Does Worcestershire Sauce Go Bad?


If you’re a big-time Worcestershire Sauce fan, it makes sense to know some basics regarding storage, shelf life and going bad of Worcestershire Sauce. In this article, we cover exactly those.

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Worcestershire sauce is made mainly of distilled white vinegar, molasses, and multiple spices. Aged 18 months before the bottle even hits the grocery store shelves!

Does Worcestershire Sauce Go Bad? Yes, it does. However, it utterly depends on the type and brand that you use. Some variations will last for years, while others can only be used for six months to one year before they go bad. Many things can impact your Worcestershire sauce’s longevity, including how it was stored and what ingredients were used in its production. Freeze Worcestershire sauce if you want to keep it longer than its expiration date!

What Is Worcestershire Sauce?

Worcestershire sauce is a condiment made from molasses, vinegar, and spices. It does not contain any meat products – they add only anchovies or pickled fish to flavor. The traditional recipe does not include sugar, but some modern brands add it to make more of a sweet-and-sour taste.

Worcestershire Sauce
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce by Jules

Interesting facts about Worcestershire sauce

  • It is believed a chemist called William Henry Perkin created Worcestershire sauce in 1837. He accidentally discovered the dark liquid when he spilled some acid onto his dinner, and it landed on a piece of meat before putting it into boiling water – creating what we now know as Worcestershire sauce!
  • The ingredients can vary from brand to brand, with wine vinegar or malt vinegar is used instead of cider vinegar. Some also add tomato paste for extra flavor.
  • For a healthier, low-calorie version of Worcestershire sauce, try making your own at home. All you need to do is mix some corn or white vinegar with tamari soy sauce and garlic powder for an alternative that does not have any added sugar.
  •  Worcestershire sauces are great to use in recipes like casseroles, meatballs, soups, and stews – they’re also perfect if you want the taste without cooking up anything too heavy
  • If using it for salad dressings, then use half the amount in other dishes because otherwise, the flavor can be overpowering.


How To Store Worcestershire Sauce?

Since the shelf life of Worcestershire does not have a set time limit, there are many ways that you can store it:

  • The type of storage container and how well kept it is will affect its lifespan. Storing your sauce in an airtight container with as little exposure to light and heat as possible will help extend its potency for much more extended periods. 
  • It’s also essential to keep sauces away from solvents like acetone or alcohol because they could adversely react and alter their flavor profile.
  • The refrigerator is an excellent place to store it because the temperature and humidity are less likely to affect the sauce than if you keep it in another location. 
  • The freezer does not present any adverse effects on Worcestershire. But it does not increase its shelf life, so storing your sauce there will help extend how long it lasts without changing flavor profile or potency. Once opened, keep sauces refrigerated for only three weeks before using them up completely.
  • The taste changes over time, but the potency does not. To keep sauces as potent as possible for long periods without changing flavor profiles or altering taste, it’s essential to store them in a cool place like the refrigerator and away from solvents that could change their taste profile. 
  • Storing in other locations will cause more rapid deterioration than if you kept it refrigerated because of how sensitive these condiments are to heat and humidity levels and exposure to light which can breed bacteria on their surface before they spoil entirely.
Does Worcestershire Sauce Go Bad

How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last?

In general, sauces will last for a year in the refrigerator and up to five years or more if frozen. The time that it lasts depends on the manufacturer’s seal and how you’ve stored it during its lifetime. 

If the sauce is unopened, it could last from three months to one year, depending on storage conditions. For example- how stable they are before they require refrigeration until opened. Once opened, store them in your fridge like any other condiments. Do not exceed two weeks unless you plan to heat them. It can extend their longevity by another few days at most before spoilage sets in again.

The best way to keep sauces fresh for more extended periods is to freeze them. Suppose you want it on hand for a few months. In that case, the best way to store Worcestershire sauce is in your freezer. Where it can last up to five years or more with no worry. Thanks to their high level of stability before refrigeration becomes necessary again.

The key with freezing sauces like this is that they’re not liquid enough, so we need some other steps:

  • Place into airtight containers and leave out as much oxygen as possible by using either vacuum sealers or just good old-fashioned zip-lock bags but be careful when handling hot liquids because there are risks associated with scalding yourself.
  • Once it is placed inside the container, then pour what’s leftover after filling the jar up to the top of it because this will ensure that there are no air bubbles inside.
  • Place in the freezer and store until ready to use.

How Long Is Worcestershire Sauce Good For When Prepared In A Dish?

The answer to this is not exactly straightforward. Much of it will depend on the recipe and how much is added into the mixture. 

However, we can say that if properly stored (refrigerated), an unopened Worcestershire sauce bottle should be good for about one year. 

If used within two weeks after opening, then the rest may go bad rather quickly depending on what you’re cooking with it – but as far as storage goes, it is best practice to follow these instructions: – 

  • Store at room temperature between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F
  • keep the sauce in a tightly sealed container closed at all times

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can you tell if Worcestershire sauce is bad?

There are a couple of signs by which you can tell that your Worcestershire sauce is gone bad. Those are:

  • If the Worcestershire sauce has an unpleasant odor, flavor, or appearance.
  • If it is moldy (look for fuzzy spores on top) or does not mix well with other ingredients and has separated, this can be because of over-shaking during preparation. If you have shaken your bottle of Worcestershire sauce before opening, then do not worry about any separation that may occur because shaking will break down the emulsifiers in the product, so there should be no problem at all.
  • Also, keep in mind that a small amount of sediment forms naturally from time to time – it is just a byproduct of the fermentation process. This does not mean that your Worcestershire sauce is bad.

Is it okay to eat expired Worcestershire sauce?

Yes, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, discard the sauce if it does not smell or taste like Worcestershire. If your bottle of Worcestershire does not have a date printed on its label, then go by this rule:

  • Any opened bottles of Worcestershire sauce will last for one year from their production date
  • Unopened sauces are good for two years
  • Sauces that are cloudy or have dark sediment should be discarded and do not need to go by the date code. These can happen naturally because of fermentation.

Does Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce need to be refrigerated after opening?

No, you don’t have to refrigerate it. The company does not recommend refrigerating this sauce because they say that it can cause faster spoilage.

However, some people disagree with them. They believe they should always keep all sauces in a fridge after opening to maintain their original flavor.

How long can you use Worcestershire Sauce after the expiration?

It does not matter the expiration date because it changes nothing, and you can use it as long as you have it.

The only way to know if your sauce has gone rotten or spoiled is by noticing a foul odor, mold growing on the surface of the container, or any unusual changes in appearance. For example – a change in color, texture, or consistency.

What happens if you don’t refrigerate Worcestershire sauce?

If you live in a tropical place and do not have an air conditioner at home, the temperature is always high. Avoid opening it for too long because this will cause leakage of liquid content from inside to outside through the cap under pressure.

What is a good substitute for Worcestershire sauce?

An excellent substitute for Worcestershire sauce is to combine white wine vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. Some people also use tomato juice or ketchup instead of Worcestershire sauce in Spaghetti Bolognese or Macaroni-and-Cheese recipes.

Featured Photo Originally Taken by user:penarc, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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