Does Ketchup Go Bad? (Shelf Life, Storage Tips + More)

Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments around the world, meaning many people keep a bottle of ketchup in their houses at all times.

If you have an old bottle of ketchup in your house, you may be wondering if ketchup goes bad. I looked up the facts, and here is what I found!

Does Ketchup Go Bad?

Ketchup can go bad, and ketchup typically lasts for up to six months once opened if the ketchup was refrigerated. Unsealed ketchup can be okay to eat for up to several months past the best-by date given that the ketchup smells, tastes, and looks fine. To make ketchup last longer, you may opt to keep it refrigerated or frozen.

Do you want to learn more about how to know when ketchup is bad, if ketchup expires, and how to store your ketchup? Keep reading!

Can Ketchup Go Bad?

Like other condiments, ketchup can go bad over time, especially if the ketchup was not kept in the proper storage conditions.

However, ketchup generally lasts a long time since most ketchup brands create very acidic ketchup and the acidity slows down the potential spoilage and bacteria growth.

Despite that, it is important to remember that ketchup’s acidity does not completely stop the growth of bacteria, so your ketchup will not last forever.

Does Ketchup Expire?

Ketchup can expire, as indicated by the expiration date listed on most ketchup bottles, but the expiration date may not be the exact time that ketchup expires.

Occasionally, you can still use ketchup past the expiration date, but only if the ketchup bottle was sealed and the ketchup looks, tastes, and smells fine upon opening.

How Do You Know If Ketchup Is Bad?

Typically, you can tell that your ketchup has gone bad if your ketchup changes in taste, smell, or appearance.

For instance, most ketchup is a deep red with a slightly sour and sweet flavor depending on the brand, but the ketchup suddenly being brown or yellow with a significantly sour taste may mean your ketchup is bad.

Another example is how ketchup is usually very thick, but a suddenly watery texture could signal that your ketchup is no longer safe to eat.

Additionally, seeing any signs of mold on your ketchup is an indicator that your ketchup is not good and needs to be thrown away.

How Long Is Ketchup Good For After The Expiration Date?

Normally, unopened ketchup can be good for up to a year after the expiration date, but that is given that the ketchup was still sealed, kept away from sunlight, etc.

If the ketchup has already been opened, you need to check the condition of the ketchup and how long the ketchup has been open since you cannot use the expiration date as an estimate once open.

How Long Will Sealed Ketchup Last?

Generally, sealed ketchup can last for up to two years past the best-by date, but how long the sealed ketchup exactly lasts will depend on the ketchup’s condition.

However, it may be best to only consume ketchup a few months after the best-by date if the ketchup is sealed.

How Long Does Ketchup Last Once Open?

How Long Does Ketchup Last Once Open?

Normally, opened ketchup can last for a month out of the fridge given that you tightly seal the ketchup and keep the bottle away from sunlight and temperature changes.

If the temperature is hot or humid, your ketchup may go bad within a few weeks or even days.

However, opened ketchup bottles can stay good in the fridge for up to six months.

Is It OK To Eat Expired Ketchup?

It can be okay to eat expired ketchup, but it is only safe to eat expired ketchup if the ketchup looks, smells, and tastes the same as a new bottle of ketchup.

If your ketchup smells and tastes rancid or changes appearance, your expired ketchup may not be good to eat anymore.

Additionally, ketchup that is anywhere past a year of the expiration date may mean that the ketchup is too old to eat.

Does Ketchup In The Fridge Go Bad?

Normally, ketchup can still go bad despite being in the fridge because refrigeration only slows the process of deterioration, refrigeration cannot stop deterioration.

Normally, you can expect your ketchup to stay usable in the fridge for up to six months depending on the bottle, temperature, etc.

Moreover, this is also given that you keep your ketchup covered to prevent bacteria from entering the ketchup, which can speed up the spoiling process.

For instance, ketchup can go bad in the fridge after a month, and this can occur due to temperature changes or bacteria contaminating the ketchup.

How Can I Make Ketchup Last Longer?

Typically, you can make an unopened and sealed bottle of ketchup last longer by keeping the bottle in a dark and cool place away from sudden temperature changes.

If you have an opened bottle of ketchup, it is best to keep the bottle refrigerated to prevent bacteria from contaminating your ketchup.

You may leave your opened ketchup on the counter, but your ketchup may only last for up to a month depending on the temperature.

Can You Freeze Ketchup?

You can freeze ketchup if you want to make it last longer since frozen ketchup can last indefinitely.

Moreover, once thawed, frozen ketchup will taste nearly the same as regular ketchup, but the ketchup’s consistency may be a bit thinner once thawed.

If you want to thaw frozen ketchup, the best way is to place the bottle or bag of frozen ketchup in a container with warm water or let the frozen ketchup sit out until the ketchup thaws.

Check out our related articles to discover if ketchup tenderizes meat, what ketchup tastes like, and if ketchup packets go bad.


While ketchup can last for a long time, ketchup will eventually go bad since opened bottles of ketchup go bad in the fridge after six months whereas sealed bottles of ketchup can stay good for a few months after the best-by date.

Generally, you can also check the taste, appearance, and smell of ketchup to see if it is good, and any ketchup that has not changed from its original state is safe to eat.

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