- How long does hot sauce last once opened? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize the shelf life of opened hot sauce, refrigerate and keep tightly covered at all times.
How long does opened hot sauce last in the refrigerator? Hot sauce that has been continuously refrigerated will generally stay at best quality for about 4 to 5 years.
Is opened hot sauce safe to use after the "expiration date"? Yes, provided it has been stored properly, the bottle is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below) - commercially bottled hot sauce will typically carry a "Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before", or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the hot sauce will remain at peak quality.
The storage time shown for opened hot sauce is for best quality only - after that, the hot sauce's texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, it will still be safe to consume if it has been kept continuously refrigerated, the bottle is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
How can you tell if opened hot sauce is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the hot sauce: if the hot sauce develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here