Since ketchup is one of the most popular condiments around the world, many restaurants offer their customers ketchup packets to conveniently carry around ketchup to go with their food.
If you have extra ketchup packets laying around in your home, you may be wondering if ketchup packets go bad. I did the research, and here is what I found!
Do Ketchup Packets Go Bad?
Ketchup packets can go bad because the ketchup inside the packet can eventually spoil. Plus, the plastic packet can slowly disintegrate, meaning there is nothing to protect your ketchup from bacteria and spoilage. Typically, ketchup packets are good for around 9-12 months past the manufacturing date given the ketchup looks, smells, and tastes like normal ketchup.
Do you want to learn if ketchup packets expire, if ketchup packets go bad in heat, and if you should refrigerate ketchup packets? Keep reading!
Do Ketchup Packets Spoil?
Generally, ketchup packets can last for a long time, but ketchup packets will eventually spoil like how ketchup in bottles will spoil.
While the ketchup packet may seem well-sealed, the ketchup inside the packet will slowly go bad over time, especially depending on the conditions around the ketchup packet.
For instance, if the ketchup packet is stored in the glove compartment of a car that is frequently under the sun, the ketchup inside the packet will likely spoil quickly.
Moreover, it is also possible for the packet itself to degrade over time since the packet is not made out of sturdy material compared to other ketchup containers like glass bottles.
Normally, the packet that contains the ketchup will degrade, potentially even before the ketchup goes bad, because the plastic packet can become thinner, rendering the ketchup unusable.
Moreover, the conditions surrounding the packet can affect how quickly the ketchup packet is good.
If the ketchup packet is next to frequent temperature changes, the plastic packet will likely disintegrate faster.
Do Ketchup Packets Expire?
Similar to a bottle of ketchup, ketchup packets do expire and many ketchup packets have an expiration date printed on the packet.
Typically, the ketchup packets expire around 9-12 months past the manufacturing date, but this will depend on the manufacturer since there are many ketchup recipes.
For instance, a manufacturer can add more preservatives to their ketchup to potentially make their ketchup packet last longer.
How Long Do Ketchup Packets Stay Good?
Normally, you can check the expiration date on the ketchup packet to see how long the ketchup packet will be good for, and most kinds of ketchup will stay fresh for 9-12 months after the manufacturing date.
If you do not know when the ketchup packet was manufactured, a good rule of thumb is that the ketchup packet is good for up to 9 months of getting the ketchup packet.
Moreover, you would need to open the ketchup packet to check the ketchup to see if the ketchup is still safe to eat.
If the ketchup smells, looks, and tastes like normal ketchup, your ketchup packet should be fine to consume.
Do Ketchup Packets Go Bad In Heat?
Ketchup packets can go bad in heat, and ketchup packets tend to spoil faster when they are exposed to heat, direct sunlight, etc.
Bacteria grow faster in hotter temperatures, and depending on the exact temperature heat can double the amount of bacteria growth in food.
Moreover, the heat will also deteriorate the plastic and inner metal lining in ketchup packets, meaning there will be nothing to protect your ketchup from spoiling.
Therefore, ketchup packets can go bad in the heat quite quickly, and a ketchup pack that has been exposed to high heat or direct sunlight for several hours has likely gone bad.
Do Ketchup Packets Need To Be Refrigerated?
Normally, do you not need to refrigerate your ketchup packets since ketchup packets can last for a long time out of the fridge.
However, this is given that you keep your ketchup packets away from sunlight and heat, so it is best to store your ketchup packets in a cool, dry place, such as a drawer.
Can I Refrigerate Opened Ketchup Packets?
Generally, it is best to throw away any opened ketchup packet since leftover ketchup packets can grow bacteria and spoil even if you refrigerate the opened ketchup packet.
Therefore, you need to use all of the ketchup packet’s contents or throw the leftover ketchup packet.
Can You Get Sick From Old Ketchup Packets?
If you eat an old ketchup packet, there is a chance that you will not get sick, but you will have an unpleasant experience from the taste or smell of the old ketchup.
While it is rare to develop food poisoning from old ketchup, you can still get food poisoning from old ketchup if you are not careful.
However, if the ketchup packet is past the expiry date but does not seem to look, taste, or smell funny, the ketchup should be fine to eat.
How Do You Know If Ketchup Has Gone Bad?
If you want to know if your ketchup packet is still good, you need to open the packet and squirt the ketchup onto a plate.
Your ketchup should look, smell, and taste nearly identical to regular ketchup, and if not, the ketchup has gone bad.
If you notice any unusual scent, flavor, or appearance in your ketchup, you need to throw the ketchup packet away immediately.
Check out our other articles to discover if ketchup belongs on pasta, if ketchup belongs on eggs, and if ketchup has vinegar.
Ketchup packets can go bad since the ketchup within the packets can spoil and the plastic packaging can disintegrate, meaning there is nothing to protect your ketchup from germs.
Generally, ketchup packets stay good for 9-12 months after the manufacturing date, but you can refer to the expiration date on the ketchup packet or check the ketchup to see if there is no odd appearance, taste, or smell.