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Does Worcestershire Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?

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There’s nothing worse than going to use some sauce, only to find it’s gone off, or worse yet – it doesn’t taste quite right. Storing a sauce appropriately is of course essential to avoid such problems. But what about Worcestershire sauce – does it need to be kept in the fridge to keep it from spoiling? Here is what you should know.

So, does Worcestershire sauce need to be refrigerated? Worcestershire sauce does not need to be refrigerated – either when opened or an unopened bottle. However, you can choose to refrigerate this sauce if you so wish – it’s a personal decision but not one that needs to be done to prevent spoiling or preserve taste.

Ultimately it’s up to you.

In most instances, it comes down to the storage spaces available!

At least in my house, anywhere.

Nevertheless, this is the kind of sauce I leave in my cupboard.

Always have.

Always will.

And it’s entirely safe to do so.

Let us now look at why this is exactly.

Why You Do Not Need To Refrigerate Worcestershire Sauce

While you can refrigerate Worcestershire sauce, it is not necessary nor is it recommended on the product packaging. This is due to the ingredients that make up the sauce; none of which go rancid or off if kept at a warmer temperature.

Within reason of course.

But we will look at proper storage in a following section.

But for now, you just need to consider the ingredients in the sauce to see why refrigeration is not necessary.

Take the Lea & Perrins brand, for instance.

Besides its perhaps the most widely used and recognized brand:

Malt Vinegar (from Barley), Spirit Vinegar, Molasses, Sugar, Salt, Anchovies (Fish), Tamarind Extract, Onions, Garlic, Spice, Flavourings

And truth is, most brands are a similar recipe – so we can use this as the basis of our conclusions.

Besides, if this sauce needed refrigeration it would say it on the bottle or the packaging.

And you won’t find this commentary there.

And here’s why.

Those ingredients referenced above; none need to stay below room temperature to prevent spoiling.

I get it – the anchovies – that must mean this sauce needed refrigeration – surely?


It’s all fermented.

And it’s loaded with salt too which is a natural preservative.

So whether unopened or even after opening – don’t feel the need to refrigerate!

It’s safe not to.

You won’t get sick.

How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last Once Opened?

So long as it is appropriately stored, Worcestershire sauce can last as long as 2-6 years and beyond. Opening the bottle will generally increase the chances that the quality will suffer over time.

In all actuality, Worcestershire sauce has an incredible shelf life.

So much so that brands, including Lea & Perrins, will only offer a best-by date.

And that can be up to three years from the bottled date.

But even then, this is the kind of sauce, if stored properly, can be enjoyed for years beyond this. Even if it has been opened.

The truth is, there is no definitive answer on how long this sauce lasts because technically, it never “goes off”.

In time, and with exposure to air and sunlight, the taste and flavor may diminish.

But not always.

So this really is a matter of circumstance and something only you can work out and decide.

And it will be somewhat brand dependent too.

Take this Reddit poster on the subject for instance:

“We had a bottle for 15 years that we didn’t refrigerate. I never went bad. Never got sick. Never tasted different.”

Perhaps not something you want to try. But good to know, and be aware of, at least!

How To Store Worcestershire Sauce

To properly store Worcestershire sauce, you need to ensure it is properly sealed and kept in a dry, clean place kept away from direct sunlight.

This is actually the recommended way for many other soy-based and high-salt condiments, such as Soy sauce for instance.

A cupboard or pantry is your best bet, but there may be many other suitable places too such as a drawer.

Nevertheless, once you do decide to open the bottle – the key is replacing the lid tightly.

You want to minimize air exposure to the sauce – that will help to preserve it.

Now if you do decide to store it in the fridge, the same rule applies – the lid needs to be secure.


In reality, whether you decide to refrigerate Worcestershire sauce or not is up to you – there’s little real difference either way.

The majority of people I know and discuss this topic online don’t.

But that doesn’t mean you cannot, nor should not.

Just ask yourself this.

Are you refrigerating it out of habit or doubt?

If that’s the case there is no real need to.

Trust me – the packaging would say otherwise.

Instead it doesn’t.

It says this:

“Please shake well before use, some sedimentation of ingredients may occur”.

And if the quality does start to suffer, just get a new bottle.

It’s not too expensive, after all.

Wondering what other sauces need to be kept refrigerated? Check out my following guides below:

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