Does Tartar Sauce Go Bad? –  How long does tartar sauce last, How to Store, and More

Does Tartar Sauce Go Bad?

Tartar sauce is a reliable source of tartness, sweetness, and sourness. Its rich profile makes it everybody’s favorite- be it for veggies or seafood.

As much as you’d like to stock up on this sauce, it is necessary to understand its shelf life. Because, like every condiment, this sauce will go bad after a certain time frame?

But how long does it take for the tartar sauce to go bad? How can you improve its storage to elongate its shelf life? If you have such questions, we highly suggest going through the following article as it will give you all the necessary information about tartar sauce and its required storage methods.


How Long Tartar Sauce Lasts? 

How Long Is Tartar Sauce Good For?

How long does Tartar Sauce last once opened?

Tartar Sauce, as a condiment, must be stored in the refrigerator after opening to increase its shelf life by up to six months and avoid spoilage. The shelf life of Tartar Sauce is three to six months after it is opened.

How long does Tartar Sauce last unopened?

However, the sealed bottles of Tartar Sauce can last up to one-two year after it is packaged. The major fact to consider here is that different recipes and brands of Tartar Sauce use other ingredients.

It can cause less or more acidity, therefore dictating how long the Tartar Sauce lasts. Some sauces like may last up to two months with proper refrigeration, while others may last up to four-five months when left outside the fridge.

That being said, the refrigerator has been the place to preserve Tartar Sauce for a long time. Below is the table for you to understand its shelf life.


Product In Pantry In Fridge
Tartar Sauce 12 Months, if Unopened Six Months After Opening

   Tartar Sauce tends to last longer when an unopened bottle is stored in cool places, and after opening, it must be stored in the refrigerator.

How long does Tartar Sauce last at room temperature?

Tartar sauce does not work well at room temperature, mainly due to its ingredients. But if you have to store it, it must not be kept out for more than eight hours.

How Can You Tell if Tartar Sauce Sauce Is Bad?

How can you tell if tartar sauce is bad?


Tartar Sauce tends to go bad after the best-by date, and there are many underlying causes. So, when Tartar Sauce goes bad, you have to identify it by looking at the following signs.

Offensive Smell

The very first sign to identify the spoilage of Tartar Sauce is the foul or offensive smell. The Tartar Sauce gives off a foul smell when it goes bad and loses its texture. It indicates that the sauce has gone bad and is not healthy for consumption.


Mold Growth

As the sauce goes bad, mold growth appears on the surface of the sauce. If you see black or green color substances on the surface of the sauce, discard the sauce as it is a sign of mold growth on the sauce.


Best-By Date

The best way to know when the sauce is good for consumption is the best-by date. The commercially prepared Tartar Sauce comes with an expiry date or best-by date. If the date has passed, discard the sauce immediately as it is no longer safe for consumption.


Pro Tips

  • If the Tartar Sauce is homemade, ensure you store it in a glass bowl that is tightly secured. You have to ensure that no air is leaking as it may lead to bacterial growth.
  • After taking the required amount of sauce, clean the lid and secure it tightly to avoid the build-up of bacteria.   


How long does Tartar Sauce last in the Refrigerator
Vs. Shelf Stable? 

What’s the difference in the life between Refrigerator and Shelf-stable Tartar sauce?


Tartar Sauce, once opened, must be refrigerated continuously to maximize its quality and extend its life span up to six months. Users have to ensure that the lid of the sauce is secured tightly before refrigerating.

However, the Tartar Sauce that is sealed and unopened can be kept at room temperature, and the best place is your kitchen cabinet or pantry. It must be away from the direct source of heat and sunlight.


Shelf Stable

Tartar Sauce is not a shelf-stable food, and hence it must be refrigerated after opening the bottle. It is absolutely fine to store the sealed bottle of Tartar Sauce in your pantry or kitchen cabinet.

But, once it is opened, you have to refrigerate it to retain its quality, flavor, and taste for up to six months.


Can You Eat Tartar Sauce After the Expiration Date? What happens if you eat expired Tartar Sauce?

Professionals confirmed that eating Tartar Sauce after expiry won’t make a person sick unless it is not spoiled or the jar is damaged or leaked. The commercial-brought sauce comes with a use-by or best-by date instead of expiry date.

So, the best-by or best-before date doesn’t signify the safety of the sauce. It only shares the information on how long the sauce will sustain its quality and taste. Therefore, one can consume the expired Tartar Sauce, especially if it qualifies the quality parameters. For example, if it doesn’t give off a foul smell, has any bacterial or mold growth, etc.

