Spring cleaning: Refrigerator edition

Consumer Reports says condiments have expiration dates. (WTOP/Lacey Mason)

Brennan Haselton, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – It won’t be long before barbecue season is in full-swing, and now is the time for the refrigerator to get a spring cleaning.

Ketchup bought in 2008? Toss it. Mayonnaise from last summer? Say, “so long!”

According to Consumer Reports, condiments have different “toss by” dates. Here’s a helpful list:

  • Ketchup, cocktail or chili sauce: six months;
  • Chutney: one to two months;
  • Horseradish: three to four months;
  • Mustard: 12 months;
  • Pickles and olives: two weeks;
  • Mayonnaise and salad dressing: Up to two months;
  • Barbecue sauce: four months;
  • Worcestershire sauce: 12 months;
  • Jams and jellies: six months.

To maximize the lifespan of condiments, Consumer Reports says keep the fridge at 37 to 38 degrees.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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