/ Food & Drink

How do you manage your condiments?

From soy sauce and piccalilli to ketchup and beyond, how are you storing your condiments? How do you know when it’s time to get rid of them?

28/02/2020: Which? News update

Thanks to your comments, poll responses and the polls we ran on social media, we’ve discovered a lot of confusion, misinformation and bad habits when it comes to storing condiments.

Some could even be putting health at risk.

Take a look at the full Which? News story here

07/02/2020: How do you manage your condiments?

Are you a soy sauce fan? Or do you find it hard to resist putting ketchup on every meal?  You’re not alone.

According to Mintel research, 97% of UK adults regularly use condiments and dressings, with ketchup topping the popularity list (72% of adults use it, rising to 83% in the 16-24 age bracket).

More unusual ones such as fermented condiments are on the ascendant, too.

UK diners are clearly keen to finesse their meals with condiments and table sauces – from every day perennial favourites to dish-specific sauces such as mint sauce and redcurrant jelly.

But how many of us are aware of how we are supposed to store these popular bottled goods?

Could it be that we’re keeping our sauces, pickles and relishes for far too long and in conditions that could see them going off quicker than they ought to?

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Maybe you find that the bottles tend to cluster in the deepest recesses of your kitchen cupboards – or at the back of a fridge shelf, undiscovered for months until a specific occasion to use them arises (cranberry sauce, anyone?).

Whatever the situation, we suspect there’s some condiment confusion out there and we’re planning to get to the bottom of it.

We’re taking a look at a number of popular condiments and the guidance around their storage and how long they last:

Do you worry about whether using old condiments and sauces might make you ill?
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In general, where do you store your sauces and condiments once you've opened them?
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How long do you keep your open, unfinished sauces and condiments once you've opened them?
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How do you decide on when to get rid of an old sauce or condiment?
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Tell us more

We would love to know your thoughts and experiences.

Do you ever look at the labels for condiments & table sauces? Do you abide by them? 

How long do you keep them for once they’re opened? Does how long you keep it vary with the type of condiment, or where you store it? 

Are there some condiments you treat as being ‘everlasting’? 

Do you have fewer worries about how condiments might affect your health (e.g. food poisoning) than you would for other types of food?  

If you don’t use ‘use by’ dates, which indicator do you use to know it’s time to chuck a product out? Is it when it doesn’t smell right or even has mould/bloom growing on it?

Some of the condiments we’re especially interested in include: ketchup, brown sauce, mayo, Worcester sauce, salad cream, pepper sauce, soy sauce, mustard (English and wholegrain), piccalili, balsamic vinegar, pickles, mint sauce, mango chutney, redcurrant jelly, and tartare sauce.

And remember – no judgement here!

Sue Mason says:
16 July 2020

I usually following food guidelines on bottles. so mayonnaise etc stored in fridge but other condiments such as sauces, balsamic vinegar soy sauce, kept in store cupboard with salt, stock cubes. a lot of opened jars such as apple sauce, mango chutney and beetroot and some chutneys kept in fridge.