The Shelf Life of Condiment Packets

Posted by: NiytOwl

The Shelf Life of Condiment Packets - 06/20/08 09:12 AM

Maybe I'll save someone else the trouble of cleaning goop off their equipment by this post. I've been going through my equipment to get ready for a summer trip. In one crate I find a slimy, gooey mess that smells a bit like vinegar has leaked out of my North Face fanny pack. Inside were four packets of mayonnaise, one lemon juice, and one relish.

Folks, watch out for these insidious lurkers! They are destroyers of gear. Clean out every bag before you put it away for the season. They may look nearly indestructible in their plastic and foil suits of armor, but I think some engineer with a green agenda made them break down after a year.

This isn't the first time I've encountered this problem. The first was noticing that some Taco Bell hot sauce packets looked a bit spotted. Then my malt vinegar packets started leaking. Finally, my prized Tabasco packets developed a terminal case of holes.

I collect condiments as I find them in the various eateries, so I really have no idea how old the failed packets were. Anyone have a better idea of the shelf life?
Posted by: sarbar

Re: The Shelf Life of Condiment Packets - 06/20/08 11:32 AM

I pretty much get all of mine from Minimus now - they have a higher chance of being fresh due to the high volume of sales they do.

Otherwise I toss mine every year if I don't use them (except for honey). Mayo I only keep for a month or two.
Posted by: chaz

Re: The Shelf Life of Condiment Packets - 06/21/08 08:25 AM

Sounds like you made special sauce! I am kinda anial about my gear of all kinds. After a trip (the next day) I pull out all my gear and put it away. Put unused food back in the fridge or pantry, and basicly take inventory on all my stuff.
Posted by: lv2fsh

Re: The Shelf Life of Condiment Packets - 06/27/08 12:03 PM

I have noticed that mustard turns into a rather unpleasant looking brown color even if it doesn't leak.