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What's the refrigerated shelf life of ketchup after opening?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Previously, I discussed about the stale taste ketchup acquires after some time has passed after opening the bottle.

I've always used a replacement cycle of about a month, but when I did a side by side comparison, even one month is short enough for it to go stale.

A bottle I opened in 6/26/08, which I marked, and it was stored under refrigeration the entire time time at 38F ish. As of now, the bottle is about half used up.

I just opened up a new bottle and did a side by side tasting. I can definitely taste the stale in the bottle that's only a few days over a month old.

How long does ketchup hold the best taste after opening when stored in the fridge?
post #2 of 12
There is no set time for ketchup to go old. I've read where people can taste the difference in similar situations as yours. I suppose that doesn't mean the ketchup is old though. The question is whether you think the older ketchup is still pleasing to eat. Then figure out where your cut-off point is for when ketchup should be discarded.

If you decide that any detectable difference is too much, sounds like you should buy smaller bottles. Or maybe go to Costco and pick up a box of the single serve packets. That way every serving is always fresh.

post #3 of 12
Humm, I never had that problem with ketchup.

Lets see what the other members will say
post #4 of 12
Even though kept in fridge, it had to come out to be used to the amount thats in there now. Temperature variables will affect it, as will amount of air now trapped in an open bottle. I have found even the p c individuals to go bad after a time being subject to temperature changes in a room. Same thing tobassco. mustard and most condiments
post #5 of 12
Back when I worked at a waiter, they had us 'marry' the ketchup's at the end of our shift so our tables had a full bottle. This meant that often the bottom ketchup would be quite old in some bottles as the top was fresh replacement. I was lazy and would do my best to throw out my old bottles if they were 4/5ths empty and just put out fresh ones.

It must have caused a problem at some point as now the chain uses the opaque bottles for show and doesn't do that any more.

This was at room temperature.

We don't use a lot of ketchup so I do wonder what the real expiration date is. It seems to be one of those 'forever' foods, which makes me nervous ;)
post #6 of 12
I'll go with the "forever food" contingent- a bottle lasts me 3 months. But I'll also plead guilty to not being taste-sensitive enough to perceive the difference.
post #7 of 12
We make our own ketchup and can it. It is so much better than commercial ketchup that 1 pint lasts about a week at best!

As to packets, the wife bought a box of Heinz packets and mustard packets too. We were going to use them in our lunches at the place I used to work at that didn't supply condiments with their new sandwich machine vendor.

3 years later, the mustard is decidely dark colored and tastes terrible. Threw out the mustard. Not really much intersested in checking out the ketchup packets. You can't see through them. At $2 per box of about a gross of packets, we can afford to throw 'em out.

But back to homemade ketchup, using whole spices fresh from Penzey's and fresh tomatoes from the farmer's market is the key.

It won't be long and we'll be doing our canning thing for this summer's crop.

post #8 of 12
Ketchup doesn't last more than a few weeks in my house....and I am talkin the big bottle. There's just something about kids and ketchup.
post #9 of 12
I buy ketchup on a weekly basis... 5 kids. I've actually found a drinking glass with a straw in it under the sofa that was evidence that one of them was secretly consuming ketchup as a beverage.:crazy:
post #10 of 12
I am not a huge ketchup user outside of my BBQ pork sauce so it sits in the fridge for 2-3 months. Never noticed any flavor change. About all I use it on is fries and grilled cheese :lol:
post #11 of 12
I say, when it molds it is bad
post #12 of 12
17 years 3months and 3 weeks. JUst check out what you're serving it with and ask yourself "does it matter"
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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