Does Applesauce Go Bad?

Does applesauce go bad? It depends on the type of product you have in storage. Usually, canned or store-bought applesauce has a long shelf life. It will go bad at some point but the preservatives will extend the product’s shelf life. On the other hand, homemade applesauce does not contain preservatives so it will go bad quickly if stored improperly.

Unopened containers of applesauce should keep for several months at room temperature as long as these products are kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. As for opened containers of applesauce, these should be stored in the fridge as soon as possible. Opening the product cuts its shelf life drastically to just a few days.

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Do note that leaky containers could lead to bacterial growth, which may cause botulism food poisoning. When shopping for applesauce, pay close attention to the packaging. You want to avoid canned applesauce with dented or rusty tins. On the other hand, if you are making applesauce from scratch, sterilize the containers and all cooking tools to prevent contamination.

Store-bought applesauce cans feature a best-by-date label, best-if-used-by-date, or use-by-dates. Please refer to this guide for the definition of these food label terms. Generally, the applesauce is best consumed at peak quality. Once the best-by-date has passed, the color or taste of the applesauce may change, though slightly. Generally, canned applesauce should be consumed for 12 to 18 months after the product’s peak quality.

How to Store Applesauce?

Storing Applesauce in the Pantry

Sealed store-bought and homemade applesauce can be stored in the pantry. Again, just store it in a cool, dark place away from sources of heat for best results. Never store canned or homemade applesauce in a spot that’s humid with little airflow. Canned goods are quite sensitive to temperature changes so temperature stability is important when storing commercially made applesauce. Always keep the lids tightly sealed to extend the freshness of the product.

Storing Applesauce in the Refrigerator

Once the applesauce has been opened, it must be kept in the fridge to extend its shelf life. This goes for homemade and store-bought applesauce alike. If the commercially made applesauce is packed in tins, you have to transfer the product in an airtight container prior to chilling in the fridge. Always close the lid of the container tightly after every use to extend its shelf life.

Storing Applesauce in the Freezer

In a pinch, you can also store applesauce in the freezer. If you’re freezing homemade applesauce, cool the sauce completely prior to freezing. Use a freezer-safe container when packing homemade and store-bought applesauce to preserve its original flavor and texture. If you are making applesauce as baby food, we highly suggest dividing the sauce into serving portions using an ice cube tray. Just pour the appropriate amount of applesauce in an ice cube tray and stick it in the freezer. Once frozen solid, pop each cubed applesauce out of the ice cube tray and place all of them in a resealable plastic bag. Each time you need to feed a baby, thaw a couple of cubed applesauce!

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Shelf Life of Apple Sauce

Unopened containers of applesauce will keep in the pantry for 1 to 2 months. Once opened, the applesauce will only keep for a week or two in the fridge. When kept in the freezer, applesauce will keep indefinitely especially if the temperature is kept at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Tell if Applesauce Has Gone Bad?

It’s easy to tell if applesauce has gone bad, just check for slight to significant changes in color and aroma. If the product has developed an off-smell or taste, discard the applesauce right away. Sometimes the applesauce will go bad without obvious signs of spoilage. If the applesauce has been kept in the fridge or pantry weeks or months after its use-by-date, err to the side of caution and toss the applesauce in the trash. If you are seeing greenish specks on the surface of the applesauce, discard the product immediately.


Does applesauce go bad? Applesauce is a versatile ingredient in cooking and baking so it makes sense to build your own stock whenever needed. Still, this product will go bad at some point so consume your supply as soon as possible. Applesauce is likely to spoil when exposed to unstable temperature and/or humid environments so store the product properly to extend its shelf life.