So, a couple of old taco bell sauce packets are lying around in your car, and you’re wondering if they are still okay to eat. We’ve all been there.
Does taco bell sauce expire? Taco Bell sauce will eventually expire, meaning that its quality and taste will degrade over time. There are even expiration dates listed on the boxes that they come in, though you won’t see this on the packets themselves. The only real way to know if your packet has gone bad is to open it and test out the flavor.
Let’s learn more about Taco Bell sauce and how to tell if it is still good to eat.
How Long Does Taco Bell Sauce Last?
Unopened Taco Bell sauce packets will generally last at least 9 months before losing some of their quality, but they can go for as long as 5 years before starting to go bad. If the sauce packets are already open, you shouldn’t save the leftovers for later because they are likely to go bad pretty fast. Only save packets that are unopened to avoid spoilage.
The length that Taco Bell sauce will last just depends on how you store the packets. If they are stored correctly, they will stay fresh for a lot longer. Once the hot sauce starts going bad, it doesn’t really spoil for a while, it just starts to worsen in quality and go a bit stale.
Since Taco Bell sauce tends to be vinegar based, it will last for a pretty long time. This is because it’s very hard for bacteria to grow in vinegar. However, Taco Bell sauce also has things such as tomatoes in it that can go bad quicker, and this is why the sauce doesn’t have an indefinite shelf life.
How Should You Store Taco Bell Sauce to Keep It Fresh?
Since the packets are made to be stored at room temperature, just try to make sure they are kept somewhere dark. They are already sealed tightly, which makes it almost impossible for contaminants to get in (unless you accidentally puncture the packets). It’s generally a good idea to keep them away from extreme temperatures, and putting them in the fridge can be a good idea as well.
You don’t want your Taco Bell sauce near any light or heat because it can make it lose its flavor quicker. Keeping the sauce away from ovens and windows is one of the best things you can do to prolong its shelf life.
Though most people just keep the sauce packets in their car, refrigerating is actually a great option if you really want them to stay fresh for longer. The cold won’t dull the flavor as some people think, and will in fact keep it staying more potent for as long as possible. This is a great option if you aren’t planning on using your sauce right away!
How Do You Tell If Taco Bell Sauce is Bad?
The best way to tell if Taco Bell sauce has gone bad is to open it up and use your senses. If it looks like there is mold or it smells off, then it might not be good anymore. This also goes for if it tastes bad. There is no foolproof way to tell if the sauce has gone bad, but if it has you will most likely notice since it won’t be pleasant to eat.
Taco Bell sauce always has darker spots in it, which come from the seasoning and are completely normal. However, if you notice any strange or excessive dark spots that don’t really fit, this could be mold. If this is the case, you don’t want to eat the sauce. Though mold is pretty rare in hot sauce, so if you aren’t sure and there aren’t any other signs of spoilage, it’s probably just seasonings and is still safe to eat.
The best way to tell if your sauce has gone bad is to smell it. If the smell is rancid and seems completely off, you definitely shouldn’t eat the sauce. If it doesn’t smell off but it tastes weird, this is another sign that it’s gone bad. Just trust your senses and go with your gut when it comes to identifying bad sauce, because chances are you will be able to tell pretty easily.
Will Eating Expired Taco Bell Sauce Make You Sick?
It’s very unlikely that eating expired Taco Bell sauce will make you sick, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a possibility. If the sauce is growing mold (which is very rare), it is a lot more likely that the mold will make you sick. If you see signs of mold, definitely stay away from that sauce.
Usually, bad Taco Bell sauce will just taste gross and won’t be enjoyable to consume. It won’t make you sick, but it may ruin a meal if you use it and don’t like the flavor. As previously mentioned, it’s very hard for bacteria to grow in vinegar, and since hot sauce is vinegar based, it’s not very common to get sick from it.
If there is mold in your hot sauce and you eat it, this could cause a minor upset stomach or make you get full blown food poisoning. It could also do nothing, depending on the kind of mold that’s growing. However, you probably don’t want to risk getting sick, so throwing out moldy sauce is going to be the smartest option in that situation.
Taco Bell Sauce lasts a pretty long time, so if you are wondering whether or not you should add those old packets to your food, I would say to go for it. Just make sure that they are looking and smelling normal beforehand to avoid a ruined meal!
We hope that this article has helped you learn more about Taco Bell sauce and how to keep it fresh. And next time you want to reach for those old packets, hopefully you’ll know exactly how to tell if they are still good so that you can focus on enjoying your meal.