Refrigeration recommended for condiments
A lot of people refrigerate tomato catsup, Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco and A.1. Steak Sauces between meals. I say this is totally unnecessary, and all are sold unchilled in the supermarkets. Others say this is false. Who is right?
Answer: It might not be necessary for all the products you cite, but refrigeration is generally recommended.
Unopened, those products don't have to be refrigerated. Manufacturers recommend refrigeration once opened, except for Tabasco pepper sauce.
Generally, the labels will tell you whether refrigeration is necessary or recommended, although Tabasco labels don't say anything about it.
Its Web site says the pepper sauce has a shelf life of five years opened or unopened and "should be stored in a cool place away from direct light, such as a cupboard, pantry or cabinet. It does not have to be refrigerated after opening."
However, the manufacturer (McIlhenny Co.) does go on to say that "once a product is opened some quality attributes such as color may decline but the product will not spoil. Refrigeration almost always helps to slow this process but is not required."
Kraft Foods says of A.1. Steak Sauces: "Before the product is opened it is not necessary to keep the bottle refrigerated. However once opened we do recommend that you keep the bottle refrigerated if you are not using it for an extended period of time."
It also recommends storing the sauces in the refrigerator until the "best when used by date" noted on the label.
Lea & Perrins, maker of "the original Worcestershire Sauce," doesn't say on its labels that the sauce needs to be refrigerated. We called its consumer resource center and were told "we recommend refrigeration for freshness and flavor" but that refrigeration is not necessary.
However, French's says its Worcestershire Sauce, once opened, "should be refrigerated in order to maintain the best flavor. Do not freeze."
As for catsup or ketchup, the general advice is to refrigerate after opening, mainly for longer shelf life.
Our brand of ketchup says simply to refrigerate after opening. We saw Heinz ketchup with a label touting "Fridge door fit," although there was nothing on the label advising refrigeration.
Q: Where can I donate my older cell phones.? I read before that they would be given to victims of domestic violence.
A: If you're looking specifically to help victims of domestic violence, Verizon Wireless collects unwanted cell phones, then refurbishes or recycles them to help such victims.
Take phones to any Verizon Wireless store. Donations are not tax deductible.
For more information and store locations, check aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/hopeLineRecycling.html.
You probably remember the Lifeline program, in which the group Parents and Children Together accepted old cell phones for use by domestic violence victims. That program was discontinued in 2002.
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