Is Expired Tabasco Sauce Okay to Use?

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

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.


The bottle on the left that appears darker is the old bottle, the one on the right is the fresh bottle I just opened.

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.


© Apartment Prepper 2017



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  1. The ‘child’ next door brings me ‘best by’ dated stuff and I just store it in a container so when the SHTF, I can give it back to her. She’ll thank me later…people, it’s dinner envelopes with macarone, rice, etc. If the package is bad, you can still use the pasta.

    1. Hi JJ, Smart to save those! A lot of stuff is still good way after the best buy date. And portions of it would still be usable as you mentioned. Thanks for the comment!

      1. One of my greatest peeves is hearing folks say they are taking ‘expired’ food to the food bank.
        Excuse me–it isn’t good enough for you, but you’d like children, seniors, disabled to eat it??
        I just want to slap some folks sometimes.

        1. Hi JJ, You are so right. Food bank is not a place to dump off expired foods! That would be wrong! Thanks for mentioning.

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