Most of us know when to chuck out meat, fish and fresh vegetables - but it's much harder to know when sauces are past their use-by date.

Now a new guide definitively spells out when our favourite condiments need to be thrown in the bin- as well as settling a fierce social media debate, reported the Daily Mail.

But the new guide, by Good Housekeeping, reveals that you should keep it in the fridge once it's been opened after all - but only for three months before it needs to be thrown away.

According to the guide apple and cranberry sauces have the shortest shelf life at only one month, while soy sauce keeps for a year and malt vinegar lasts indefinitely.

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Ketchup should be kept in the fridge after opening. Photo / Getty Images
Ketchup should be kept in the fridge after opening. Photo / Getty Images

Before then the sauces can safely be kept in the cupboard.

Yet a handful of the sauces can be kept in the cupboard even after they've been opened.

These include: malt vinegar, virgin olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil.

It follows a social media row earlier this year which raged for several days online about whether ketchup belongs in the fridge or the pantry before it's been opened, as well as once the seal has been broken.

Asda - one of Britain's "big four" supermarkets - started refrigerating some of its bottles while keeping others on shelves to see which one customers prefer.