- How long does an unopened bottle of ketchup last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize the shelf life of ketchup, store in a cool, dry area.
How long does an unopened bottle of ketchup last at room temperature? Properly stored, an unopened bottle of ketchup will generally stay at best quality for about 1 year.
Is unopened ketchup safe to use after the "expiration date" on the bottle? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the bottle is undamaged - commercially packaged ketchup will typically carry a "Best By," "Best if Used By," " Best Before, or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the ketchup will remain at peak quality.
Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the ketchup's texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, it will still be safe to consume if it has been stored properly, the bottle is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
How can you tell if ketchup is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the ketchup: if the ketchup develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here