Shelf Life Tips
- How long does an unopened can of tomato sauce last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize shelf life, store in a cool, dry area.
How long does an unopened can of tomato sauce last at room temperature? Properly stored, an unopened can of tomato sauce will generally stay at best quality for about 18 to 24 months, although it will usually remain safe to use after that.
Is unopened canned tomato sauce safe to use after the "expiration" date on the can or package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the can is undamaged - commercially packaged tomato sauce 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 tomato sauce will remain at peak quality.
Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the tomato sauce'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 can is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
How can you tell if canned tomato sauce is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the tomato sauce: if the tomato sauce develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
Discard all tomato sauce from cans or packages that are leaking, rusting, bulging or severely dented.
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Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here