Does Peanut Butter Go Bad

The short answer is yes, It can get spoiled if the shelf life has already expired. However, this happens under very rare circumstances because low moisture content and high levels of fat give it a longer shelf life than many other foods. 

This morning when I was all ready with my toasted bread to spread the peanut butter over the slice, the fact that it had been there inside my fridge for more than 3 months hit me quite hard. I didn’t know if I should be eating that at all.

We definitely do not want you to go through that feeling and hence this article will guide you in the best possible way about the warning signs and shelf life of your peanut butter. Does peanut butter go bad? Keep reading this article to find out more!  

5 Warning Signs That Your Peanut Butter Gone Bad

does peanut butter go bad

Can peanut butter go bad? Like other foods, peanut butter does not grow mould to indicate that it has gone bad. In most scenarios, this butter loses its taste and generates a foul odour. Therefore, it is not really easy to tell if the peanut butter has expired or not. To make it easier for you, we have listed down some of the primary warning signs that you should look for if the peanut butter has stayed in your fridge for too long!

1. Odour

A fresh peanut butter won’t contain any unpleasant or foul odour when you open the jar. If the jar emits a bitter or metallic scent, then it is high time you should discard the butter.

2. Taste

If you notice a change in the normal taste of the peanuts butter, then chances are high that the butter has gone bad. If the taste changes to somewhat rancid, then avoiding that butter will be the best choice.

3. Contamination of oil

If the butter has been kept for a really long time, then you will notice oil starting to separate and will form on the top of the container’s content. It is advisable to discard that butter right away than take any risk. 

4. Best-by dates

Mostly, all packaged peanuts butter has an expiry date printed on the surface. Many people like to follow the expiry date when consuming this product.

5. Texture

A fresh peanuts butter generally has a soft and creamy texture while spoiled one will have a dark brown and hard texture. That’s when you know you have to throw it away.

Tips To Store Peanut Butter  

does peanut butter go bad

If you want to slow down the ageing process of peanuts butter, then the best way to do so is by storing it properly. However, the shelf life of the butter depends on the type you are dealing with. Different qualities of peanuts have different levels of storage stability and shelf life.

It has been seen in several studies that peanut butter prepared with high oleic peanut has longer shelf life than any other peanuts butter. They have a lower degree of lipid oxidation during storage which leads to better preservation. (Reference 1)  

So, follow the tips given below in order to store the peanut butter properly. 

1. Refrigerate: 

Even though it is not compulsory to refrigerate peanuts butter, storing it in a cooler temperature ensures that it lasts longer. It is better to keep it in a cool and dark place e.g in a pantry. 

2. Close the jar

More exposure to the air will allow bacteria to grow inside the butter. So, every time you use the butter, make sure to close the jar tightly to prevent the growth of bacteria. 

3. Cleaned utensils

Before you use the peanuts butter, make sure you use properly cleaned utensils. Dirty utensils cause unwanted bacteria to grow inside the butter and lead to rancidity. 

4. Cool and dark place

Powdered peanut butter should be stored in a cool and dark place in order to slow down the ageing process. 

What Happens If You Use Expired Peanut Butter?

Can you eat expired peanut butter? As per Professor Maribeth Cousin, ‘it won’t hurt if you eat it, it will just taste bad’. If the peanut is unopened, then it is not something to worry about. However, if it has been already opened, it is still completely fine to consume expired peanuts butter as it does not lead to any serious health conditions. The only thing unacceptable about expired peanut butter is its unpleasant taste and odour. 

Peanuts butter expired will taste rancid and you won’t be able to go near it. Curious about how long is peanut butter good for? Peanust butter can last up to 12 months if left unopened. It can come down to 6-8 months after being opened if stored in a cool, dark place.

Some Interesting Facts About The Peanut Butter

If you are a fan of peanut butter as well, then the following facts will surely enlighten you!

  • How long does a peanuts butter last? Commercial peanuts butter can last from 6 to 24 months if it is left unopened. Natural peanuts butter can last several months if they are left unopened. 
  • You can consider the shelf life of peanuts butter before 6 months of the best-by date as specified by the manufacturer.
  • A peanut butter should be stored at a temperature that is not more than 10 degrees. 
  • It is not compulsory to store natural peanuts butter in the fridge as it does not contain any added preservatives. However, keeping it in the refrigerator will prevent oil separation. Storing the natural peanuts butter at a degree of 10 will enable the peanuts butter to last 12 weeks and will contain an acceptable amount of microbial count. (Reference 2)
  • There are numerous peanut cultivators all around the world but China leads the production of peanuts by contributing 45% of the overall world production with India having 16% share and the USA with 5%. (Reference 3)


Q1. Can you eat 3-year-old peanuts butter?
Ans. It is not at all recommended to consume a 3 year old peanuts butter as it might lead to serious health conditions. 

Q2. Does peanuts butter go bad if not refrigerated?
Ans. It is not really compulsory to refrigerate peanuts butter. However, storing it in a cool, dark and dry place increases the shelf life of the products and lasts longer. It is advisable to refrigerate peanuts butter if you want to enjoy it for a long period of time. 

Q3. Does peanut butter expire?
Ans. Peanut butter does not really expire, rather it goes bad. There is an unpleasant occurrence of foul taste and odour in it. 

Q4. What is a peanut butter shelf life?
Ans. The shelf life of peanuts butter can be up to 12 months if left unopened. However, if it has been opened, it can last up to 6-8 months when stored in a cool and dark place.

Reference link:

The article aims to provide detailed and accurate information to our readers. Thus, we have also shared the references from which we have sought all the information in order to help the reader gain further detailed insights. 

  1. Research Gate: Relationship of chemical properties of different peanuts varieties to peanut butter storage stability
  2. National Library Of Medicine: Quality changes of stabilizer-free natural peanut butter during storage
  3. National Library Of Medicine: Peanuts as functional food: a review

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