There are countless delicious ways to use the salsa, whether you have a store-bought or home-made variant. If you belong to the people who love this sauce, you may ask a question does salsa go bad and how long does salsa last once you open it. Luckily, I can give you some guidelines that can help you.
Does Salsa Go Bad?
Salsa is a popular sauce made from fresh vegetables, spices, and sometimes fruit, depending on the recipe. Its name literally translates as ‘sauce’ from the Spanish. Traditionally, it contains tomato, chili, and onion. You can use this healthy dressing as a side dish or add it to the pan while preparing a meal.
However, salsa can spoil, especially if you use a home-made variety without any preservatives and additives. Keep in mind that salsa from an open jar will also go bad quickly if you don’t store it properly.
How Long Does Salsa Last?
Nowadays, you can find shelf-safe salsa in jars, cans, or even in refrigerated packs. How long this sauce is safe to use will depend on the temperature and overall conditions you keep it in.
If you pick up a salsa jar from a market shelf, you can store it in your pantry for one to two months after its best before date. However, you should place once opened sauce in the fridge and try to use it in the next two weeks.
How Long Does Salsa Last (Chart)
|Shelf-safe unopened||1 to 2 months||
|1 to 2 hours||1 to 2 weeks|
|Unopened can||12 to 18 moths||
|Unsafe||Date + 1 to 2 months|
1 to 2 weeks
3 to 5 days
Contrary, a store-bought canned salsa can last much longer, and you can keep on your shelf between 12 and 18 months. If you prefer canning your salsa, it will last up to one year. Don’t forget to write down a date on a can before storing it.
Unopened refrigerated salsa can be safe to consume approximately two months after the expiration date. Still, you need to throw away an open jar after two weeks of the moment you start using it.
3 Tips to Tell if Salsa Has Gone Bad
The salsa with no spoilage signs is probably safe to eat even a few days after the date pass. If it visually seems okay and your nose doesn’t send any warning signals, you can eat it.
It is crucial to know how to recognize the spoiled salsa sauce to avoid severe health conditions. Consumption as soon as possible after opening the jar is the safest solution. When this is not possible, three tips can help you determine if it is time for salsa to end up in the waste.
Different color and texture
On the day you buy or make salsa, it has a bright red color. As the days go by, the sauce color changes. If you take the dish out of the fridge and notice that it has become dark red, maroon shade, or brown, throw it away because it is no longer safe to consume.
Keep in mind that the color change is usually accompanied by thickening, especially on the surface. If a thin, rubbery layer has formed on the top of the jar, the sauce is not for use anymore.
Another sign you shouldn’t eat salsa is an unpleasant, sour odor. Sometimes the spoiled salsa smells rotten and fishy. In such a case, you should discard the leftovers because consuming it can cause food poisoning.
Once the salsa goes bad, you may notice black or green fungus’ growth or a white, powdery layer on the surface. Either way, don’t eat such sauce even after removing mold with a spoon. Considering the affected jar contaminated will help you keep yourself safe from risking your health.
5 Tips to Store Salsa for Longer
You make salsa from fresh vegetables so, the fundamental conditions to avoid premature spoilage are proper storage and hygiene. Fortunately, there are five simple tips you can use to extend its shelf life:
1. Pick a dark and cold spot
Once you buy the shelf-safe salsa jar, place it in a dark and cold corner of your pantry or kitchen cabinet. Storing the unopen salsa next to a heat source can shorten its shelf life.
Therefore, avoid keeping a spread container next to a stove or radiator. Instead, you can put it on the bottom shelf in a pantry. Shelf by a window is also a smart choice during the winter months.
2. Use airtight container
Once you open a salsa sauce, you should keep it in the fridge. Remember that sauce from an original package that is no longer air-tightly closable won’t last long. Always pour it from the opened jar into another container you can seal.
You can also put a piece of self-adhesive foils under the lid to further extend salsa duration. This handy trick can delay throwing it away for a day or two.
The self-adhesive foil prevents air from entering the package and slows down the development of bacteria. Plus, the foil prevents the sauce from taking over the smells of other food you keep in the fridge.
3. Don’t keep an open can
Even though you can store unopened canned salsa for more than a year on your shelf, it can spoil quickly after opening. Before you place the remaining sauce in a refrigerator, transfer it from the can to a container you can close firmly. Basically, it doesn’t matter whether you use a glass jar or a plastic container.
The same goes for freezing salsa. Never place an open can in the freezer. Instead, empty the can as soon as you open it and throw it away while using the salsa as you wish.
4. Wash a spoon
Clean utensils are vital when using salsa. Never leave the scoop in a jar, touch other food, or put it in your mouth. Instead, use a serving spoon to take a small portion of the sauce you need.
That way, you will avoid contaminating the whole jar with other food or bacteria from your mouth. Also, avoid dipping food directly in salsa because of the same reason. Even the slightest traces of food in the sauce can change its taste and speed up spoilage.
5. Invert salsa jar
You need to accept this advice selectively. While many chefs state that inverting cans is not desirable in the food preparation process, you can turn your jars upside down in the fridge.
That way, the food in the jar pushes the air towards the top. At the same time, food that presses on the lid prevents contamination and prolong salsa shelf life.
The Risk of Consuming an Expired Salsa
Be careful with salsa since it is a risky food when consumed after the expiration date. The mildest consequence of consuming such salsa is getting food poisoning, followed by nausea, abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.
However, much more severe problems arise if the bacterium Clostridium botulinum develops in salsa. Even a small portion can cause botulism. The first symptoms appear 12 and 36 hours after a meal and include:
- Hard breathing
- Incoherent speech
- Swallowing problems
- Double vision
- Muscle weakness and paralysis
Unfortunately, botulism can be fatal, depending on the amount of toxin the patient has ingested.
Can You Freeze Salsa?
Most culinary experts don’t recommend freezing salsa. After thawing, the mixture texture changes, although the taste and smell remain the same. However, you can freeze the spread and store it in the freezer for two to six months if you stick to some guidelines.
First, you need to know that freezing unopened salsa can or jar is unsafe. Once you freeze it, the spread expands so that the package can shatter due to the pressure. Worst case scenario, you will end up with sauce all over your freezer.
Drain the excess liquid from the salsa before freezing it. If you prefer, you can freeze the fluid separately and add it to the salsa when you defrost it. Next, put the salsa in a freezer bag, plastic container, or Mason jar and place it in the freezer. Remember to leave some space for its expansion.
Avoid thawing salsa in the microwave. A better solution is to defrost it in the fridge overnight. You can also put it in a shallow pan and heat it on the stove with the occasional stir, in case there is a change in texture. That way, the salsa will even out, and the sauce stay of the same quality as before freezing.
Salsa is made from fresh ingredients and is an easily perishable food. Therefore, you should always keep an open jar in the refrigerator. However, once you freeze it, expect the texture to change when it thaws. If you notice the strange color, odor, or mold spots, don’t consume the sauce after thawing.