The Quickest Way to Ruin a Tailgate | Mom Thyme

Atlanta Eats | Mom Thyme


Mustard. Mayonnaise. Ketchup. Barbecue Sauce. On a football weekend in the South, these are just a few of the condiments we’re all putting on our hotdogs, hamburgers, and BBQ while busy watching the big game. For me, I’ve never thought twice about pulling the bottles out of the refrigerator, plopping them down on the table, and telling everyone to dig right in. Until now…

I recently read a Consumer Reports article that listed the most commonly used condiments and how long you can safely keep them once opened. I’ll admit, I was a bit surprised by a few of their findings and, after quizzing many family and friends, realized that most of us don’t know (or think about!) these types of things. I did compare the Consumer Reports article with a few other websites and compiled the list below of everyone’s favorite condiments and their shelf life once opened:       

Barbecue sauce: 4 months 

Capers: 1 year (brined)

Chutney: 1 to 2 months

Horseradish (prepared): 3 to 4 months

Hot sauce: 5 years

Jams and jellies: 1 year

Ketchup, cocktail, or chili sauce: 6 months

Mayonnaise: 2-3 months after the “Use By” or “Best by” date

Mustard: 12 months

Olives: 1 year or date on the package (jarred or canned), 2-3 months (from the deli)

Pickles: 1 year

Relish: 1 year

Salad Dressing: 6-9 months (sold unrefrigerated), 6 months or date on package (sold refrigerated)

Salsa: 5-7 days (sold refrigerated), 1 month (sold unrefrigerated)

Soy Sauce: 2 years

Tartar Sauce: 6 months

Worcestershire sauce: 12 months

So, if you’re still using those same old bottles of ketchup, pickles, and BBQ sauce that you were last football season, it’s time to toss them! And, to always make sure that your condiments are within the safe range to eat, you can simply use a Sharpie and write down on the cap the date that you opened the jar or bottle. 

For additional information and tips on keeping your favorite foods and beverages safe and tasty, be sure to check out www.stilltasty.com. This is a fantastic website that lists the shelf life of thousands of items and also answers many common questions you might have about food storage. Enjoy! 

Information courtesy of Consumer Reports www.consumerreports.org and Still Tasty www.stilltasty.com. Picture courtesy of www.food.com

Ketchup pic


  1. Lindsay:Great information! I usually throw mine away too quickly according to this..VERY helpful.