Does Peanut Butter Go Bad?

Does peanut butter go bad or not? How do you tell if peanut butter has gone bad? How do you store peanut butter properly? Here is a simple guide.

Peanut butter is a family favourite and is a great snack at any time of day. This usually means that the jar is finished before the expiry date has even been reached, but occasionally you may find yourself wondering, does peanut butter go bad?

If so, keep reading and all the answers will be given to you.

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How To Tell If Your Peanut Butter Has Gone Bad

spooning peanut butter

Peanut butter is a non-perishable food which means it rarely spoils unless you let it. However, the quality and taste of the peanut butter can degrade over an extended period of time.

It is very easy to tell if peanut butter has gone bad as, much like other oily foods, it will go rancid. This is very clear by the smell and taste of the peanut butter. Even though spoilage is very rare, it is good to know the common signs to be on the safe side. So, if you notice a change in color, smell or taste, it is best to get rid of it!

How To Store Peanut Butter

peanut butter brands

Storing peanut butter is very straight forward, much like Nutella and other nut butters.

Unopened jars should be stored in a cool, dry place away from light and heat. Ideally a pantry or kitchen cabinet, both are perfect for shelf-stable products.

If you make your own natural peanut butter, then it is best to find an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator to extend its life.

Once you open your peanut butter many people wonder whether it needs to go into the refrigerator or back into the cupboard. The answer is it is up to you! It is perfectly safe to store your open jar or peanut butter in the pantry at room temperature, just make sure that it is stored away from heat and light.

If you do not eat peanut butter particularly regularly then you may want to keep it in the refrigerator to ensure it keeps its flavour. The only downside is that the refrigerator will harden the texture of your peanut butter, making it less spreadable.

It is worth adding that if you want to make your peanut butter last as long as possible, practising good hygiene is vital. It may sound obvious but do not ‘double dip’ your spoon, knife, or fingers into the jar as this will add lots of bacteria and spoil it.

Also, make sure that you keep the lid on your peanut butter when you are not using it. Exposure to moisture in the air is what will make the peanut butter go rancid.

How Long Does Peanut Butter Last?

peanut butter in bowl and bread

Store bought peanut butter will always come with an expiry date. Be sure to check this to be aware of how long your peanut butter will be good for. Peanut butter may stay safe and tasty beyond its expiry date, keep an eye out for those signs of spoilage though! As always, it is best to be safe so if you are in any doubt, chuck it out!

Shelf life of peanut butter does vary according to the brand but generally, once opened, it is good to use for 3-4 months when stored at room temperature and up to 6 months when refrigerated.

Homemade peanut butter will usually last 2-4 weeks in the refrigerator.

The Round-Up On Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a non-perishable shelf – stable food that does not really need refrigeration. It rarely goes bad, but the quality can degrade over time. As it contains a lot of oil a clear sign of it having gone bad is rancidity.

With proper storage, peanut butter can last for several months beyond its expiry date while it is still sealed. Once opened it will keep nicely for 3-4 months at room temperature and a few more months in the refrigerator.

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Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.