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How long do sauces last in the fridge?

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There's a Mexican restaurant nearby that sells a quart (or more) of their pork green chile sauce to go - which they put in a styrofoam cup with lid. I have no worries that it's not fresh - I'm just not sure on how long it lasts in the fridge. 3 days? 5? 7?

I suppose the same can be said of pasta sauces, salsas, gravy, etc. Assuming something's made fresh and then goes into the fridge (not after sitting in the car for 5 hours on a hot, sunny day), what's your measuring stick?

Also, I get the feeling that cooked sauces might have a bit more shelf life than raw, simply because a lot of raw sauces will still retain a high level of chemical interaction... like how acids in a fresh ceviche keep cooking. Is this correct?

In any case, I like the concept of supporting restaurants that offer takeout experiences of a sauce they make well... it's usually better than anything jarred. I'm just not sure how long they can sit in the fridge. Thanks!

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  1. shelf life depends a lot on the ingredients, but anything fresh like that will spoil more quickly than its mass-produced counterparts because it doesn't contain preservatives...and considering that it contains meat, i'd use it within about 4 days. transfer whatever you plan to use right away to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, and freeze the rest.