Pizza sauce is, perhaps, the most important element of making sure that the pizza you’re making is as brightly flavored and totally delicious as possible. This means that you will always want your sauce to be as tasty as possible. Whether you make the sauce yourself or pick it up from a supermarket, you want to ensure that it’s as high-quality as possible, and stays good for as long as possible.
How does a fridge preserve pizza sauce?
To understand this, we need to quickly run through what it means for bacteria to make something go bad. Bacteria exist in and on everything, all the time. Over time, bacteria will try to eat what they can and reproduce. Once your food has too much bacteria in it, it’s spoiled, and can’t be eaten without making you sick.
These bacteria have temperatures that they prefer to live at, just like humans do. A fridge slows bacteria down by reducing the temperature of the food. In a cooler environment, the bacteria eat and reproduce more slowly. This means that you will, over the same amount of time, have fewer bacteria in the food you’ve stored in the fridge than in food you’ve stored at room temperature.
Does pizza sauce go bad in the fridge?
Yes, pizza sauce can still go bad in the fridge. The reason for this is that although the fridge drastically slows down the process of food going bad in your home, it doesn’t totally stop it.
While bacteria are working slowly, they are still working. Over time, therefore, they will still eat the food that’s in your fridge, and reproduce within that food. This leads to a level of bacterial contamination that will slowly increase until the food is spoiled.
This is the reason why you can’t store a number of dangerous foods in the fridge. For example, cooked rice and raw chicken cannot really be stored in the fridge for more than twenty-four hours. Since there is often rapid and dangerous bacterial growth in those foods, they are considered dangerous foods.
Although that is an extreme example, the truth is that the same principle applies to all food kept in the fridge, or anywhere in your home.
How to tell if pizza sauce is bad?
The simplest way to check if the pizza sauce in your home is bad is to take a look at it. Often, pizza sauce can grow mold during the process of going bad, and this mold can be a number of colors, from green to blue, and sometimes white. If you open the container of pizza sauce and see that there are mold spores on top of the sauce itself, then you can presume that the pizza sauce is bad, and really should be thrown out.
It’s also worth checking the lid of the container - spores can sometimes grow there before spreading to the sauce itself. Due to the nature of spores, though, if they’re on the lid, they’ll be in the sauce, too - it should be thrown away for proper food safety.
If you’re unsure, give your pizza sauce a smell. It will, very likely, smell like pizza sauce. If the sauce has a musty aroma, though, it is very likely to have turned, and the sauce itself has some level of mold growing throughout it. Avoid this sauce, as mold will certainly make you sick!
If you’re in any doubt at all, you shouldn’t eat potentially moldy food - if spores are within the food, it can make you sick.
Does jarred sauce go bad?
The process of jarring food typically involves adding it to a glass jar with a metal lid, and treating it in, either, a water bath or a high-pressure environment. These methods are designed to ensure that any level of microbes within the jar itself cannot survive, and the final food that you produce is safe to be stored at room temperature for a very long time. This entire process is rendered moot when you open the jar.
The reason for this is that you’re introducing a range of external contaminants to the jar, from bacteria to mold, and they can live on and within the food. Once the jar has been opened, it must be treated as though you’ve just made it in your home, on your stove - it should be kept in the fridge, and used within a few days.
While the jar of pizza sauce that you’re using will eventually go bad, it is generally considered safe to store jarred pizza sauce at room temperature for around three months before it is unsafe to eat. This is due to a combination of the acidity of the tomatoes in the sauce and the industrial processing that jars go through to make them sterile for home storage.
As we said before, once the jar is opened, it should be treated as though it’s fresh: keep it in the fridge and use it within a few days.
How long does homemade sauce last in the fridge?
Homemade sauce is, in our humble opinion, much, much better than store bought sauce. From the flavors you can create to the healthiness of the sauce, it’s simply always better!
When you make a large batch of sauce, you’ll want to keep it ready to use for as long as possible. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but you need to ensure it’s safe.
When kept in the fridge, homemade pizza sauce will last for three to five days. If you’d like to store it longer than that, homemade pizza sauce can be frozen for up to three months. Make sure to leave a little headroom when you’re freezing the sauce, though, as that will ensure that it doesn’t explode out of the container that you’re using when it expands during freezing.
We hope that this short article has given you a little insight into keeping pizza sauce fresh in your home. However you choose to store your sauce, happy cooking!