It can be difficult to determine the proper storage location for certain foods due to the variety of ingredients and preservatives available. Condiments and sauces pose a particular challenge since they often have a long shelf life and can be stored at room temperature until opened, after which refrigeration is necessary.
Whether or not you need to refrigerate Sriracha or any other condiment depends on its ingredient list. Typically, hot sauces such as the widely beloved Sriracha can be stored safely at room temperature. However, if you’re a devoted fan of this spicy sauce, you might be curious about its shelf life and optimal storage methods.
Refrigeration is not necessary for Sriracha since it is a fermented condiment made of red jalapeño, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt along with thickening agents and preservatives that can preserve the ingredients and create an acidic environment to eliminate bacteria. Its shelf life can extend up to two years without refrigeration.
If you are a fan of Sriracha and use it often to add spice to your preferred meals, you can conveniently store it in an accessible location in your cooking area. It is preferable to keep all the spices and flavor enhancers together in a reachable spot, and the fact that Sriracha can be stored at room temperature is advantageous.
What Happens If Sriracha Is Left Unrefrigerated?
As previously stated, hot sauce typically contains ingredients that effectively combat harmful bacteria. Plain Sriracha can be stored at room temperature because its few ingredients create a high PH level that inhibits bacterial growth.
If Sriracha contains complex ingredients such as egg or dairy that can easily host bacteria, hot sauces like Sriracha mayo with more ingredients may require refrigeration.
Regardless of storage location, Sriracha sauce may undergo a natural process where it turns brown due to the darkening of chili peppers over time, which does not indicate spoilage.
One of the only changes that will occur to Sriracha if it is not refrigerated is a decrease in flavor, which is a natural process that affects all spices and sauces. As time passes, the ingredients become less potent and are no longer able to deliver the desired kick when consuming hot sauce.
How Long Does Sriracha Last After Opening?
Sriracha can last for months beyond its expiration date and has a lengthy shelf life. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two years or left outside for nearly the same amount of time.
Sriracha can maintain its optimal quality for approximately half a year when stored at room temperature and up to one year in the refrigerator. It is then your decision whether to dispose of the Sriracha or not.
As long as there is no mold or growth and the smell and texture have not significantly changed to something unpleasant, your Sriracha can be consumed safely, although you may observe a decline in its quality.
Even though Sriracha can last for 2 or 3 years if opened, it may not retain its original flavor due to the preservatives present in it, and therefore, purchasing a new bottle would be a better option.
How Long Is Unopened Sriracha Good For?
If unopened Sriracha is stored in a cool, dark, and dry place like a cabinet or pantry, it can remain safe for consumption for at least two years beyond the “best by” date on the bottle.
Although Sriracha does not last indefinitely, proper storage can significantly extend its shelf life.
It is important to check the container of your Sriracha for any damage before purchasing it as this may impact its shelf life. Due to fermentation, pressure can build up in the container and cause it to burst upon opening.
Can Old Sriracha Make You Sick?
Just like any other hot sauce or spice, Sriracha has the potential to cause discomfort in people with sensitive stomachs, even when it is fresh. The capsaicin found in the red jalapeno peppers used to make Sriracha is responsible for its spiciness. While some may experience a burning sensation in their mouth or nose after consuming this ingredient, others with delicate stomach linings may experience additional discomfort.
Consuming Sriracha may cause heartburn or nausea, but if you’re unwilling to give up the tasty hot sauce, drinking a glass of milk could alleviate these symptoms.
However, if an individual with existing sensitivities consumes a few years old batch of Sriracha, the effects may exacerbate slightly. Although it is not significantly hazardous to consume expired Sriracha, it is advisable to refrain from doing so.
It is important to discard Sriracha that has mold growing on it as consuming it can be harmful due to bacterial growth and unpleasant taste.
If you notice a strong sour odor or a lumpy and divided consistency, it’s best to avoid consuming Sriracha that has been stored for several years, as these are other indications that it may have gone bad. While it may not necessarily cause illness, there is no need to take the risk.
You can also check this video about “Does Sriracha Need To Be Refrigerated?”
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