How Long Is Salsa Good For Once It's Been Opened?

Once you've popped open a jar of salsa, you might wonder how long it will keep in your refrigerator. Fortunately, you have some time to spare. An opened jar or can of salsa will typically last for up to one month as long as it's stored correctly in the refrigerator. That said, you should always check the jar for any signs of spoilage during that time to be safe: Look out for things like mold or other fuzzy bits, an unappetizing odor, and changed colors. If you see any of these, your salsa is no longer good to eat.

However, this time frame is different if you're storing fresh salsa. Whether it's a homemade salsa verde cruda or something from your favorite taqueria, it's best to consume it within five to seven days. Try to use it up quickly, as this is a considerably shorter shelf life than the canned version. The same warning signs of canned salsa going bad apply to the fresh version, so be on the lookout for any spoilage.

Why does salsa last this long?

Salsa's longevity is influenced by several factors. For instance, these sauces typically contain highly acidic ingredients like lime juice, vinegar, or tomatoes. The higher the acidity, the more challenging it is for microorganisms like mold to thrive. Conversely, salsa also includes low-acid ingredients such as garlic, onions, or peppers. This balance explains why fresh salsa can't last longer than a week; the low-acid components essentially neutralize their higher-acid counterparts over time. Similarly, this is why someĀ homemade hot sauces can outlast even jarred salsa. Some hot sauce contains a higher percentage of vinegar, which acts as a long-term preservative.

Jarred or canned salsa, on the other hand, usually has preservatives that extend its shelf life. These can include additives like sodium benzoate and calcium chloride, which fight bacteria growth and preserve texture, respectively. They are also treated through an industrial canning process, which uses heat to cook off harmful bacteria, making it more difficult for the food to spoil. Salsas can be canned at home, but it's best to use a strict, pre-approved recipe rather than your own signature salsa in this instance. You need to follow specific instructions on how much acid to add to your home-canned salsa, lest it spoil quickly.

How long can you freeze salsa for?

The easiest way to extend the shelf life of fresh or store-bought salsa is to freeze it. While many foods can be frozen indefinitely, their quality will begin to degrade over time. In salsa's case, this will occur after about four months. When freezing, transfer the salsa from its store-bought container to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container for the best results. The more oxygen the condiment is exposed to, the more quickly its flavor will degrade. You should also squeeze out any excess liquid, as this will ultimately lead to its texture degrading over time.

Keep in mind that this will work best for cooked salsas like salsas roja or verde. A fresh tomato salsa like pico de gallo or any other salsa fresca will lose its inherent brightness during the freezing process. The ingredients here are raw, so they have not had their water cooked off. This means that when they freeze, the water expands, which changes their texture and color and gives them a taste more reminiscent of cooked vegetables. It will still be safe to eat, but it might not be the exact experience you're looking for.