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How Long Does Salsa Last? Can It Go Bad?

Salsa is definitely one of the best party foods out there. As soon as you crack open the jar and break out the chips, it’s an event! Whether it’s a barbecue or a book club meeting, there’s something about chips and dip that puts everyone at ease. But how long will the salsa last in between events? Is it a big deal if one jar doesn’t get used? Will it last until next months’ meeting? These are all valid questions. Given that salsa is made from tomatoes and a few vegetables, it would seem clear that it would go off quickly. Well, the answers to these questions may surprise you. Read on if you want to know more!


Does Salsa Go Bad?


Salsa will eventually go bad. There are no two ways about it. But, it may not happen as quickly as you would expect. There is a high acid and sugar content which keeps it good for much longer than other vegetables. And it is quite easy to store for a long time. So, we’ve figured out all the tricks for this. Below are our best tips for keeping salsa for as long as humanly possible.


How Do I Store Salsa?


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Tatiana Vorona/


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So you have found yourself face to face with a half-full jar of salsa that has been in the fridge for weeks. You’re wondering if it is good but are afraid to try it. Well, that is totally normal. Being honest, we would be a little apprehensive too. See, salsa only keeps well under certain conditions. It may be resilient, but it is by no means time-proof. Here are our tips to ensure that it lasts for as long as possible.  

Unopened salsa

The storage techniques can vary depending on what type of salsa you have. To avoid confusion, we will go through the best way to store each. The easiest of all types of salsa to store is the type you can find on the shelves in the supermarket. Because it isn’t refrigerated, it won’t need to be refrigerated when you get it home. This means you can just keep it in the pantry or in a kitchen cabinet. The only things you need to be on the lookout for are too much sunlight or heat. Things are a bit different if you find the salsa in the refrigerated aisle. As a general rule, if you find it in the refrigerated section, keep it refrigerated at home. The same applies to chilled salsa.

Opened salsa

The salsa that you find on the shelves needs to be stored differently as soon as it is opened. Once air has come into contact with the contents, it will begin aging the salsa much quicker. The only way to slow this down is by refrigerating it. It also makes a huge difference if the jar is airtight. If you bought your salsa in a can, your best bet is to transfer it into an airtight container. If you do all of this, you have given the salsa the best possible chance of lasting for a long time. It is the same for the salsa that you buy from the fridge. The storage technique doesn’t change after it has been opened. Keep it sealed and always refrigerate between uses.

Homemade salsa

Homemade salsa won’t usually have the same amount of preservatives in it. Because of this, it won’t last as long as the other types. It must also always be refrigerated.



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Extra tip: When you are serving salsa, always serve it in a bowl and not the original container. Bits of chips and all sorts of other contaminants can get into salsa. By not using the original container you cut out this risk entirely. After all, foreign bodies in the salsa is never something you would want.


Should You Refrigerate Salsa?

Opened salsa, homemade salsa, and salsa bought in the refrigerated aisles. These must always be kept in the refrigerator. The only salsa that doesn’t need to be refrigerated is the stuff you buy from the shelves. Even then, this can only be kept in the pantry before it is opened.


Can You Freeze Salsa?

It might not surprise you much that salsa can indeed be frozen. It works, but there is a hidden cost. When we tried it, the salsa didn’t have the same consistency. The freezing and thawing seem to have caused a lot of the ingredients to separate. Because of this, it wasn’t much good for chips anymore. So, we instead decided to chuck it into a chili. By using it this way it still worked just fine. So, we can only really recommend freezing salsa if you are going to cook with it. It just isn’t good with chips.


How Long Does Salsa Last?

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Shelf-stable salsa

Salsa has a lot of ingredients in it that can go off pretty quickly. Thankfully, these ingredients are pretty well protected by the acid content and the packaging. Because of this, an unopened salsa can last quite some time. The unrefrigerated type of salsa comes with a generous sell-by date. This is because it has generally been pasteurized, keeping it fresh for longer. So, though this type of salsa comes with a sell-by date, it can last for longer. In fact, sometimes it can last for up to two months after. This does not apply if the jar has been opened. Once opened, the salsa will need to be used within a two week period.

Refrigerated salsa

Refrigerated salsa comes with a sell-by date that is a lot more accurate. Even if you store it absolutely perfectly, it will only last for a few days after the printed date. Once opened, it can only last for about4 days. Of course, this will only be true if it hasn’t already hit the sell-by date.

Homemade salsa

Homemade salsa really doesn’t keep for all that long. In fact, it will probably only be good in the fridge for just 3 or 4 days. Really, the best thing to do is to only make as much as you think you will use.


How Do I Make Salsa Last Longer?

If you really want your salsa to last for a long time, the easiest thing to do is to buy the shelf-stable stuff. This type can last for a couple of months after the sell-by date. It is possible to freeze salsa, but it won’t be the same afterward. The texture changes, and in our opinion, it just isn’t worth it.


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Signs That Your Salsa May Have Gone Off

Once opened, salsa is pretty prone to going off. It won’t last anywhere near as long as most other condiments. Thankfully, the signs of spoilage are really easy to spot. Once you open the salsa, they should reveal themselves straight away. Things like mold on the surface or a bitter smell are the biggest giveaways. If you don’t notice any of these, feel free to give the salsa a tiny taste. If the taste is in any way rotten, or the texture is off, you need to throw it all out. With salsa, if you are in any doubt, the safest thing to do is to toss it out. Well, that’s all the advice we have for salsa. We hope that you found our tips useful!

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