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When Does Worcestershire Sauce Go Bad?

Learn about Worcestershire sauce’s shelf-life, how to store it, and how to tell if your Worcestershire has gone bad!

Does Worcestershire sauce go bad? I’ve been told it does, but I have never thrown out a bottle of Worcestershire in my fifty-plus years on this earth!!!

The main thing to remember about this sauce is that a little bit goes a long way, making it a perfect addition to your cost-effective kitchen!

This savory condiment gives a tangy, almost peppery bite to many dishes and has been one of my go-to condiments for decades.

From steaks and burgers to bloody mary’s and tomato-based juices, a few splashes of this delicious ingredient help you build another layer of flavor to your dish in minutes rather than hours!

Unlike avocado oil or deviled eggs, Worcestershire has a long shelf-life thanks to some of its ingredients.

Worcestershire Sauce Ingredients

While we don’t know all the exact ingredients in Worcestershire sauce, some of them are distilled white vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, onions, anchovies, garlic cloves, tamarind extract, and chili pepper extract among other natural flavorings.

Does Worcestershire Sauce Go Bad?

Distilled vinegar and salt help Worcestershire have a long shelf life, but once opened, the sauce’s quality will deteriorate more quickly. So, yes, Worcestershire sauce does go bad over time.

How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last?

A long time! Worcestershire sauce is a fermented product, which means it has a long shelf life. It is aged for months before it is bottled and sold.

Unopened Worcestershire Sauce

If you have an unopened bottle of Worcestershire stored in the pantry or fridge, it will likely last years.

Many say Worcestershire can last three years or longer, even past the “best by” date, but I can’t personally attest to this because we go through a lot of it in my house!

Opened Worcestershire Sauce

An open bottle of Worcestershire will likely last 12 to 18 months, provided it is still within its “best by” date and depending on how you store it.

tomato juice with worcestershire sauce

How To Store Worcestershire Sauce

This sauce can be stored in the pantry, fridge, or frozen. Here’s what you need to know about each storage method.

Pantry or Kitchen Cabinet

Worcestershire can be stored in the pantry even after opening. It does not need to be refrigerated, even after opening, but many people, including myself, store it in the fridge.


Because I use Worcestershire a lot, I buy it in bulk. But sometimes, I don’t use it all by its “best by” date. I’ve found that my sauce keeps its freshness longer when stored in the fridge versus the pantry.


Yes, you can freeze Worcestershire, but I don’t consider it an option unless it is at or just past its “best by” date and I have a lot of it left.

In that case, I will freeze it a teaspoon or so at a time in an ice cube or small herb tray.

Then, I’ll pop a cube or two out of the freezer as needed while preserving the remaining cubes’ freshness.

How To Freeze Worcestershire Sauce

If you make large meals or cook in bulk and use several teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce in your recipes, freezing your sauce in standard ice cube trays would be your best bet. For ease of removal, use silicone trays.

However, if you make smaller meals and often use around a teaspoon, opt for a covered silicone herb tray with smaller cubes.

Step-by-Step Freezing Instructions

  1. Determine your cube size and choose your tray.
  2. Fill each tray with the appropriate amount.
  3. Place trays flat in the freezer for a few hours until frozen solid.
  4. Transfer each cube into a freezer-safe plastic bag or container.
  5. Label and use within 3 to 6 months or so.
worcestershire sauce being poured

How To Tell If Worcestershire Sauce Has Gone Bad

Remember, “best by” dates are when manufacturers estimate their product will retain its quality. Many products, like Worcestershire sauce, can last months after their “best by” date.

If you are unsure about your Worcestershire sauce, use your senses to determine if it has gone bad.

Look for signs of spoilage. For example, if your sauce has mold or has experienced color changes, the Worcestershire sauce has gone bad, so throw it out.

If it looks good, smell it. If your Worcestershire sauce smells funky, definitely toss it, as it has likely gone bad.

If your bottle of Worcestershire sauce passes the look and smell tests, taste a small amount. If it tastes off, toss it. The off taste may be the quality deteriorating, and it may be safe to consume, but you don’t want to take any chances.

Final Thoughts From Cost-Effective Kitchen

Worcestershire sauce, which dates back to the 1800s, should be in your pantry or refrigerator unless your family has dietary issues or personal beliefs preventing its use. It’s one of my favorite sauces!!!

Even if your family doesn’t like the taste of it poured over a steak, remember a few splashes of it will give an extra layer of flavor without your peeps knowing it’s in a dish!!

Worcestershire hits all the marks for being a perfect addition to your cost-effective kitchen. Here’s how:

  • Worcestershire is a common, easy-to-find ingredient
  • It can be stored at room temperature, in the fridge, or even frozen
  • It’s cost-effective cause a little goes a long way
  • It’s versatile in that it adds some zing to just about any savory dish
  • It can add depth of flavor to your dishes in minutes rather than hours

Replacing bad Worcestershire sauce is a lot cheaper than a trip to the doctor for food poisoning! So, if you believe your Worcestershire has gone bad, DO NOT CONSUME IT!

Want to learn more about food shelf life? Check out our articles on blueberries or mayonnaise-based foods like tuna salad or egg salad.

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest!

Until next time…


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