How long does Santa Barbara By Sabra Salsa last in the refrigerator?
First, if the package is unopened, it will last approximately 2-3 weeks after the date on the lid. We've found that the fresh tomatoes lose some of their texture after 90-120 days from production (which is what the date reflects), so that's when we feel that the product has lost its 'edge'. We've tested it in the lab, however, and it's safe to eat as long as it hasn't been left out too long or otherwise affected.
The second part of the answer is how long Santa Barbara By Sabra Salsa lasts after opening. As with any mixture of fresh vegetables (such as you would make at home), the product will begin to lose texture and its bright flavor notes after 20 or so days. Let your palette be the guide.
The Natural and Home Style Salsas don’t last quite as long due to their recipes. Try to use them by the date indicated on each package.
Why does the heat level, color and texture of your fresh salsa vary a little during the year?
We use fresh tomatoes, onions and peppers, so we're only as good as what Mother Nature provides on the day we produce. We select only the finest, freshest and most flavorful produce each day. Sometimes, based on the season of the year, we get variation in flavor, texture and the natural moisture in the tomatoes. We do our best to keep it in a range, and we know you'll understand that it's the same variation you would see in your own homemade salsa if you made it every day of the year!
How hot is your hot recipe?
We make products that appeal to broad numbers of consumers. We'd like to please "hard core" hot enthusiasts, but there aren't many of them (yet!). As a result we keep our Hot spicy but not painful. If you just gotta have heat, add some additional Jalapeños or your favorite hot spice.
Bottled salsas don't have preservatives, why do you?
All things being equal we'd leave them out, but they perform a very important role in protecting our customers from health concerns. Santa Barbara By Sabra Salsa is made with fresh vegetables, which come in from the fields with a natural amount of (benign) bacteria. We use state of the art cleaning technology to remove everything from the outside, but there's simply no way to remove everything inside without cooking the finished product. That, of course, would remove the texture of the tomatoes, which is why many people buy refrigerated salsa to begin with! If you look on the label almost every other brand of refrigerated salsa has preservatives, sometimes in the form of vinegar (acetic acid) or citric acid. The basic action is to lower the pH of the product, which retards the natural bacteria. We've chosen a mixture of tiny amounts of several broadly used preservatives, developed for us by a professor at UC Davis and a Ph.D. food technologist, to provide safety and avoid adding any flavor.
Do you use genetically-modified tomatoes?
No, but it's worth explaining a bit about the what "genetically-modified" really means for our products.
All the tomatoes we use are hybrid varieties, but are done the "Luther Burbank Way" with manual cross-pollination. Several years ago there was some press coverage of major tomato-producing companies' attempts to cultivate genetically-engineered tomatoes. Those companies ultimately withdrew their efforts due to the outcry. Today, none of the commercially available tomato varieties (including those we use) are 'engineered'.
Genetically-Modified is a loaded term, since many people assume today's hybrids are artificially created. However, the fact is that today's commercial tomatoes were developed for specific characteristics (pest resistance, firmness, etc.) by trial and error, using traditional methods. For example, it is common for seed farms to conduct trial and error research by manually brushing pollen from one variety of tomato onto the flower of another, then observing what results. This is how today's varieties (including the ones we use) were created. As Burbank proved, Mother Nature is an excellent gatekeeper.
Bottom line, there is no cause for concern in our (or probably anyone's) tomato-based salsa products.