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Does Peanut Butter Go Bad

Does Peanut Butter Go Bad

Does Peanut Butter Go Bad

Peanut butter can go bad rarely.  However, if you notice unpleasant changes in the smell, taste, and color, it’s better to stay on the safe side. If the peanut butter smells or tastes rancid, you may still want to toss it out. It’ll not ruin your food.

Next, see this post which addresses the hotly contested question whether you should keep butter on your countertop. For natural, homemade peanut butter, that does not use stabilisers or hydrogenated oils, you should store it in the refrigerator to maximize its shelf life.

Although, for a longer shelf life, you will want to move the conventional one into the refrigerator after two or three months. This is the reason PB has such a long shelf life, even once opened, and the reason why most manufacturers do not recommend refrigerating a smear (more on those topics below). Once you have opened a Natural PB, you are limited to refrigerating Naturals, which will keep it for 4-6 months in your refrigerator. An Unopened Natural PB The natural PB only lasts 2-3 months in the pantry, but 3-6 months if refrigerated.

An opened jar of crunchy nut butter will last for four months in the pantry, and six to eight months when refrigerated. The shelf life of peanut butter really does vary depending on the brand, but typically, it is best once opened to be used for 3-4 months if stored at room temperature, and up to 6 months when refrigerated. Natural peanut butters will do just fine sitting in your pantry for up to a month, but unless you are planning on eating them all that fast, you will likely want to refrigerate them to get the best flavor and texture. You can also store certain types of generic peanut butter long-term, but even when kept in perfect conditions, it is likely to turn rancid in one to two years.

Find out how long an unopened jar of peanut butter last

Since most of spoilage comes from germs growing in water, unsold peanut butter can happily sit on your shelf for an extended period without going bad. Because peanut butter contains little moisture thanks to its high fat content, a sealed can of the spread can stay in the pantry for six months to two years before it goes bad, provided that it is made with preservatives. In fact, while it may seem like the spread can last practically forever, peanut butter will typically expire in only a few months after you open it, or even earlier. You can tell if your peanut butter has gone bad because its texture is not creamier anymore (even after you mix oil back in).

IngredientsAmount
Peanut Butter2 cup
Salt/Sugar1/2 pinch
Eggs4 eggs
Ingredients found in peanut butter.

You can forget about making a mess on your countertop trying to stir the oil into your peanut butter–store it upside-down instead, so that oil is distributed evenly across the can. You have probably noticed by now that oil tends to pool at the top when jars are stored upright. This is different than the separation of oil, where fat is separated from peanut particles and pools at the top of the contents of the jar. Oil separation from storage simply means that oil (nonpolar segments) separates from their peanut counterparts (polar segments).

Companies are adding partly hydrogenated oils to help make peanuts and oils more compatible, but this does not fully mitigate the problem of post-storage oil separation. Without the partially hydrogenated oils, oil and peanuts may come apart, making an even more difficult texture to store. The peanut oil has separated from the solids over the course of the longer storage time, making you wonder whether or not this is safe to eat. Within two weeks, the oil is separated, floating to the top, needing to be mixed back in, and going rancid faster.

An unopened can keeps the spreading free of all bacteria and new oxygen, so the degradation process is slower. As long as a jar stays unopened, the contents should retain their quality for at least a couple months beyond this date. As long as you are doing a decent job storing the jar, its contents should not spoil, even months after the label date.

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Generally speaking, if it is just a couple months past the best-by date, you stored your jar correctly, and opened it up months before, then this nut butters quality should at least be fine. When it comes to how long between manufacturing and this best-by date, that depends, but generally, it is somewhere between 9 months [APB] and one year. While most proteins typically carry a shelf-life date, those containers typically have a best-by date, which is just the latest that a producer will guarantee their products quality — not their safety. One popular brand, Skippy, follows these same guidelines, since a popular brand may store either refrigerated or room temperature.

Once opened–and unless you anticipate using your nut butter immediately–just put the jar into the refrigerator to decrease the moisture exposure and bacteria growth, which will increase the shelf life by months. Just look for signs of spoilage, as I described before, and if none are present, just taste that nut butter and decide whether or not it is pretty good. Maybe it is slightly lacking in flavor, or maybe it is dried out a little, making it no longer easy to spread. At some point, you may choose to toss that nut butter instead of eating it, although technically, it is still safe for consumption.

Even single-ingredient peanut butter does not require refrigeration, so these natural ones do not have to, either. For the sake of comparison, udder-based butter has something like 17% volumetric water, so should therefore be kept cool in order to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. Despite feeling moist and oily, peanut butter is actually very dry, with about 2 percent moisture, according to Lydia Botham, director of community affairs at Land OLakes Inc.

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Studies have shown that natural peanut butters made without oils, sugars, or stabilizers typically have shorter shelf lives than those made with ingredients such as hydrogenated oils, palm oils, or preservatives such as sodium benzoate. Fortunately, peanut butter is blessed with a high level of natural antioxidant Vitamin E. The natural antioxidant Vitamin E helps to prevent oxidation and extends PBs shelf life, according to Richard Foughks, senior research scientist at the Food Research Institute in Norwich, England. An opened can – exposing butter to microorganisms powered by oxygen – may last just two or three months, depending on the type and how it is stored.

How can you tell if peanut butter is rancid?

Peanut butter can increase its shelf life by using it, storing it, and refrigerating it properly. If the consistency of your peanut butter changes to being dry and hard, the aroma may change or even disappear, and the flavor may become more sour or bitter.


Can you eat 3-year-old peanut butter?

It is still perfectly good if it hasn’t been opened past this date. It won’t take more than five or so years for peanut butter to develop rancid flavors so bad that not even the most peanut butter-obsessed child will touch it. The chances of you getting sick are still very low.

How long can you eat peanut butter after it expires?

It’s best to store peanut butter in a refrigerator to ensure it stays safe and fresh. Peanut butter that is natural or homemade must meet this requirement since preservatives are not used in these products. You should be able to use it five to eight months after the best-by date has passed.