Ketchup / Catsup Storage and Fun Facts

Ketchup
ANBI / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0
  • To find out the bottling date on Heinz Ketchup, look at the cap to find a four-digit number. The first three digits indicate the day (each day is given a corresponding number from 1 to 365), while the fourth digit indicates the year. This is known as the Julian method of dating. Newer codes use a number for the year, followed by a letter for the month (A through M with I omitted), then two digits for the day of the month.​

Other manufacturers may use different methods or use a simple use-by date on the bottle or label.

Storage

Unopened bottles of ketchup may be stored up to one year in a cool, dry place. Once opened, you may store it in a cool environment, away from the sun and/or heat, for about 1 month. For longer shelf life after opening, refrigeration is recommended. Refer to expiration dates on the container.

Storing opened ketchup in a heated environment such as in direct sunlight or in a kitchen that is constantly hot can invite fermentation which can actually cause a minor explosion when opening the container. The explosion makes the ketchup squirt out when opened which probably won't be harmful to you, but it will make quite a mess and stain your clothing. Discard any ketchup that shows signs of fermentation.

Exposure to direct sunlight will also darken ketchup. To keep homemade ketchup's bright red color, wrap jars in tin foil.

One 16-ounce bottle will yield 1-2/3 cups of ketchup.

Ketchup Fun Facts

  • It is not surprising that kids eat 50 percent more ketchup than adults.
  • The world's largest ketchup bottle is proudly displayed in Collinsville, Illinois. Built atop a water tower in 1949, it stands 170 feet tall.
  • In 1996, U. S. House of Representatives Delegate Robert A. Underwood proposed a "ketchup-only" bill making ketchup mandatory in government food agencies as political satire. As it turns out, it was strictly a tongue-in-cheek ploy to express his derision of the "English-only" bill.
  • Use ketchup to clean your copper utensils. The acid removes tarnish and shines up copper.