We all have those condiments that just sit, and sit, and sit in our fridge with minimal use. They are always bought with the best intentions, sometimes you just forget they’re even there in the first place. It’s best to be proactive and get those out before they do any real damage.
Here’s a list of 10 that probably need to be evicted from your refrigerator as soon as possible. Remember: When in doubt, throw it out.
1. Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip
Mayo can last up to one month after being opened if refrigerated or in the pantry, and up to one week past the sell-by date if unopened.
How do you know if you’re looking at bad mayonnaise? The mayo will become yellow-ish and a tad lumpy.
2. Salad Dressing
Whether it’s ranch, blue cheese, Italian, or Thousand Island dressing, they all have the same timing when it comes to going bad. You have one to two months after the printed date for ranch, blue cheese, Caesar, and Thousand Island dressing.
If you have Italian or balsamic vinaigrette, you’re in luck. You have about three to four months of leeway. If you’re on the fence and not sure, double check that the color matches how it looked when you bought it.
That peanut butter and jelly sandwich is no good if the jelly is out to pasture. Jelly typically lasts about 6 months to a year past the printed date.
With that being said, you must be aware that different jams and jellies have particular ingredients that may affect the expiration. Click here to get the complete rundown.
The American classic can last up to two years if taken care of properly, but usually after a year is when the ingredients begin to separate. When you notice that happening, it’s time to head to the grocery store.
The complement to the above-mentioned condiment has similar terms of expiration. When going bad, the mustard will begin to smell and separate. So when your ketchup goes out, go ahead and get new mustard, too.
6. Chocolate Syrup
Whether you’re making a milkshake or a hot fudge sundae, be sure that chocolate syrup is still good to go. If unopened, you have a two-year grace period, but if it’s been opened, then cut that in half.
I probably sound like a broken record, but if the ingredients are separated, it’s time to get more. When heating up the chocolate syrup the liquid will separate and the chocolate itself will burn.
7. Fast Food Condiment Packets
If you’re like me, then you have a drawer or container full of fast food condiment packets. Why? Who knows, but we all keep them. The expiration dates are usually printed on the big box sent to the companies that pass them out.
Those packets will begin to lose flavor and I know from experience that the ketchup packets will have a very stout vinegar taste. Don’t be that person. Most packets will last for about a year. Sugar, honey, and salt can last forever if kept at proper temperature.
Opened or unopened that pickle jar in the fridge is kept fresh by the acidic vinegar liquid it sits in. You have one to two years to use those pickles from the Sell-By date.
9. Cranberry Sauce
Thanksgiving comes around every November and cranberry sauce is sold by the boatload. We all have a few cans left over and maybe even opened a can that we barely used. If that happens, use it within the week.
If the can hasn’t been opened, you can happily use it for the next Thanksgiving. Any time past that, you’re going to need to add it to your Thanksgiving shopping list. If you open the can and the top is rounded instead of flat, get rid of it.
10. Peanut Butter
I used to think peanut butter was nonperishable, but boy, was I wrong. It actually has a shorter shelf life than its popular counterpart, jelly.
Natural peanut butter only lasts a few months. The processed stuff can last you anywhere from a year or two. If opened, then you have about 6 months until things start to go south.