worcestershire sauce is a delicious condiment that can be used to marinate all kinds of meat or served as a dipping sauce. It’s slightly salty but carries an irresistibly savory taste. Because it is so salty, it does last a long time, but it doesn’t last forever. 

Worcestershire sauce has a shelf life of about 18 months to 3 years once it has been opened. An unopened bottle of Worcestershire sauce can last much longer, maybe even up to 5 years. It is recommended, however, to check the best-by date of your Worcestershire sauce before using it in a dish. 

Even if your Worcestershire is slightly past date, this doesn’t mean that using it will make you sick. The flavor of Worcestershire sauce degrades very slowly, meaning it might not taste as amazing as you remember it when you consume it past the best-by date. 

Want to learn how best to store your Worcestershire sauce to keep it good for as long as possible? Read on to learn all the facts about this condiment as well as how to tell when it has gone bad. 

How to Store Worcestershire Sauce

If you are like everyone else in this world, then you probably think you need to keep your Worcestershire sauce in the fridge after it has been opened. Surprisingly, this is not the case. 

While keeping your Worcestershire sauce in the fridge will help it to last the full 3 years, you can actually safely keep Worcestershire sauce in your pantry. Specifically, it just needs to be kept in a cool, dry place, away from the rays of the sun.

Do be cautious, though, because if you do decide to keep your Worcestershire sauce in the pantry or cupboard, it will likely only last about 18 months and will need to be thrown away once it reaches the best-by date on the bottle. 

Also, as you are putting away your Worcestershire sauce, you will want to ensure you screw the lid on tightly, as this will keep the sauce fresh for a longer period of time.

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How to Tell if Worcestershire Sauce is Bad

As previously mentioned, it is a bit difficult to know when Worcestershire sauce has gone bad. This is because it takes an extremely long time to actually get to the point where you can no longer consume it. There is a much larger chance you will add it to a dish and find that it doesn’t add the flavor oomf that it used to. 

But if your Worcestershire sauce is past the date, you will want to do the following before you add it to a dish:

Check the Bottle

Worcestershire sauce should not release gas. If you open the bottle and hear gas escape, this is a sign that the sauce has gone bad. You should also check the bottle for signs of expansion, as this is a clear indicator that the sauce has gone bad and is rotting. 

Inspect for Signs of Mold

Very old Worcestershire sauce can mold, so take a good look at yours before pouring it into a dish. Do you see any white floating fuzz? Or maybe some inside the lid? If so, throw the sauce out immediately. 

Smell Test

Take a whiff of your Worcestershire sauce. If it smells sour, or even just different than normal, it’s best to throw it away rather than chance that it could make you sick

Do You Need to Refrigerate Worcestershire Sauce?

While refrigerating Worcestershire sauce is recommended to keep it fresh for longer, it is not required, and you can safely leave your sauce in a cupboard or pantry as long as it is closed and away from direct heat and sunlight.

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Does Worcestershire Sauce Last After Expiration?

Worcestershire sauce can indeed last even after the expiration date has passed. If your sauce is already opened, as long as it is still within 3 years of the expiration date, it is likely still good. You will want to check for signs it has gone bad before you use it, however. 

If your Worcestershire sauce is unopened, then it is likely good for 5 years after the expiration date. But, as always, check for signs that it has gone bad before using it on a cut of meat!

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Is It Okay to Use Expired Worcestershire Sauce?

It is possible for you to use expired Worcestershire sauce because this sauce is frequently still good, even past its best-by date. If it is only a few days or a month past, you can likely add it to a recipe without worry. 

If it is a long time past the expiration date, however, you need to know that the quality of the sauce may have degraded. Before you add it to a recipe, you will want to check for signs that it has gone bad, as well as taste a small bit for yourself to see if it should still be added to your recipe. If the sauce is tasteless, even if it doesn’t have signs of mold, it is better to just throw it out rather than add it to a dish. 

And, when in doubt, throw out the bottle and buy a new one. 

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How Long is Worcestershire Sauce Good?

Worcestershire sauce is typically good for 18 months to 3 years after it has been opened. Before it has been opened, it can last up to 5 years.

What if There is Sediment in My Worcestershire Sauce?

When a bottle of Worcestershire sauce has been open for a while, it will sometimes get a ring of sediment around the top near the opening. This is not bad, and it is likely your sauce is still good. You will just want to shake the bottle before you use it in order to dissolve the sediment.

If you’re going through your fridge right now, check out how long your other leftovers and condiments can last.

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Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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