Food Safety Issues/Barbecue Sauce


Is it safe to use an unopened container of barbecue sauce with an expiration date of November 2014

Hi Leanne,

Yes, the date on the container is a "best if used by" date and does not refer to the safety of the product.  Manufacterer's use these dates to indicate how long their product will be of the highest quality.  Unopened products used after the suggested use by date are still safe to consume but may show quality changes in color, texture and flavor.  

BBQ sauce tends to darken as it ages so that may be one quality change that you may notice but again the sauce is safe to consume.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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