Worcestershire sauce usually does not have an expiration date but a best before date. Check the label, lid, neck of the bottle and base for the ‘best by’ date. After this date the sauce can lose its flavor and will not taste at its best.
Worcestershire sauce contains ingredients like salt, sugar and vinegar that will slow bacterial growth and preserve the sauce. The high salt and acid content of the Worcestershire sauce will naturally preserve it allowing it to last up to 3 years unopened and up to 18 months opened.
Where to look for the expiration date on Worcestershire sauce
Some brands of Worcestershire sauce will not have an expiration date at all. They often have a best by date which is an indictor of when the flavor profile will start to degrade.
Printed on the lid
Look around the sides of the lid. Best by dates are often printed around the lid area. This Holbrooks sauce only has batch number information.
Printed on the label
Check the side of the label. Best by dates can be printed in any white space either vertically or horizontally.
Printed on the neck of the bottle
Check the area around the neck of the bottle. Best by dates can appear printed in the clear area above the label.
No expiration or ‘best by’ date
If you cannot find the expiration date on your Worcestershire sauce bottle don’t worry. Some will not have any expiration dates printed. Just have a good think about when you bought and opened the sauce.
If the sauce is unopened it will be fine for 3 years. Once it has been opened it is best to get rid of it after 18 months.
Expiration dates of popular Worcestershire sauce brands
Holbrooks Worcestershire sauce is a very popular brand. This brand recommends that the sauce is kept at an ambient temperature between 59-77 degrees Fahrenheit (15°C – 25°C) with a shelf life of 3 years.
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce is also a popular brand. It has been made since 1897. This sauce brand does not indicate a shelf life but would be similar to Holbrooks at 3 years.
Ingredients include vinegar molasses, sugar, salt and anchovies. These ingredients are natural preserves creating an environment that does not support bacteria growth.
Over time Worcestershire sauce can lose its flavor if it is opened. Keeping it in the fridge will help to preserve the flavor for longer. If you are planning on consuming Worcestershire sauce within 6 months, then it will be fine to keep it in a cool, dark and dry cupboard.
Can Worcestershire sauce go bad?
Worcestershire sauce can lose its flavor over time. As it is exposed to air or heat the ingredients the sauce can degrade and will not taste great. If the sauce smells bad, is a strange color or if there is white or green floating mold do not use the sauce.
Worcestershire sauce will keep well for around 3 years unopened. It is a good idea to pop it in your fridge once you open it to keep it for longer. It can last well for around 18 months once opened.
If the ingredients have separated this is not always a sign that the sauce is off. The ingredients will naturally separate over time but giving the bottle a good shake will fix this.
How to store unopened Worcestershire sauce
Unopened Worcestershire sauce can be stored in a dark cupboard, in the dark at a temperature between 59-77 degrees Fahrenheit. This normal room temperature in cooler climates.
If you get warm summers then it can be best to put the Worcestershire sauce in the fridge straight away. This will keep it in good condition for longer.
How to store opened Worcestershire sauce
Worcestershire sauce can be stored in the cupboard once it has been opened for around 18 months. Make sure that it is kept cool and is out of direct light.
Opened Worcestershire sauce can also be stored in the fridge to keep the flavors strong. Overtime, opened Worcestershire sauce can lose its flavor tasting slightly bland or losing the diversity of flavors that come from the mix of ingredients.
TIP: Storing Worcestershire sauce in the fridge can conserve the flavor profile for longer.
How long does Worcestershire sauce last?
Most Worcestershire sauce brands will last for 18 months – 3 years. They can lose their flavor after this time so it is best to discard it and get some new sauce.
How to tell if Worcestershire sauce has gone bad
Look out for these key signs to tell if Worcestershire sauce has gone bad. Discard the sauce if you see any of these signs.
If the bottle has expanded
Bacteria can release carbon dioxide ad they digest which will add air and expand plastic bottles. In glass bottle you may notice the plastic lid start to lift or it will make a woosh sound when it is opened.
White or blue mold on the surface
Check the surface of the sauce. If you see any white mold, or blue marks floating on the top then it is best to throw the sauce away.
The sauce smells bad
Give the sauce a good smell and if it does not smell delicious then get rid of it. It should have a yummy, vinegary smell but if it smells off, then trust your nose.
The sauce has changed color
Worcestershire sauce that has changed color significantly must be thrown out. The ingredients can separate over time but once you mix them again, check the color. It should be a dark black or brown color depending on the brand.
Where is the Expiration Date on Worcestershire Sauce? | Summary
Worcestershire sauce expiration dates do not always exist. Look out for best by dates on the lid, neck of the bottle or on the label. You can even flip the bottle over and check the base, but only if the lid is on tight. Worcestershire sauce will last for around 3 years unopened and 18 months after opening.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.