Does Soy Sauce Go Bad?

Have you been wondering if that soy sauce on your shelf is bad or had gone bad? Or have you ever wondered if those soy sauces you see on restaurant tables ever go bad? Your soy sauce has been in the pantry for more than a month, and you can't help but ask yourself, “Does Soy sauce go bad?” fortunately for you, your sauce is probably still fine and edible!

Soy sauce contains a large amount of sodium, making it difficult for microbial growth. However, the quality (taste) of your soy sauce with time may slowly deteriorate. If you store it appropriately, it just may last longer than you can imagine. Some other useful information is stated below

How long does soy sauce last?

soy sauce

Generally, soy sauce has an indefinite shelf life making it very hard or almost impossible to predict its longevity. However, how long your soy sauce lasts will depend on the type of soy sauce and mode of storage.

Originally, soy sauce is made of wheat, soybeans, water, and salt. The mixture is made to undergo fermentation, brewing, and pasteurizing. These processes help to stabilize the end product (soy sauce). Hence, when you ask the question, “does Soy sauce goes bad; it becomes tough to give a definitive answer.

  • Unopened: If your soy sauce is left unopened in the pantry, it could last as long as forever. It becomes somewhat impossible to tell if it's bad or spoilt.
  • Opened: It is advisable to store your opened bottle of soy sauce in the fridge. It helps increase its shelf life for at least 2-3 years past its best by date.

How to tell if soy sauce goes bad

Be sure to note that soy sauce will retain its quality as long as no other condiment or ingredient is added. This means it could sit comfortably in the pantry indefinitely without going bad. However, once opened, you should become conscious and always check your sauce before using it. I'm sure you don't want your favorite recipe ruined.

  • Mold: You probably open your soy sauce, and you notice mold development, discard it. It's as a result of bacteria activities that have gained access into the container. Maybe you didn't seal it after the last usage. Always seal the lid after every usage. If you notice any mold development, discard it immediately.
  • Color/flavor changes: once you open your soy sauce and notice a change in the color or the flavor is different from the way it used to be, it's probably bad, and you should toss it. Colour or flavor change is a result of oxidation.
  • Taste: If your soy sauce is anything different from its original taste, you need not keep it anymore; you should discard it.

Can expired sauce make you sick?

As mentioned earlier, you could still consume your soy sauce after its best-by date if stored properly. Even after expiration, you notice your soy sauce still looks good and taste fresh, you could consume it. Since it's not contaminated, it can't make you sick.

In other to keep it fresh, endeavor you store it in the fridge. Make sure it's sealed, and the lid sits perfectly on the container. Either in the pantry (if unopened) or fridge (if opened).


Soy sauce is one of the few condiments with long-lasting shelf life, somewhat indefinite. However, it could still go bad if not properly stored. It is best to store your bottle of soy sauce in the pantry if unopened and in the fridge once it's opened.

If you use the condiment regularly, you might always want to keep the lid on and store it in the fridge in other to keep the taste fresh. Suppose you notice any difference in taste, smell, or appearance of your soy sauce.

In that case, it's probably gone bad and should be tossed immediately. Expired soy sauce could be consumed if it tastes fresh with no visible mold development.

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