Salsa is a delicious and nutritious Mexican condiment that comes in a wide variety of flavors. Not only is This tomato, onion, and chile-based sauce filled with essential vitamins and minerals, but it is also considered a pretty healthy addition to any dish.
With all the good things to be said about salsa, sometimes people forget that it is prepared with perishable ingredients. So it is essential to store salsa properly In a mason jar and toss it out when it looks like it’s going bad. Unrefrigerated homemade foods like some type of salsa can spoil very quickly, consumers should store them with the utmost care.
Salsa from the grocery store is stored in cans, mason jars, and even sealed plastic containers. A lot of people assume for a variety of reasons that salsa cannot go bad, or it at least has a shelf life much longer than it actually does. A couple of things you should never do: Use salsa and stick it back into the refrigerator unopened or take refrigerated salsa and store it in the cabinet after opening it. Neither is wise because all it does is make it go bad even quicker. And if you just happen to consume a dollop of bad salsa, you likely won’t die, but you may wish you were dead.
When exploring the shelf life of salsa, you need to look at how it is prepared. Is it refrigerated, unrefrigerated, or homemade? Since all three are different, there is a rough estimate in terms of how each should be stored. People should also be aware of the expiration dates and/or storage guidelines posted on the label. Those should be followed to ensure the best quality.
Telltale signs that your salsa has gone bad
There are a number of signs to let you know when your salsa should be discarded:
- Odor changes – The smell test is often the best way to determine food viability. If you stick your nose around the salsa jar and inhale an off odor, stick a fork in it. A fishy or rancid smell lets you know the salsa is rotten and should be discarded immediately. Ingesting this could be a recipe for disaster. Not only should you immediately discard this, but you should also thoroughly wash and disinfect your hands.
- Discoloration – Good edible salsa always has bright and vibrant colors. If your open jar of salsa has significant discoloration, it has likely gone bad. In most cases, this means the bright colors have faded to dark brown or even maroon. If your salsa is no longer visibly appealing, toss it out.
- Bubbles – In most cases, bubbles may not mean anything. However, if you open your jar of salsa and see tiny bubbles that are fizzing, that is not a good sign. Moving and fizzing bubbles usually mean that your product is contaminated with bacteria. This can be a serious health risk to the person who is crazy enough to eat this. Don’t take any chances if you see bubbles. It’s best to toss the salsa and purchase a fresh jar.
- Presence of molds – If you see mold in your salsa, throwing it out should be a no-brainer. Do not attempt to scrape the mold off the salsa. Just because you don’t see the mold on one part doesn’t mean mold spores haven’t touched it. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you are in doubt, toss it out. The toxins from the mold can make you seriously ill.
- Bad flavor – Granted the taste of salsa can vary depending on the brand or how it was prepared. However, if your salsa has a very odd, funny taste, you should discard it. Most of the time, salsa that is going or has gone bad will have a tangy flavor. Even if the flavor change is minor, the best thing to do is discard it.
Some people wonder if you can freeze salsa to increase its shelf life. The short answer is no. Whether opened or unopened salsa, freezing salsa will not have good results. For one thing, if you store it in either a plastic container or a jar, there is the risk of cracking. Another big drawback of this method is that it changes the consistency and overall quality. Frozen salsa when thawed has a watery consistency and it is no longer viable to pair with chips, nachos, or other favorites.
However, if you are simply using the salsa to add to soup or another recipe, you can. But you will have to store it correctly in the freezer. Cooks suggest storing your salsa in a zip lock bag to prevent cracking and promote the killing of bacteria. When you are ready to defrost, do so by just placing the bag in a bowl on your counter.
Does salsa go bad in the fridge?
While storing your own salsa in the fridge is the best thing you can do to keep it fresh, it will still go bad after a certain point. Even unopened jar of salsa refrigerated salsa will go bad if not used by the date on the label. If the jar or airtight container is opened, the salsa will generally last about 5-7 days. If it is an unopened bottle of salsa, you can maybe add a few days to it. But after that, it should be tossed. There’s no point in risking stomach cramps or worse from a jar of salsa that’s passed its expiration date.
How long is hot salsa good in the fridge after opening?
There is a bit of a difference in how long homemade salsa and store-bought refrigerated can last in the fridge. But this is only a few days. The best way to store salsa in the fridge is using glass jars. While some people choose plastic bowls with lids, a regular salsa jar with a lid is probably the most reliable way to preserve it.
Can old salsa make you sick?
Old salsa can definitely make you sick. If you consume salsa that has expired, there is definitely a possibility of stomach issues like diarrhea or symptoms of food poisoning or even botulism. Bad salsa can develop bacteria especially if it is not stored properly. It is believed that the garlic and lime juice or lemon juice used in salsa hastens the growth of bacteria and presence of mold . So if you suspect you have consumed bad salsa and start feeling abdominal pain, cramps, nausea, and vomiting, you may have food poisoning. Botulism is a serious condition that can be fatal if untreated. Unlike food poisoning, symptoms and health risks include:
- Heavy breathing
- Rambling speech
- Difficulties swallowing
- Blurred vision
- Muscle spasms and paralysis
How long will fresh salsa last in the fridge?
Homemade salsa usually goes bad quicker than store-bought varieties last extended periods of time past their expiry like tostitos salsa, hot sauce, or salsa verde because it doesn’t have the added preservatives. Also, the way salsa is prepared varies. There may be certain ingredients in salsa that increase the shelf life. As a general rule of thumb, homemade salsa should be refrigerated for about 4-5 days. Once that time has passed, you should probably toss it out.
Salsa is globally one of the most popular condiments and dips people can enjoy. Not only can you pair it with a wide range of dishes, but it is very healthy for you. However, many people take the way in which you store salsa for granted. Salsa — whether refrigerated or unrefrigerated — can go bad in a matter of days. When you purchase salsa, always read the labels to find out the expiration date and the best way to store it. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people get sick from eating expired salsa. Never store opened salsa in the cabinet and always make sure it’s sealed in the refrigerator. If your salsa has mold, smells funny, has an odor, or is discolored, discard it immediately. Even if it looks good and has gone beyond the expiration date, toss it. Never take chances. The alternative is contracting food poisoning or something worse.