How Long Do Olives Last?
Olives can last for several months to a year or more, depending on how they are stored. Fresh olives can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month, while canned or jarred olives can be stored for up to a year. Once opened, canned or jarred olives should be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within a few weeks. Dried olives can be stored in airtight containers for several months.
Dry olives may last a few days, whereas olives packed in a liquid of some sort may stay good for up to 12 months. If none are available, you can probably assume that olives packed in brine will last for at least 3 weeks after opening. If the package is free from any liquids (that is, olives are not packed in vinegar, brine, or butter), then the olives will retain their quality between 3 and 5 days after they are opened. If the olives you brought home are immersed in a liquid brine, then they stay fresh from 12 to 18 months of opening, provided that you keep them stored correctly.
If you chose liquid-free olives, they will last just one week after being opened, since they go bad quickly once bacteria encounters them. Dry-cured olives may keep unopened for around two years, but can last just five days once you have opened the package. If you keep green or black home-canned olives at room temperature, they will last up to several hours. Once you open your olive jars, do not keep them at room temperature, but store in a refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks, and you can freeze a jar for around one year.
If you wish to store the olives for longer periods, you can freeze instead of refrigerating. You can store olives in a refrigerator for up to 1 -2 weeks without brine or juice to achieve greater shelf life compared to the pantry, while preserving them with brine for up to one month to achieve better quality. You can absolutely freeze olives with or without brine, regardless of if it is a green olive or a black olive, Kalamata olives, or Castelvetrano olives.
Canned black olives and canned green olives will go through the heat treatment process to destroy the bacteria; black olives, however, need the higher temperatures. Foods in butter are not as good when they are kept at room temperature, so you are better off keeping your jars or containers of olives in butter in the refrigerator, open or not.
Never keep opened cans in the refrigerator, put the olives and the olive juices into a sealed jar or plastic container before placing in the refrigerator. If your olives are coming from an open can, wrap the olives with plastic wrap or move them to a sealed plastic container.
As with the opened olive can, you will have to transfer the contents, including brine, inside of a sealed container or sealed plastic wrap. Do not discard the brine, since it will likely be necessary if you are going to return any remaining olives to a can to store. Always remember, anytime you have any olives left over, always store them in their brine and keep them refrigerated.
Once you open your olives with their brine, you will want to put your container, be it a bottle or can, into your refrigerator. Olives purchased in the canned can need to be transferred into the food preservation container along with the brine, and stored in the fridge. Olives purchased at a grocery store, packaged with either brine or oil, should be stored on the pantry shelf, away from heat and light.
Olives purchased in cans or jars at the grocery store may be stored on the pantry shelf until ready to use, and should last 18-24 months. Once jars or bottles of olives are opened, they should be consumed in at least one week, or ideally a couple days. While there is some variation between manufacturers recommendations, typically, an opened and then refrigerated jar or bottle of olives should last for around three weeks. Once you open the jar or can of olives, they are exposed to air, heat, and light, so you will want to refrigerate immediately after you open it.
In the event you have opened your olives, an ideal, and the most basic, method is to place them into your refrigerator immediately afterwards. If they are still in sealed jars/cans, you can leave them at room temperature without worrying, but do keep in mind that avoid direct sunlight or heat, so storing them in a covered cupboard is best. You will want to ensure that the olives are kept dry and cool, away from direct sunlight (like a pantry), because sunlight will make olives deteriorate more quickly.
Either Black-ripe or Green-ripe olives, you will want to store them in airtight containers in temperatures of 41-51 degrees F. If you keep them at cooler temperatures for longer than two weeks, this can lead to cold trauma for the olives, resulting in browning on both internal and external sides. Olives need to be covered with brine, so do not throw this liquid out of your cans until after you have finished them all.
As long as room temperatures do not rise above 75 degrees F, olives stored in a sealed container with their brine may keep for six months at room temperature. Unlike many fresh vegetables, opened cans of olives stored in glass or vacuum-sealed containers can last at room temperature for up to six months, provided they are kept out of the sun and kept in their brine. Liquid-free packages of olives, such as those at salad bars, last for just three to five days if stored correctly; dried olives should never be left outside for more than four hours, and must always be stored in a refrigerator.
It is reasonable to think olives packed in butter will remain fine for eating until at least their best-by date, and then for a couple of weeks beyond, too, when stored according to guidelines. Since olives are one of those things that you only use sparingly, it is also useful to know how long your olives will remain fresh, so that you can make sure you are using your olives before you have to toss them.
What do bad olives look like?
If the olives start to rot, they will emit an odor. The texture and color may change upon spoiling and may develop mold. If the lid on the jar or can containing olives is rounded and dome-shaped rather than flat across, the olives have most probably expired due to improper sealing of the can.
How long do olives last in the fridge once opened?
The typical shelf life of unsealed liquid-free olives is three days. For at least a week or two, liquid-packed ones normally last, but if you treat them well, they may last much longer. After opening, keep the olives in the fridge. A brine or other liquid should be used to immerse them.
How to tell if olives are bad?
The best way to tell if olives are bad is to smell them. If they smell rancid or sour, then they are most likely bad and should be thrown out. You can also tell if olives are bad if they have changed color or texture. If the olives are mushy, slimy, or have shrunk in size, then they are probably bad.