Does Worcestershire Sauce Go Bad? Shelf Life And Storage Details

Quick summary: Worcestershire sauce is almost unspoilable and truly long-lasting. Still, some loss of flavor will happen over time, so you’ll want a new one for quality purposes. 

Although Worcestershire sauce usually comes in a relatively small package, it’s interesting how long it can last after opening. You often forget you have it until after the meal is over. And some people like to add it only on special barbecue occasions. In any case, it often happens that one bottle stays for years.

And now comes the most crucial question, whether this sauce can spoil at all. And if you come across a bottle that is several years old, do you risk your health by consuming it? In short, the correct answer would be no. Worcestershire sauce should not spoil in the classical sense of the word, or at least such scenarios are very rare. Read on for all the details.

How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last?

Many will say that Worcestershire sauce can last forever. That would be a partially correct statement because the product will lose its quality over time. And the sour taste of the condiment can hardly be of any use to you. However, the urban myth about the durability of this product is somewhat correct, so you rarely need to worry about the date written on the back.

Unopened Worcestershire sauce 

You can keep an unopened bottle of Worcestershire sauce at room temperature. However, it should be protected from light and at a comfortable cooler temperature away from heat sources. You will find a best-by date on the packaging, which can serve as a guideline because you can almost certainly count on an unopened bottle to be perfectly fine for at least a few more years after that date. If we had to specify, let’s say that you can almost bet on the next two to three years.

Opened Worcestershire sauce

Once you open the bottle, the quality deterioration process begins slowly. But that won’t happen anytime soon. If you keep Worcestershire sauce at room temperature after opening, you can count on it for at least the next six months. In the refrigerator, it will likely last for a year or even significantly longer than that with very good quality.

Can Worcestershire Sauce Go Bad?

We wouldn’t say Worcestershire sauce can go bad. What will happen is that you will notice that the flavor has faded after standing for a long time and nothing else. You are more likely to throw the sauce in the trash for qualitative taste reasons. However, in very rare cases, the following signs of deterioration may be possible, so if you notice them, be sure to throw the product in the trash.

Sign 1: The smell is very sour

A very unpleasant sour smell may develop, which indicates that the product is spoiled. In that case, you don’t have to hesitate at all. It’s time for garbage.

Sign 2: Gasses developed

You are aware that with any products packaged in plastic bottles, cans, or cardboard packages, you must throw the product in the trash if you notice any lumps like air bubbles on the outside. 

The evolved gasses should not be joked with, as they can seriously endanger health. In the case of sauce, if it is packaged in a glass bottle, you will recognize it by the specific crack when the cap is opened. It’s almost as if you’ve opened champagne. In such cases, it is safest to throw everything in the trash.

Which is the Best Way to Store Worcestershire Sauce?

You can treat Worcestershire sauce like its soy sauce relatives and similar products. Most ingredients from which it is made act as natural preservatives, so it is unlikely that any bacteria will successfully survive in this liquid. However, some basic guidelines should be followed.

Tip 1: Close the bottle after use

Our first advice is to always close the bottle well after use. Not only to prevail external negative phenomena from reaching the content but also to prevent the loss of aroma. Always tightly screw the original cap on the bottle and store it that way.

Tip 2: Choose cool and dark places for storage

As we have already mentioned, you do not need to keep the product in the refrigerator before opening it. It can be kept at a comfortable temperature in a pantry or in a kitchen cabinet that is not exposed to nearby heat sources. After opening, it is optional to refrigerate the sauce if you want to. But in the long run, the refrigerator will still allow for a much longer retention of quality. So if you are not going to use up the entire bottle in the next couple of months, we suggest that you opt for a refrigerator.


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

You can count on an unopened bottle of sauce to last at least a few years past the date printed on the label. A minimum of two years, and very often up to five years after the expiration date.

How long can you keep Worcestershire sauce once opened?

If you keep it at room temperature, the sauce should be good for at least six months after opening. Stored in the refrigerator, it will last at least a year and probably much longer.

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

Most often, the sauce will only lose its quality after a long time, so you will notice a blank taste. Signs of spoilage would be a strong sour and unpleasant smell or gas developed inside the package, resulting in a sound crack when you open the cap.

Worcestershire sauce is really a very durable condiment, and you don’t have to worry too much about it spoiling. It will last for years after the expiration date written on the label, and after opening, store it in the fridge, and you will be safe for at least a year. 

Even after the passage of time, you will not encounter the perishability of this product. It will simply lose its initial quality and flavor, so you will want a fresh supply.

If, by some miraculous chance, your unspoilable sauce has gone off, check out these Worcestershire sauce replacement ideas. 

*image by Roxiller/depositphotos

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