Does Salsa Go Bad?

Salsa plays a major role in a lot of dishes, but from time to time we might find ourselves with an opened or unopened salsa stored for quite some time and wonder ‘does salsa go bad’. Of course it does! Its shelf life depends on if it’s fresh salsa, homemade one, or maybe commercially bottled. To learn about storage, shelf life and going bad of salsa, read the rest of the article!

How to store salsa

When it comes to commercially bottled or canned salsa, as long as it’s unopened, it should be kept in a cool and dry area. The pantry seems to be the best choice and it’s a default for many people. Once that bottle is opened for the first time, keep it in the fridge, always sealed tightly. If you’ve bought fresh salsa or made your own one, the fridge is the place to keep it. Make sure it’s always in a sealed container, so it won’t dry out (and taste awfully). That’s about it – if salsa is commercially packaged and still unopened, keep it in the pantry. Otherwise, keep it in the fridge.

Lemon Pepper Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa
(credit: TheBusyBrain)

Shelf life of salsa

First, let’s talk about homemade salsa. After preparing it should be kept in the fridge and will be fine for about 5 days to a week (depends on the ingredients you’ve used), provided you didn’t use any special preservatives. You can also decide to freeze it. When it comes to commercially packaged salsa sold in refrigerated containers, it should be fine for about two weeks when unopened, and maybe a week or a little more after opening. Of course you can freeze it as well.
The last option is salsa sold unrefrigerated. As long as the bottle is unopened, it usually can be stored for over a year (the ‘best by’ date on the label should help with estimating how long it will be of its best quality). After opening the bottle, it’s suggested to use its contents within a month. This kind of salsa has more preservatives in it and therefore it will last longer than the other kinds. You can decide to freeze it as well.

When it comes to freezing salsa, to retain the best quality, don’t keep it in the freezer for longer than two months. Of course it will be fine basically forever, but you might not be pleased with its quality after let’s say 6 months of freezing.

How to tell if salsa is spoiled

If salsa changes its appearance, you can see some signs of mold on the surface, smells funny (or off) or tastes awfully (try a little bit), then it’s definitely bad nad should be discarded. More often you will find salsa that’s stored for a pretty long period of time and is still edible, but its quality is pretty poor and it will probably ruin the dish you were going to make. That’s your call if you’ll discard it or go with it, but honestly, what’s the point with using tasteless salsa? In short – you will know when it’s spoiled, but more often you will discard it because of quality reasons.

As you’ve learned, salsa does go bad after storing it for a too long period of time. Its shelf life differs quite a lot, depending on whether it’s a homemade one or a commercially packaged one sold unrefrigerated. Hope this article have provided you with all the information about salsa you need.