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Can Horseradish Go Bad?

That open horseradish jar is sitting in the back of your fridge for quite some time. Can horseradish go bad and how long does it last?

Horseradish is a great addition to sauces and marinades, but you use only as much at a time.

Because of that, it tends to sit in the fridge for ages, and at a certain point one starts to wonder if it spoils, and how to tell if it’s already bad.

If that’s you, you’re in the right place. Read this article to learn about:

  • storage practices for horseradish sauce
  • shelf life of horseradish
  • signs of spoilage of this condiment
Horseradish on a spoon
Horseradish on a spoon

How Long Does Horseradish Last?

Horseradish sauce usually retains quality for up to a couple of months past the date on the label, not matter when you open the container. Opening it up accelerates the deterioration process only a bit.

Horseradish is one of the spicier condiments out there, and one that tends to last a long time. In that matter, it’s quite similar to mustard and hot sauce.

Every container should have a date on it, and that date signifies how long the manufacturer guarantees their product should retain quality.

Date on horseradish jar
Date on horseradish jar

In reality, horseradish sauce tends to keep quality for quite some time past that date. Sometimes it’s a month longer, other times it’s much more. It depends on the ingredients used.

Always check the label for info on storage time. Your horseradish might have slightly different ingredients and a shorter storage period.

Once you open the jar, not much changes.

You can assume the condiment will retain quality for at least a couple of months, but most of them stay fine taste-wise much longer, up to the date on the label and beyond.

If your horseradish sits in the fridge for a few months already, and it’s bland or bitter, toss it out and open a new one.

Breakfast with sausage and horseradish
Breakfast with sausage and horseradish

How to Store Horseradish

You can store unopened horseradish in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator until you use it.

Once you open it up, keep the jar in the fridge sealed tightly to retain the potency and flavor.

Like with other condiments, storage rules are quite simple.

Besides the above, always use clean cutlery to scoop horseradish. Even though it’s difficult for microbes to grow in the environment with lots of vinegar, better not to give them any chance at all.

Dunking sausages in the jar instead of scooping some horseradish sauce onto your plate is off the table too.

Horseradish jar
Horseradish jar

How To Tell If Horseradish Has Gone Bad

Horseradish going bad is quite unlikely, but throw out yours if:

  • There’s mold in the jar or anything else that looks suspicious. Quite obvious.
  • The condiment smells off in any way. As usual, your nose is quite helpful in figuring out if something is safe to eat or not.
  • Anything else seems off. Better safe than sorry.
Horseradish sauce closeup
Horseradish sauce closeup

What’s more likely to happen is that your horseradish will become bland over time, lose its pungency, and can even start to taste bitter.

While it may not be unsafe to consume at this point, your cocktail sauce won’t taste very good.

Smell and taste the horseradish before using it in a recipe to make sure the taste is right.

Horseradish jar contents
Horseradish jar contents


  • Horseradish sauce rarely goes bad and lasts quite some time. Often for a few months past the date on the label.
  • Keep unopened horseradish in a cool and dark place. Once you open it, store it in the fridge, tightly sealed.
  • If there’s mold in the jar or it smells funny, throw it out. If the taste isn’t quite there anymore, it’s up to you if you use it or toss it.