Does Worcestershire sauce need to be refrigerated?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does Worcestershire sauce need to be refrigerated?”, and how to store Worcestershire sauce?

Does Worcestershire sauce need to be refrigerated?

An unopened bottle of Worcestershire sauce will stay pretty good in the pantry. If the bottle is opened and the sauce is to be stored for more than a year, your best bet is to keep the bottle in the refrigerator.

Does Worcestershire sauce go bad?

It does go bad but only If you help it. The 2 main ingredients of Worcestershire sauce namely, vinegar and blackstrap molasses, are natural preservatives. If the bottle of the sauce remains unopened, it will taste as good as the fresh sauce even after three years.

Once the bottle is opened and the seal is broken, the sauce gets access to air. This speeds up the degradation process. Now the sauce will lose quality but speedily. Even then the sauce at least a year.

How to store Worcestershire sauce?

Just like soy sauce, an unopened bottle of Worcestershire sauce needs to be stored in a dark, dry, and cool place away from the sunlight and stovetop. The pantry or a kitchen cabinet works fine.

After the bottle is opened, it needs to be tightly sealed and refrigerated. However, If the sauce is to be kept for 6-1 month, It will do pretty well at room temperature as well.

If you only use the sauce once in a while and are unsure about how long will it last, put it in the fridge as a precaution.

The shelf-life of Worcestershire sauce

Worcestershire sauce lasts quite long unless you store it incorrectly. However, it loses its intensity over time. The Worcestershire sauce that has been stored for 5+ years won’t taste as strong as the fresh one. The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of Worcestershire sauce under different storage conditions.

In the pantryIn the fridge 
Worcestershire sauce (unopened)5 years past the Best-by 
Worcestershire sauce (opened)1 year 3 years 

How to tell If Worcestershire sauce is bad?

Worcestershire sauce won’t go bad unless you help it. The preservative properties of the ingredients used in the sauce won’t favor the growth of microbes. The presence of sediment at the bottom of the bottle is natural. It can be stirred back into the liquid by vigorous shaking. However, If any of the following signs are observed, the sauce has gone bad.

  1. If you have noticed mold growth near the cap of the bottle or on the surface of the sauce, get rid of the sauce.
  2. If the sauce gives off a sour smell, it has gone bad.
  3. If the bottle of the sauce is bulging, swelling, or leaking, it should be discarded. Similarly, if the bottle gives off a fizzy pop sound when you open it or you feel a lot of pressure or gas releasing, discard the sauce.
  4. If the sauce states flat and dull, you can discard it for quality purposes.

What is Worcestershire sauce and how to use it?

Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment. The basic ingredients are vinegar and blackstrap molasses which are flavored with anchovies, onion, hearty meat dishes, tamarind, garlic, molasses, and other seasonings. It is widely used in meat marinades, drinks, soups, chilies, and sauces.

Worcestershire sauce comes in the following varieties

Gluten-free Worcestershire sauce

Instead of malt vinegar, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce is made with distilled white vinegar. Read the label before purchasing.

Vegan Worcestershire sauce

The anchovies in the regular Worcestershire sauce are omitted in its vegan counterpart. It is claimed on the label and catches your attention easily.

What is the Worcestershire sauce made of?

Add mentioned above, vinegar is ht main ingredient and is responsible for the tanginess. The anchovies in the regular Worcestershire sauce impart an umami flavor to the condiment.

Tamarind comes from the fruit of Tamarindus indica. Worcestershire sauce is incomplete without the complex flavors of the tamarind. 

The ingredients listed below are present in the original Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce.

  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Anchovies
  • Garlic
  • Molasses
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Chili pepper extract
  • Cloves
  • Natural flavorings
  • Tamarind extract

The Worcestershire sauce from the same brand sold in the UK has malt vinegar and contains 3 times more salt and sugar than its American counterpart.

Low sodium 

If you do not like your sauce to be too salty or If you are on a sodium-restricted diet, you can opt for the low-sodium versions of Worcestershire sauce.


In this article, we answered the question “Does Worcestershire sauce need to be refrigerated?”, and how to store Worcestershire sauce?