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Can Salsa Go Bad?

Salsa is often enjoyed as a dip and is also used heavily in Mexican cooking. Salsa is quite versatile, it can be used as a marinade or as a seasoning to soups, and stews! Making salsa from scratch is so easy too. Just chop fresh tomatoes, peppers, onions, add your favorite herbs and spices and you are done! You can also buy bottles of salsa at your local supermarket if you’d like to keep a good supply of salsa in handy.

But can salsa go bad? Since salsa is made from fresh vegetables, it has a shorter shelf life than other dips. The good news is, the way you store salsa could extend its shelf life. By storing the product properly, you can prevent spoilage and make the most out of your supply!

Image used under Creative Commons from Taz

Can Salsa Go Bad?

Yes, salsa can go bad. This goes especially for the homemade kind. Homemade salsa does not have any preservatives at all. This shortens the shelf life of the product. Store-bought salsa has a best by date so check the expiry date if you’re unsure if the product is still usable.

It is equally important to keep a bottle of salsa tightly sealed after every use. Air exposure and humidity could shorten the shelf life of salsa. When the salsa is left exposed to air, there is a higher risk of mold growth. Keep in mind that salsa has a high water content. The vegetable bits are often drenched in their own juices so there is a risk of spoilage if the product is exposed to humidity or hot temperature.

Signs that Salsa Has Gone Bad

It is easy to tell if salsa has gone bad, just check for significant discoloration and smell changes. If the product has taken on a darker, maroon color, it might have gone bad. If the salsa has become mushier and it emits a rotten, off-odor, toss the product in the trash. Check for presence of mold. If the salsa has blue-green specks all over, the salsa has gone bad.

How to Store Salsa?

The best way to store salsa is by keeping it in the refrigerator. This goes especially for homemade salsa, which only keeps for several days. It is best to stick the product in the coldest spot in the fridge. Keep the temperature stable to prevent spoilage. There is no need to transfer store-bought salsa to another container. Its original packaging will do a great job of preserving the product.

Image used under Creative Commons from Jennifer

For homemade salsa, keep it in an airtight container for best results. When kept in the refrigerator, store-bought salsa will keep fresh for 2 weeks or so. On the other hand, homemade salsa will only keep for 5 to 7 days in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Salsa?

For salsa that’s nearing its expiry date, freezing the product is an ideal way to extend its shelf life. This goes also for homemade salsa. Salsa keeps surprisingly well in the freezer! However, we recommend splitting a batch into smaller servings. This way, you don’t have to thaw a frozen block of salsa just for a couple of ladle-fuls. Just transfer the product in a freezer-safe container prior to freezing for best results!


Having salsa in stock is a smart idea especially if you love snacks! You can whip up quick dishes using salsa or even enjoy it as a healthy side dish. Can salsa go bad? Salsa can be a little delicate but as long as you know how to store the product properly, you don’t have to worry about spoilage at all.