Does Sriracha go bad? Does it refrigerate?

This article is about Sriracha storage, expiration, and spoilage. Learn how long the sauce retains its quality and whether you need to refrigerate it after opening.

So you’ve got a half-open bottle of Sriracha sitting in storage for a few months now, and you’re wondering if it’s ever going to go bad.

Or you just opened the seasoning for the first time, and you want to know if you should refrigerate it or not.

ring a bell? If so, this article has all the answers you are looking for.

Let’s dive in.

Sriracha is sometimes called rooster sauce after the rooster that appears on the label of Huy Fong Foods’ most popular Sriracha brand. Today, other brands of hot sauce (for example, Tabasco) also offer Sriracha flavor.

sriracha sauce 5

Does Sriracha go bad?

Sriracha hot sauce does not spoil easily because most of its ingredients, such as chili, vinegar, and salt, are natural preservatives. So even though the sauce comes with a date printed on the bottle, it often lasts for months after that date.

However, over time, the flavor of Sriracha slowly degrades, and at some point, you may no longer be satisfied with its taste. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing exactly when that will happen.

Something worth knowing about quality is that Huy Fong Foods Sriracha is made with naturally grown chili peppers. That means some jars might be slightly spicier than others, and the color might be a bit different as well.

How to know if Sriracha is bad?

Signs that the Sriracha is spoiled include

  • Presence of mold or any other organic growth. Moldy Sriracha isn’t common, but if yours is, it’s got to go.
  • unpleasant aroma. If your Sriracha gives off a foul or fermented odor instead of the usual spicy, throw it away.
  • drastic texture change. If the sauce has completely separated or you can no longer pour it, it’s done.
  • Bad taste. If everything seems fine, try eating a little. In almost all cases, your Sriracha will be fine. But if the flavor isn’t good enough, or it just tastes bad, it’s time for it to go away.
bottle of sriracha from huy fong foods

Also, use common sense when evaluating whether the seasoning is okay to use.

If your Sriracha is already 4-5 years past its expiration date, it’s probably best to throw it away. The same if your half-open bottle has been in the pantry for two years.

In other words, err on the side of caution.

As you can tell, I’m not saying your Sriracha is bad if it turns dark red or even brown. This is because browning is not a sign of spoilage for this hot sauce. I’ll explain it to you.

Sriracha Darkening

A darker red hue (or darkening) of Sriracha is not a sign of spoilage. Chiles darken over time, and you can notice the same effect in most hot sauces, such as Tabasco.

The browning process is perfectly natural (I wrote about it in more detail in my hot sauce article), and it doesn’t affect the quality of the sauce too much. Sure, it might taste a little different, but that’s about it.

sriracha hot sauce

Does Sriracha need to be refrigerated?

You do not need to refrigerate Sriracha even after opening the bottle. This is because the seasoning ingredients resist bacterial growth and do not spoil easily. A cool and dry place is enough to store it.

In other words, Sriracha is not your typical sauce that always requires refrigeration after opening.

That being said, almost all hot sauces benefit from refrigeration, and Sriracha is no different. If you keep it in the fridge, it won’t darken as quickly and will keep its flavor longer.

Bottom line: If you’re going to run out of the bottle in a couple of months, it’s okay to store open Sriracha at room temperature. But if you expect to keep it for more than half a year, it’s better to refrigerate it.

How long does Sriracha last?

Sriracha has an expiration date of a couple of years and keeps easily long after the printed date. Once the bottle is opened, it maintains its quality for at least half a year at room temperature and more than a year if refrigerated.

Of course, if the bottle is past the printed date when you open it, the Sriracha may not retain quality for as long. But as I mentioned in the section on spoilage, it will most likely stay safe past that date.

Like Tabasco and almost any other hot sauce, it’s hard to tell how long Sriracha really lasts. The point here is that you’re most likely throwing away the seasoning because of its degraded quality, not because it’s gone bad in a way that’s unsafe to eat.

Pantry Fridge
Sriracha sauce (unopened) Expiration + 2+ years
Sriracha sauce (open) 5 – 6 months 1+ years

Please note that all of the above time frames are rough estimates and for the best quality.

half full bottle of sriracha

Date of Expiry

Of course, there is an expiration date on the label, but it is only a rough estimate of how long the sauce will retain its freshness. It is not an “expiration” date and it has to do with quality, not safety.

Almost all hot sauces easily keep for months past the date on the label. And since Sriracha contains almost as much vinegar as other similar seasonings, it also lasts at least as long as they do.

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