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Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce - 1 Year Past Expiration

I went to a local Asian market today and bought a Banh Mi sandwich and a small plastic jar of Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce. I brought my goods back to my office and put a bit of the chili sauce on my banh mi; it was fantastic.

Now I am sitting here inspecting the bottle and notice that it says BEST BEFORE MARCH 2013. I have no intention of throwing this bottle away but what would you do?

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    1. The salt, vinegar, potassium sorbate and sodium bisulfate levels are probably high enough to keep the ingredients safe to eat way past the “best by” date. The only degradation is possibly in the level of heat, and then probably very slight at that. If it tastes like normal, fresh stuff, I’d eat it without a problem.

      1. Only a year? I would certainly use it, unless it had been opened and was moldy.

        1. It's BEST by, not use by.

          Assuming it was sealed, and looks and tastes OK, I'd use it.

          1. Ignore the pull date and use it 'til it's gone.

            1. If it was sealed when you opened and consumed it, wait until tomorrow morning and see how you feel.

              If you do not report back, I will throw mine out which has a "Best Before June 2015"...

              1. I'd be SO ANNOYED. And I'd totally keep it and use it. Most condiments last about forever.

                1. It just means it's better.

                  You now have 1 year aged chili sauce.

                  "The Huy Fong 1"

                  1. One other thing: peel off the part of the label that has the "Best Before..." date. If you're the type that believes those dates, it'll only drive you crazy.

                    1 Reply
                    1. use it. it's not pickled herring.

                      1. I would keep it.

                        For these chili sauce or soy sauce, you will often see the something like "best before XXX". These products actually last a very long time. Best simply means the taste maybe better before XXX. The sauce will not cause any harm to you.

                        Same thing for Kimchi. You often see "Best before XXX", but it is perfect safe to eat after the date.

                        1. I'd use it without a second thought.

                          1. Well...I didn't die overnight so I guess I will keep the jar.

                            1 Reply
                            1. We had a discussion a few years ago about aged Huy Fong Sriracha and the Chili Garlic sauce. One poster said they always age it, in the hot trunk of their car. I did a comparison between unopened jars and bottles that I had at my vacation place vs. new and the aged had some different qualities to it that in many ways were better tasting.

                              1. It says "best before", not "poison after".
                                I'd use it, no problem.

                                1. i have one in my fridge that's about 5 years passed the expiration date...my husband and I ate it with eggs over the weekend and I am still here!

                                  1. In my experience, hot sauce seems to last forever. I wouldn't worry about it (although I'd be slightly annoyed they didn't pull the bottle sooner)

                                    1. There is neither any regulation nor any actual science behind "best by" dates, or even "sell before" dates for that matter, the only exception being, IIRC, dairy products whose pull dates are actually regulated by USDA I think. In short, manufacturers can put just about anything on there, and what date they use is as much for their own self-interest (sell more of the stuff) than anything to do with customer protection. For a product like chili sauce, or any product that has been canned (metal, glass, food-grade plastic), you can pretty much use it until it just doesn't taste good any longer or it's obviously gone moldy or such. Since that was specifically not an issue in this case, feel free to use it to your heart's content.

                                      On a related issue, personally, when cultured dairy products (e.g. sour cream, cream cheese) go moldy in my fridge, I just scrape off the mold and keep on truckin'. I'm not dead yet. Not even sick.

                                      There has recently been some discussion of actually systematizing and regulating pull dates, but I'm not aware it is going anywhere.

                                      1. I think that stuff is less prone to aging problems than, say, Worcestershire sauce, and our family's bottles of Lea & Perrins typically lasted two or three years … and you'll notice I survived childhood!

                                        What's more, I just noticed that while I go through a couple of bottles of their Sriracha per year, we've had the Chili Garlic Sauce for much longer than you've had yours. I think the only thing I use it for is Pad Thai …

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                          "you'll notice I survived childhood"

                                          did you Will? did you?

                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                            <lasted two or three years>

                                            2-3 years? I must have my Worcestershire ~10 years.

                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                              I mix it with ketchup and use it as a dipping sauce for shrimp or on top of raw clams and oysters. So we use an 18 ounce jar about one every three months.

                                            2. since AFAIK there's no animal product in it, I'd compare it the shelf stability of vinegar. might mellow or intense, but not go bad, just useless.

                                              1. [Edited out. Computer glitch. Sorry.]