After the best-by date, you will notice a change in color, texture, and flavor. Not always, though. Based on how it is stored, you can consume Tartar Sauce for several months after the estimation date. The quote from USDA will help you further to reassure you that you are not likely to fall sick by consuming Tartar Sauce after the best-by date.


Can You Freeze Tartar Sauce?

Can You Freeze Tartar Sauce


Freezing the Tartar Sauce is not possible because the mayonnaise in the sauce separates, making it inedible and unappetizing.

If you check the label of the Tartar Sauce or contact any manufacturer, you will be suggested not to freeze the Tartar Sauce. You will find it in bold on the packaging label. Nonetheless, it is all because of the mayonnaise at the base of Tartar Sauce that prevents it from freezing properly.

However, you can freeze the homemade Tartar Sauce by mixing the sauce with refrigerated and unfrozen mayonnaise.


How to Store Tartar Sauce

Like many other buyers who prefer buying Tartar Sauce in a bottle or jar, you must be looking for the right way to store your sauce for extended usage. Here is a brief helpful guide on how to store Tartar Sauce.


Unopened Tartar Sauce Bottle

The rule of thumb for unopened Tartar Sauce bottles is to keep them in dry, cool, and dark places, away from direct sources of heat and sunlight. The kitchen cabinet and the pantry is the right place for its storage until it is sealed.

A steady temperature is needed to store a sealed or unopened bottle of Tartar Sauce to maintain its quality, texture, and flavor. Fluctuation in temperature can spoil the texture and even degrade its quality.


Opened Tartar Sauce

Once the bottle of Tartar Sauce is opened, it needs refrigeration, and hence it belongs to a refrigerator. However, there are some tips that users have to follow when storing the opened Tartar Sauce in their fridge.


Pro Tips for Storage in Fridge

  • After opening the lid, people must ensure to store the Tartar Sauce bottle on the back shelf instead of the door. It is important because the temperature is not consistent in the door, and it may degrade the quality and spoil the texture.
  • Ensure to take out Tartar Sauce using a clean spoon and avoid pouring the leftover sauce back into the jar of Tartar Sauce.
  • Wipe clean the edges of the bottle after every use and secure the cap tightly after every use.

What are the Alternatives to Tartar Sauce if it has gone bad? 

If you cannot find a good bottle of tartar sauce, you can use the following alternatives. Do not worry; they will not change the taste or texture of your dish:

  • Sriracha Mayo Sauce
  • Tzatziki Sauce
  • Remoulade Sauce
  • Garlic Aioli
  • Hummus

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Open Tartar Sauce Safe for Consumption After Expiry?

Yes, opened Tartar Sauce is safe for consumption after expiry, provided it has been properly stored as recommended and the bottle is undamaged, and there are no spoilage signs. The store-bought Tartar Sauce usually comes with a best-by and best-before date, but it can’t be considered a safety date. It is the estimated date by the manufacturer of how long the sauce will retain its peak texture, flavor, and taste.


How Long Can One Freeze the Tartar Sauce?

One can freeze the homemade Tartar Sauce for up to six months. But it must be a mayonnaise-free sauce, or it will never freeze well. The store-bought Tartar Sauce is not good for freezing because it comprises mayonnaise as the base ingredient. So, if you freeze it, the components will start separating from each other, and it will never freeze properly.


Is Refreezing Tartar Sauce Good?

Store-bought Tartar Sauce must not be frozen. But, if you have prepared homemade Tartar Sauce, it is good to freeze it for an extended lifespan. However, freezing the homemade Tartar Sauce multiple times may cause alteration in its texture, and when you thaw it for a second time, the sauce will get watery.

So, an expert tip is that you must freeze the homemade Tartar Sauce in portions to avoid the need to refreeze the sauce. This way, users have to thaw only the required amount of sauce without refreezing the leftovers.


Is Store-Bought Tartar Sauce Good for Freezing?

No, people must not freeze the Tartar Sauce purchased from the store as it comprises mayonnaise as base ingredients, and freezing it will alter the texture and separate all the ingredient mix. So, avoid freezing the store-bought Tartar Sauce as refrigeration is sufficient for maintaining its consistency and quality after opening it.

How long does cream of tartar last after opening?

A cream of tartar lasts for 6 months over its expiration date. Its shelf-life remains the same, whether you refrigerate it or not.

The Bottom Line

Refrigerating the Tartar Sauce is always the best option to sustain its quality and texture longer. If you don’t intend to use the opened bottle of Tartar Sauce, secure the lid tightly and refrigerate it to keep using it for up to six months.

However, for unopened or sealed bottles of Tartar Sauce, it is fine to store the sauce at room temperature, away from direct sources of heat and sunlight. The pantry and kitchen cabinet is the best place for its storage.


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