Does Worcestershire Sauce Go Bad? How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last?

Worcestershire sauce is a very useful and very popular food to enjoy. You might be wondering how long your Worcestershire sauce is going to last; read on to find out!

Quick Answer

Unlike many foods, Worcestershire sauce typically doesn’t go bad, assuming it’s stored properly.

  • While it won’t typically spoil, its quality will deteriorate significantly over time. This happens after about one year past the best-by date for opened Worcestershire sauce.
  • Unopened Worcestershire sauce will last for around five years.
  • Worcestershire sauce doesn’t necessarily need to ever be refrigerated, but it helps. An open bottle will last for three years when refrigerated.


The way that you store your Worcestershire sauce will affect its storage life. Let’s explore some of the different ways that you might choose to store your Worcestershire sauce to demonstrate this.

Does Worcestershire Sauce Go Bad? How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last?

Worcestershire sauce will actually store for a very long amount of time, unopened or opened. This, of course, assumes that you store it correctly. You can expect it to last for anywhere from one year to five years past the best-by date. Depending on your circumstances, you may choose to keep your Worcestershire sauce in one of the following ways.

How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last Outside?

Because the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce, like vinegar and soy, don’t need refrigeration to stay in good, safe condition, you can keep your Worcestershire sauce outside pretty easily.

If you choose to keep your Worcestershire sauce outside, make sure that you keep it out of direct sunlight in a dark, cool place, and avoid places that experience extreme heat or significant temperature swings during the day.

If the correct storage procedures are followed, you should be able to keep your unopened Worcestershire sauce outside for at least five years past the best-by date, although your sauce may last significantly longer than that. Five years past the best-by date is typically when the quality starts to deteriorate significantly. Once opened, Worcestershire sauce will last around one year when stored this way, but can last longer.

How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last in the Fridge?

Worcestershire sauce doesn’t necessarily need to be kept refrigerated in order to enjoy a long shelf life, even if you’ve already opened the bottle.

There’s no point to refrigerating an unopened bottle of Worcestershire sauce because of its already-incredibly-long shelf life, but an opened bottle of Worcestershire sauce is a different story. You can put this in the fridge to drastically increase its shelf life, although it will last for quite a while outside of refrigeration.

An opened bottle of Worcestershire sauce that is kept refrigerated will last for around three years after opening. Keep in mind that this is more of a quality thing rather than a safety thing; your open bottle of Worcestershire sauce will probably still be safe after three years have gone by, but the quality will likely have deteriorated and made it less suitable for use.

How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last in the Freezer?

Worcestershire sauce, whether it is opened or unopened, will enjoy a perfectly long and stable shelf life without freezing. Considering this, some people still choose to freeze their Worcestershire sauce, generally for a recipe that might call for frozen Worcestershire sauce, such as a certain style of Bloody Mary cocktail.

If you decide for some reason that you really want to freeze your Worcestershire sauce, you can expect a certain shelf life out of it, assuming that you freeze the bottle correctly.

If you freeze your Worcestershire sauce, you can probably expect it to last for around as long as it would if left unfrozen.

Now you know all about how long your Worcestershire sauce will last outside, in the fridge, and in the freezer. Let’s move on to talking about how to tell if your Worcestershire sauce has gone sour.

How to Tell if Your Worcestershire Sauce Has Gone Bad?

Even though Worcestershire sauce has an extraordinarily long shelf life and most likely won’t spoil, that doesn’t mean it never can. If stored improperly, your Worcestershire sauce might end up having a much shorter shelf life than expected. Here are some ways that you can tell if your Worcestershire sauce has gone bad and needs to be thrown out. As always, when in doubt, throw it out.

Sight: Examine the bottle and see if anything looks off. Signs of mold or other organic organisms are definitely a sign that your Worcestershire sauce has gone bad. You can also check to see if the bottle itself looks okay; a bottle that has swollen up, or a bottle that makes a loud popping sound when opened, is an indication that your Worcestershire sauce has gone bad.

Smell: As with many food items, if you notice your Worcestershire sauce has developed a strange or offensive odor, it’s most likely a sign that it has gone bad and needs to be discarded.

Taste: Worcestershire sauce that doesn’t taste right hasn’t necessarily spoiled, but has definitely degraded in quality. This is typically because it has been stored way past its shelf life. You can certainly continue to use Worcestershire sauce that has experienced this deterioration in quality, but you would probably be best off if you got a bottle that actually tastes like Worcestershire sauce is supposed to.

