Do Sauces Need To Be Refrigerated?
If you have been to a restaurant, you would be familiar with the sight of all kinds of sauce bottles and condiments being placed on tables for customers to use. However, have you ever wondered exactly how long they have been sitting there? You might also be wondering if you have to refrigerate your sauces at home since many restaurants do not seem to be bothered by this. The answer to this question is more complex than you would think because of the variety of different ingredients that can be found in different sauces. We will talk about different kinds of sauces and whether or not they need to be refrigerated below.
Vinegar and Other Preservatives
Unbeknownst to many, many hot sauces in the market use vinegar as an ingredient. The FDA has strict regulations for the way hot sauces are bottled and this is a good thing. Most of these sauces can be out of the refrigerator for months and years until the expiry date. If you do not see any instructions on the bottle telling you to refrigerate it after opening, then it should be fine to leave it out. Hot sauce experts will say that in order to fully appreciate the flavor and consistency the hot sauce, it is important that they are being kept at room temperature. Furthermore, when refrigerated, you might have a harder time trying to get the solidified sauce out of the bottle.
What Should You Refrigerate?
As a rule of thumb, sauces that contain any trace of fruit, vegetable or cream should definitely be refrigerated after opening. If you are unsure, it is always a good idea to check the bottle itself and see if there are any recommendations. It is important to note that even if the sauce you are worried about contains preservatives or vinegar, the other more perishable ingredients can lead to the sauce tasting bad. Additionally, if you have received a homemade sauce from your friend, always refrigerate it. Chances are that your friend would not have added any form of preservative and it is always healthier if you finish up these sauces in less than a month.
What Can We Learn from This?
A typical household would use up sauces fairly quickly. Thus, the bottles of sauce you have at home will not have a chance to sit around for long. To reiterate, it is important that you refrigerate your homemade sauces in a high-quality refrigerator or even put them in a freezer to prolong the lifespan of the sauce.
You should also put any sauces that contain forms of fruit or cream in the refrigerator. Chances are that once the sauce has been poured out and reached room temperature, there will not be any difference to the taste and texture, but refrigerating it can help to preserve it for a longer period of time. Needless to say, a lot of sauce consumption comes from our own judgements. If you notice that your sauce has started to grow mold, or if there are new air bubbles that might be a sign of fermentation, be sure to throw it out so that your health does not get affected.