Monday's Snack - 'Expired' Pesto Sauce Pizza

Using 'Expired' Pesto Sauce

Whoops, forgot to make that large pasta dish we had planned last month. Here it is a month after the “use-by” date on this jar of pesto sauce. Generally, we urge people to use up products that have a “use-by” date within a week or less of these dates. If a product has a printed use-by date instead of a best-by date, then there are perishable ingredients contained within the product.

So, as always, we proceeded with caution after finding this jar in the back of the refrigerator (where it had been the entire time by the way, or we wouldn’t be considering its use).
Expired Pesto Sauce

Monday's Snack - 'Expired' Pesto Pizza

Expired Pesto Pizza

The date on this jar is Oct 24 and today is Nov 25, so we are slightly over the recommended timeframe of using pesto sauce. Nevertheless, even if we just purchased the product, we need to be mindful of food spoilage and do a little due diligence before tasting the sauce. Some ingredients may have gone bad by this time.

Examining the list of ingredients, we spotted several potential spoilage problems. Since pesto can be made from food processing multiple different ingredients, it was crucial to examine the entire list. The ingredients in this particular jar included several questionable items, as far as shelf life is concerned. This jar contained milk along with several different cheeses, and we know that dairy products in general have very limited shelf lives. We’re guessing that most people have had the unpleasant experience of taking a swig of a sour milk before learning to take a sniff before a sip. These products will spoil first, followed by the fresh greens and oils. So, basically everything in pesto sauce does have some sort of expiration date, with some dates arriving before others. As we say on every EatByDate page, “a product will only last as long as its quickest expiring ingredient” and in this case it’s the milk (and cheese).

Expired Pesto Sauce

While carefully examining the sauce we could not detect any changes in appearance, fragrance or texture. We felt confident enough to build a pizza with leftover meatballs and this pesto sauce.

The results were as expected, the pizza was delicious. No differences in taste were detected and everyone was fine this morning. We do need to finish the jar up ASAP though and will be making pasta later today. We decided to cook the sauce in both instances, just in case any potential problems were ready to invade the space.

Expired Pesto

Monday's Snack - 'Expired' Pesto Sauce

Additional Information

To find out how long pesto lasts, see our pesto page.

To find out what happened to our popcorn that was more than seven years past its “expiration”, see our Monday’s Snack – “Expired” Popcorn post.

To find out what happened to an old box of cornbread mix, see our expired cornbread mix post.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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