This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
I have been going through my stored items and using older supplies. I had a bucket containing spices and condiments. I found two bottles of Tabasco sauce Tabasco Sauce (original) that were stored back in Nov. 2010. The boxes said “BEST BY 08/13. It doesn’t technically say “expired” but “best by.” But it’s always better to check if expired food or past the best by date is safe to eat.
How they were stored
The bottles were stored in an airtight bucket that sat inside an apartment closet. We use air-conditioning and maintain a temperature of around 75-78 degrees.
They looked a lot darker than the new bottle I have in the fridge.
Before I taste it, I decided to go straight to the source, the maker of Tabasco sauce.
I sent an email to McIllhenny Company to ask if and very quickly got a response from a Quality Control Manager. Their website did indicate the product will darken over time due to the contents being sensitive to light. However since the bottles were stored in a dark, air-conditioned place I asked why did they still turn darker? The response was, “Oxidation is the main contributor to color change. Light and temperature can also increase the rate of darkening.”
According to the email, the best by date is based on the production date of the product. I asked if they are still safe to use. The response I received indicated Tabasco Sauce could be consumed after the best by date, however, quality attributes such as color, aroma and taste of the sauce are at their peak within the five years.
I tasted the old Tabasco and found the taste to be a bit less flavorful than the fresh bottle, however it was still okay. However the texture seemed a bit thicker, a bit more clumpy than the fresh bottle. Because of this, I decided to keep using my fresh bottle for table use, and only use the older stock only for cooking.
So to answer the original question, Is expired Tabasco okay to use, yes it is still okay to use, however, taste, texture and color may vary.
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