sriracha sauce

Sriracha Shelf Life: Can It Go Bad?

Sriracha is a trendy hot sauce in America and other countries. It’s a go-to condiment that fits perfectly with almost anything.

If sriracha is your everyday sauce, shelf life won’t be a concern. However, if spicy food is your occasional treat, keeping sriracha for months raises a question: Does sriracha go bad? How long can sriracha be kept after opening?

Fear not! You’re about to find useful knowledge on sriracha’s shelf life, storage conditions, and signs of sriracha going bad. Keep reading and find the answers to your sriracha questions!

How To Store Sriracha

Sriracha is a kind of hot sauce that originated in Thailand.

While other brands are also available, sriracha is associated with the hot sauce produced by Huy Fong Foods in the US. Since then, this red sauce has taken up global popularity.

The main ingredients consist of chili, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar, and some preservatives.

Its storage guidelines are pretty much similar to other hot sauce and other condiments.

Unopened bottles keep well at room temperature. Make sure to pick a cool, dry place, out of heat and light. As always, your pantry or kitchen cabinet is highly preferred. 

Does sriracha need to be refrigerated after opening?

As mentioned on its official website, Huy Fong Foods confirms that sriracha doesn’t require refrigeration.

After opening, you can safely keep it on the dinner table or somewhere in the cupboard. Make sure the spot is cool and dry.

This makes storing sriracha much easier. If you buy other sriracha brands, make sure to check the label for specific instructions.

If you’d prefer storing your sauce in the fridge, that’s also fine, of course. You’ll benefit from a much longer freshness.

Sriracha contains vinegar and preservatives, which make it shelf-stable. The capsaicin from the chili peppers also acts as anti-microbial agents that slow down the deterioration process.

As refrigeration is not really an issue here, practicing good hygiene determines how long this red sauce stays at its best quality.

Don’t forget to tightly close the lid after each use. It’s not uncommon to see a tiny amount of sauce sticks around the lid. Spare a minute to clean it up to keep any contaminants at bay.

Sriracha is much loved as a dipping sauce. Whenever you have remaining sauce, never pour it back to the container. Not only it is gross, but it’s also an easy way to transfer those nasty bacteria. Hence, going bad is imminent.

How To Tell If Sriracha Goes Bad

Let’s start by examining the container. If you have an unopened jar or bottle that looks damaged, such as swollen, leaked, dented, etc., don’t use it. No one can guarantee if the product is safe when the container is damaged.

On its website, Huy Fong Foods declares that their bottles may contain a build-up gas. Hence, open it with caution. It may explode and splatter to you or your stuff, or even worse hurt you. Food Standards Australia suggests not to open bloated bottles.

With proper storage and handling, sriracha doesn’t spoil easily. However, the flavor and taste decline with time. It starts with the sauce getting darker due to the oxidation process.

Speaking of sriracha going bad, the general indicators are similar to other hot sauces. Get rid of any leftover sauce if it smells off (sour or fermenting), develops altered taste, a significant change in texture, and grow molds.

If nothing seems suspicious, give it a taste test. If you’re satisfied with the taste, feel free to use it. At some point, you may want to trash old sriracha just because the taste has become inferior.

In case you have a bottle that’s been kept for several years beyond the best by date, it’s also better to toss it out. It costs only a few bucks a bottle, so there’s no reason to risk your health over an old sauce. The same token goes whenever you’re doubting—it’s better to stay on the safe side.

How Long Does Sriracha Last?

You’ll find a “best by” or “best before” date on each container. As usual, this date refers to quality rather than safety. The sauce should be in its peak quality before this date. Hence, it’s highly recommended to use it prior to this date.

That doesn’t mean that the sauce instantly goes bad the day after. In most cases, it is still edible—subject to ideal storage conditions. Only the flavor and taste are probably not the greatest.

As long as it is unopened and the container looks perfect, you can assume it’s good up to a year past the date, or maybe a little longer. Spare a few minutes to check spoilage signs before using it.

After opening, sriracha may stay fresh up to 6 to 9 months when kept at room temperature. It remains fresh much longer in the fridge.

ClassificationPantryRefrigerator
Sriracha (unopened)Best by date + 1 to 2 years
Sriracha (opened)6 to 9 months1 to 2 years

The periods above are general estimates. Its actual shelf life depends on the formulation, preparation method, and storage conditions. If you have expired sriracha, check for signs of spoilage before use. You may want to discard the sauce if it doesn’t taste that great anymore.


FAQs

Does hot sauce go bad?

Hot sauce is a shelf-stable item and lasts for a considerable time. However, it also degrades with time before eventually going bad. Check our article to learn more about hot sauce shelf life.

Does sriracha have sugar?

Yes, sugar is a common ingredient for this red sauce. Read the ingredients list on the package if you have a concern with sugar or calorie intake.

Why did my sriracha turn dark?

When exposed to air and heat, the sauce starts to oxidize and turn the vibrant red color into a darker shade. It’s not necessarily spoiled, but it may affect the flavor.

Final Thoughts

Sriracha is definitely one of the most popular hot sauces in the world. It is shelf-stable and has a decent lifespan. As with other condiments, sriracha also declines in quality slowly with time and finally goes bad.

Unopened bottles of sriracha can safely sit in a cool, dry place, such as your pantry or kitchen cupboard. After opening, it doesn’t require refrigeration. But, keeping it in the fridge maintains its freshness for a much longer time.

If you have expired sriracha, as long as it is unopened and the package looks undamaged, it is likely safe to use. Although, it’s always worth spending extra minutes to check spoilage signs.

Sriracha is spoiled when it smells off (sour), tastes different, or grows molds. Discard any leftover if one of these signs is spotted.

Up Next: How Long Does Hot Sauce Last?

sriracha shelf life

*Photo by luknaja/depositphotos

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