Are you a ketchup-packet hoarder or belong to the group that doesn’t understand why would someone hoard ketchup packets? While collecting ketchup packets to use on the go or when the big ketchup bottle gets empty may count as a fun hobby, know that they do have a shelf life after which you can just throw them out.
You probably don’t see a “sell by” or “use by” date on the little packets; it’s usually listed on the box they come in. However, you should know that their shelf life is around 9 months, according to Kraft Heinz spokesperson Lynne Galia. You can technically eat it even after that time because it’s not likely to spoil, but the taste may change.
But if you store all your ketchup packets together, you practically have no way of knowing which ones are the oldest. If unsure, use your senses to help you understand if your ketchup is still good for eating. Red flags include any changes in texture, smell, color, and consistency. Even if you’ve had it for just a few weeks and it looks odd, don’t risk it – it probably spent a lot of time in a box before it got to you.