How to Store Worcestershire Sauce?

You know that you can keep your Worcestershire sauce outside, in the fridge, or in the freezer for so long, and how to tell if it has gone bad. Now, let’s talk about how to make sure you’re storing it in the correct way.

Keep it sealed tight: This is typically the Golden Rule of storing any food item. Once you’ve opened up your bottle of Worcestershire sauce, then make sure you keep it sealed tight while it still remains in storage. This will prevent any unwanted organisms, organic or not, from getting inside your sauce, and will help to ensure it lasts for as long as it’s supposed to.

The pantry is best: The pantry is probably the best place to store an unopened bottle of Worcestershire sauce. It’s a cool, dry, and dark place, and those are three things that are very important when considering a place to store your Worcestershire sauce.

Shake it up: It’s perfectly normal for your Worcestershire sauce to separate and develop sediment at the bottom of the bottle after having been in storage for a very long time. This doesn’t mean that your sauce has gone bad; it just needs to be shaken up. Even if your sauce doesn’t appear to have separated in storage, give it a good shake before you use it.

How to Freeze Worcestershire Sauce?

We established above that you can in fact freeze Worcestershire sauce, so how do you do it? Let’s talk about it so that you know exactly how to keep your Worcestershire sauce in perfect condition for months.

Determine if you really need to: Worcestershire sauce really doesn’t need to be frozen. Doing so will do basically nothing to extend its shelf life, unlike a lot of other foods. For this reason, make sure you’re really freezing your Worcestershire sauce for a good reason, so that you’re not wasting space in your freezer.

Consider the salt: The large amount of salt in Worcestershire sauce means that it’s going to be hard to freeze. It’s still possible, but make sure that you put your Worcestershire sauce in the coldest part of your freezer to ensure that it actually freezes. Check up on it the day after you’ve put it in the freezer to make sure it has frozen properly.

Label it: Even though your Worcestershire sauce probably won’t go bad for a very long time when frozen, still write the date of storage somewhere on the bottle or where you will remember it. This way, when you go to use it after a couple of years, you won’t find that you don’t remember how long it has been in there.

How to Thaw Worcestershire Sauce?

Now that you know how to freeze your Worcestershire sauce, it’s time to learn how to thaw it back out again when you’re ready to consume it.

Unfortunately, Worcestershire sauce has a pretty high likelihood of separating in an odd way when frozen. The liquid will often separate from the solids in the sauce. If you find that this is the case with your sauce, try mixing it back up. If you can’t do this, then your Worcestershire sauce didn’t freeze well and will have to be discarded. This is part of why it’s very important to make sure you actually want to freeze your Worcestershire sauce in the first place.

In order to thaw your Worcestershire sauce, try putting it in the fridge overnight. If your Worcestershire sauce is a central part of a recipe you’ve done or are doing, then just continue to follow the directions on the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions About Worcestershire Sauce’s Shelf Life

Even after reading all of this information, you might still have questions about your Worcestershire sauce and its shelf life. We’ll answer a couple of common questions here.

Is the use-by date on my Worcestershire sauce the same as an expiration date? No, it isn’t. A use-by date is a suggestion for when a container of Worcestershire sauce should be used by to maintain the highest quality. An expiration date tells you that you must use the product by that date, or else it has gone bad. Use your Worcestershire sauce’s use-by date as a guide, along with the information in this article. As always, if in doubt about the safety of your Worcestershire sauce, throw it out. Worcestershire sauce can last for a really long time, but like we established in this article, it still can spoil.

Is there any way to fix Worcestershire sauce that has lost its quality? Not really. Worcestershire sauce that has been stored for so long that it has started to lose its well-known flavor is better off being disposed of, if quality is what matters to you. You might find that the differences are less noticeable after you’ve put it into a recipe. You can try adding extra Worcestershire sauce to make up for the lacking quality, but in the end, you’re better off just buying a new bottle of Worcestershire sauce.

Wrap Up

Worcestershire sauce is unique among many foods in that it doesn’t usually go bad, as long as it’s handled properly. This can make it a great option for anyone who needs a versatile sauce that can be kept for ages. Just remember to keep the bottle sealed tight, and you should be good to go!

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