Does Tabasco Go Bad? Can It Spoil At All

Quick summary: It’s very unlikely that Tabasco sauce will go bad. It’ll take it years to even consider evolving into something suspicious. Provide minimum storage conditions, and your hot sauce will be a safe cooking companion for a long time. 

If you are not overly in love with hot dishes, the Tabasco sauce you bought probably lasts for several years in the kitchen cupboard. Don’t worry. Most people are tourist lovers of spiciness, so to speak. Well, many probably have the same question: should Tabasco sauce be thrown away after a while, or is it so superhot that bacteria can’t do anything to it?

If you have found yourself in this dilemma, we bring you everything you need to know about this robust sauce, as well as tips on how to preserve its quality for as long as possible.

How Long Does Tabasco Last?

It is difficult to give a wise answer to the question of whether Tabasco sauce can go bad. Yes, it can. But you’re more likely to use it up or lose it in the kitchen rubbish before that happens. We are talking about a very, very slow process. But in theory, yes, the sauce will go bad after a certain amount of time. Here are some general guidelines that may ease your doubts.

Unopened Tabasco sauce 

As long as it is factory-sealed, Tabasco sauce is almost indestructible. Jokes aside, it’s very likely that the sauce will be good for at least five, if not ten, years past the expiration date. This goes without a doubt for the original sauce. Flavored ones may be a little less durable due to other ingredients, but it will definitely be a couple of years after the expiration date written on the label.

Opened Tabasco sauce

From the moment of opening, the sauce may be more exposed to spoilage, especially if you don’t bother to close the cap properly. But you definitely have a lot of time to use up the sauce. We are again talking about years of use before something suspicious starts to happen. Under typical storage conditions, you don’t even have to worry about whether the sauce is good for at least a year or two. If the surrounding states were unfavorable, check for signs of spoilage before consuming.

Can Tabasco Go Bad?

As we mentioned in the previous section, Tabasco sauce can go bad. It really happens very rarely, but it is possible. If you have doubts about whether the dressing is suitable for consumption, check these signs that will tell you if everything is ok.

Sign 1: The smell and taste are off

Tabasco has a strong, very characteristic smell, so if you notice an unusual odor, it may be a spoiled product. If unsure, try a small amount and evaluate whether the product is correct. Anything that deviates from the usual is not recommended, although we have to say that it is possible for the product to fade slightly if it stands for a long time, and that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s spoiled.

Sign 2: The appearance is different

We must immediately note that a change in the color of the product does not mean that it is off. It is very likely that the colors will start to darken over time after opening, but it is still a good product. What should concern you is the visible appearance of mold. If you notice any suspicious spores that look like mold to you, throw the product away.

So we know your Tabasco didn’t spoil. Still, if you accidentally dropped a bottle on the floor, we bring you possible replacements in our article on sriracha substitutes.

Which is the Best Way to Store Tabasco?

Tabasco is a really durable product, and you don’t need to worry about external influences spoiling it so easily. However, there are certain recommendations you can follow to ensure quality for as long as possible, especially after opening. This applies particularly to you who rarely consume the sauce, so you know that the bottle will be in the kitchen for a long time.

Tip 1: Close the bottle after use

This is perhaps the most important practice you should adopt when it comes to storing Tabasco after opening. It is very important to tightly close the cap on the bottle and thus prevent spoilage and evaporation of the product.

Tip 2: Choose cool and dark places for storage

A common pantry or kitchen cabinet away from possible heat sources will be a decent home for Tabasco sauce before and after opening. It is not necessary to keep it in the refrigerator, but if you have extra space, you can certainly choose a cooler fridge temperature for storage. This will further extend the shelf life.


How long is Tabasco sauce good for after the expiration date?

After the expiration date, you can be sure that the product is good for at least a few years. For the original sauce with no additional flavors, it can be almost up to ten years.

How long can you keep Tabasco sauce once opened?

This is a long-lasting product that you can use for a minimum of one year after opening, regardless of the type. Most likely, the shelf life will be at least two to three years.

How can you tell if the hot sauce has gone bad?

Color changes are a normal phenomenon that occurs over time after opening the Tabasco sauce. But if you notice the appearance of mold, or if the smell and taste are not correct, you should throw the product in the trash.


For all lovers of hot dishes, it is probably not worth asking how long Tabasco sauce can last because a small bottle is sure to be used up within a few months. 

But for the vast majority, spicy dishes are a matter of occasional special meals, which means that purchased Tabasco can lie on the shelf for several years. Fortunately, this sauce is such a durable addition to dishes that it will not have any problems standing for a long time. 

Ensure a minimum comfortable temperature and a darker place, and be sure to close the bottle well after use. Your Tabasco will be a faithful companion of spicy meals for at least a few years.

*image by 5PH/depositphotos

About The Author

Scroll to Top