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When Salsa Goes Bad: Tips For Keeping Salsa Fresh

When salsa is good, it's amazing—like in fish tacos, scrambled eggs, and burrito bowls—but what about when salsa goes bad? Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details and show you ways you can make sure your favorite salsas stay fresh for every upcoming Taco Tuesday on your calendar.

How long does salsa last?

Since salsa is made from fresh ingredients, it may not last as long as the other dips you love diving into. So, exactly how long will your salsa stay good before it switches over to the dark side? Let’s take a look at the shelf life of different types of salsa:

  • As a rule of thumb, most unopened store-bought salsa lasts 12–18 months, but you should always consult with the expiration date printed on the jar to be safe. Always make sure to store your salsa away from direct light to help it reach its full shelf-life potential.
  • An open jar of store-bought salsa lasts about 2–4 weeks in the fridge, but you should always check for signs of mold, fuzz, funky smells, and any other signs that something is awry before diving in.
  • If you make your own salsa, it'll stay good for just five to seven days in the fridge.

Can salsa be left out?

If you’ve already opened your salsa, no—you can’t just leave it out on the counter. Refrigerate it as soon as you can so your favorite salsa is fresh and ready for your next margaritas-and-nachos night.

How should you store salsa?

Unopened salsa should be stored however it was stored at the store. If it was on the shelf, then your pantry is safe, but if it was already refrigerated, then into your fridge it goes.

Regardless of how it came from the store, always refrigerate your salsa after opening. It helps if you try to place it in the coldest parts of the fridge, which is usually towards the back. You can leave it in the original container or move it to a smaller tupperware to save space. 

Pro-tip: Make sure you close the salsa jar lid tightly after each time you use it. Letting air inside could shorten the salsa’s shelf life and even encourage mold to grow. 

Can you freeze salsa?

If you have a salsa that’s getting close to its expiration date and you don’t think you’ll finish the jar in time, we highly recommend freezing it. This trick works for homemade salsa, too. If your jar is only half-full (or less), move the salsa to a smaller container to make it easier to store and to help it thaw faster when the time comes to chow down.

Can salsa go bad?

Yes, all salsa can (and eventually will) go bad if you let it hang around too long or don't store it properly. Take the top off your salsa—if you notice a weird odor, visible mold, or if the salsa has darkened in color, it’s probably time to toss it. Likewise, if the expiration date is long gone, it’s definitely time to ditch the goods and grab a fresh jar.

Can you eat expired salsa?

No, you should not eat expired salsa—those expiration dates are there for a reason. Even if there is no weird odor, visible mold, or discoloration, it could still give you food poisoning. Instead, you should order yourself some more salsa from Pepper Palace so you never have to take a gamble on an expired jar.

While all salsa can and will expire, with proper storage, you can significantly extend your shelf-life. Stock your shelf with sweet, savory, and super-spicy salsas from Pepper Palace—we guarantee you'll devour these delicious dips so fast, you'll never have to worry about your salsa going bad.
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