So you’ve planned pizza night all week and the day comes to make the pizza, but you soon realize that the sauce you planned to use has been sitting around in the fridge for a while. How do you know it’s gone bad? Does pizza sauce even go bad?
Pizza sauce is generally good for up to seven days in the fridge if it’s opened and 18-24 months if it’s unopened at room temperature. When it’s unopened it doesn’t necessarily go bad, but its quality will diminish.
Homemade pizza sauce is good for five to seven days if kept between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are many types of pizza sauces, but most of them will show the same signs of spoilage.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how long pizza sauce is good for in the fridge and how to properly store it.
After opening, pizza sauce is generally okay to use and consume within seven days. After those seven days, you may begin to see signs of spoilage.
If you don’t and the sauce doesn’t have a weird smell or look to it, it’s most likely still safe to consume.
Different Types of Pizza Sauces
Contadina Pizza Sauce
Contadina pizza sauce (Canned and squeezed) is best if used within 4-weeks of opening.
Contadina pizza sauce is different from most other sauces because it’s gluten, egg, fish, milk, peanut, shellfish, tree nut, and wheat-free.
There aren’t many other sauces on the market that has this amazing quality for such a great price.
This is why so many people over the world use it as opposed to other brands.
Homemade Pizza Sauce
Homemade pizza sauce is good for 5 to 7 days if kept between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the sauce is tomato-based, it can last about five days in the fridge after opening.
On the other hand, if the sauce is cheese-based, it’s not going to last as long since dairy products tend to expire quicker. Sauces that are cheese-based will last about three days in the fridge after being opened.
Canned Pizza Sauce
Canned pizza sauce lasts between five and seven days after opening, but unopened canned pizza sauce can last eight months to a year in the fridge before losing some of its quality.
You don’t’ even have to put canned pizza sauce in the fridge if it’s unopened. It stores just fine at room temperature for the same amount of time.
If you know that you won’t be using it for a while, you would want to skip the fridge and go ahead freeze the pizza sauce after opening it.
How To Properly Store Opened Pizza Sauce In The Freezer
The best way to preserve your pizza sauce is to freeze it at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. If you freeze your pizza sauce, it can last for up to three months in the freezer. You can either freeze leftover sauce or a batch that you created yourself.
In order to properly freeze it, you should follow these tips:
- Cook the sauce like you normally would
- Let the sauce cool completely
- Put the sauce in an air-tight container, freezer bag, or mason jar
- Leave an inch at the top of the container because as it freezes it will expand
- Place the container in the freezer
Once you’re ready to use it, you can thaw it out in the fridge overnight. By morning, the sauce should be thawed all the way, but if not, you can simply place the container of sauce in a large bowl filled with warm water.
How To Properly Store Opened Pizza Sauce In The Fridge
To successfully store opened pizza sauce in the fridge, you should place it in an airtight container to ensure proper preservation at temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can store it in a glass jar, Tupperware, or a bottle, as long as it’s completely sealed so air can’t get in.
If the sauce is still hot from being cooked, you should let it cool down completely before sticking it in a container.
If it’s still in its original container, you can simply put the lid back on it and stick it in the fridge.
How To Tell Opened Pizza Sauce Has Spoiled
There are many telltale signs of spoiled pizza sauce including mold, funky smell or taste, broken seal, or being left out for hours. Here are some of the best ways to identify spoiled pizza sauce.
Examine The “Best By” Date
Before you do anything, if your pizza sauce hasn’t been opened yet, check the “best by” date.
This date will tell you how long your sauce will be good for until you need to use it. Pizza sauce is generally good for up to a year or more if unopened.
Check For Mold
The most obvious sign that your pizza sauce has spoiled is if you see green, black, or white mold on the sauce or the sauce lid.
The first place you’ll see the mold is on top of the sauce and if you see it on the lid, then you know the mold has spread through the entire contents of the jar and it’s not safe to eat, according to the USDA.
Mold can grow even if it’s refrigerated. Even if yous scrape the mold off, it’s still not safe to eat.
This is due to the fact that high amounts of water in pizza sauce grow mold filaments below the surface of the mold, so bacteria is lurking in high amounts in the sauce.
If you’ve already used the sauce, the seal is obviously going to be broken and the sauce is only good for another five to seven days while refrigerated.
However, if you notice a broken seal on a can that you just bought from the store, chances are it’s bad and should be discarded.
Additionally, if you notice a dented or swollen can, bubbling foam after opening, or it’s passed the expiration date, the sauce should be discarded.
Funky Taste or Smell
If you open your jar of pizza sauce and notice a funky smell coming from it, it’s probably spoiled.
When you open the jar, the smell from spoiled pizza sauce will be sour or rancid. This is a good indicator that there are bacteria lurking and it’s now unsafe to consume.
If you have doubts about spoiled pizza sauce based on smell, you can take a quick taste of it.
If your sauce tastes sour, tangy, bitter, or plain unappetizing, you should throw it away.
You may also notice a difference in color or if the sauce is more watery than it should be.
It Was Left on The Counter
Life can get busy and food tends to be left on the counter and sometimes forgotten about until later in the day.
After it’s been opened, if you leave the sauce on the counter at anything above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours, chances are the sauce is now spoiled and unsafe to consume.
At What Temperature Does Sauce Go Bad?
You are going to always want to ensure your pizza sauce is kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If it’s left out for longer than two hours at temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s likely that you’ll have to toss your pizza sauce since it’s now spoiled.
Did You Know?
If the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it can take as little as one hour to spoil. If this is the case, mold and bacteria will begin to grow.
Can You Eat Spoiled Pizza Sauce?
If you accidentally consume spoiled pizza sauce, chances are it won’t hurt you. The main thing that people are concerned about when it comes to spoiled tomato sauces is Botulism. Botulism is a concern with almost all canned goods.
Even though bacteria don’t live well in acidic environments, there have been known cases of Botulism that have popped up in canned tomato-based sauce.
Some of the main signs of Botulism are difficulty swallowing or speaking, dry mouth, facial weakness, blurred or double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and even paralysis.
It’s important to remember that this is extremely rare and isn’t something you should be too concerned about if you accidentally consume a small amount of spoiled pizza sauce.
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No matter how well you made your homemade pizza sauce or how great the brand is, almost all types of pizza sauce can spoil quickly if left in the wrong conditions.
It’s important to ensure you have properly stored your opened pizza sauce so it can be consumed within five to seven days if in the refrigerator.
It’s actually suggested that you freeze your pizza sauce after opening it because it can last upwards of three more months.
This is perfect for those who may be on a budget or make large batches of sauce that need to be frozen.
Remember, you shouldn’t eat spoiled pizza sauce if it shows signs of mold or funny smells. It probably won’t harm you, but it’s still not suggested.
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.