Mustard is an extremely popular condiment that is up there with ketchup and mayonnaise as being among the most well known in the world. Mustard can be added to many different types of foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and other kinds of meat. It can also be used as an integral ingredient in different recipes as well. When you’re visiting your local supermarket and you see a big sale on a couple of mustard bottles, what would you do in that case? Thinking about the shelf life of mustard and the ability to store it properly, would it be worth the extra time and money spent on the product? The ultimate question remains for the average consumer; does mustard go bad?
Does Mustard Go Bad Or Expire?
Luckily, mustard doesn’t contain any ingredients in its’ contents which would cause it to go bad over time. Mustard will only go bad over time due to it becoming less fresh and losing flavor over time due to it being gradually affected by outside elements. It won’t spoil quickly but it will happen eventually. You can still extend the mustard’s lifespan for a long period of time with proper storage and preservation especially after the bottle or the container has been opened.
Mustard does expire but generally is safe to be eaten past the expiration date.
Storing The Mustard Properly
Like many other food products, mustard should be stored for the long-term in a cold and dark environment. It’s important to also store the product in its’ original bottle or in a tightly sealed container. This is done to make sure that no outside elements will be able to get inside to affect the contents of the mustard. Outside elements like oxygen, heat, sunlight, etc. should not be allowed to have an impact on the storage process of the mustard.
Don’t be afraid to store your mustard at room temperature even if it has been opened up previously. As long as its’ tightly sealed, the mustard should be able to withstand a normal temperature range of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 to 20 degrees Celsius or even colder as mentioned before. However, it’s important to note that it is preferable to store the opened bottle or container of mustard in the refrigerator for the long term. The mustard product will simply last longer in the fridge than in the kitchen pantry or counter and it will maintain its’ taste, texture, and overall appeal for years to come.
Shelf Life of Mustard
While mustard doesn’t necessarily go bad without outside interference, it’s important to note that the bottle will still have a “best use before” or “expires by” date. The mustard will be good to use and consumer after this date passes. However, it is likely that the mustard will slowly begin to lose its’ original flavor and texture after the “best use” date. The mustard will remain good for a couple of years after initial purchase and with proper storage; the lifespan can be extended by a few years too. The shelf life of mustard is partly in the hands of the consumer and partly in the hands of its packaging. For example, mustard lasts the longest amount of time when its’ stored in a glass jar while it could last for the shortest amount of time by being stored in a ready-made packet.
It’s important to also remember how once the container or bottle of mustard has been opened, it will automatically start to deteriorate in overall quality and flavor from then on. It would be best to use the mustard after opening it initially days or weeks after purchase instead of months or years later in order to get the best flavor. Because of the product being opened, the liquid will start to dry out and the texture may be affected too and lose its’ uniform appearance. For these reasons, the refrigerator is the best option for extending the shelf life of the mustard whether the container has been opened or not. To extend the shelf life if the mustard starts to dry out and separate from the liquid, it would be a good idea to add some vinegar or some wine to the contents, mix the mustard together in order to liquefy the product again.
Signs of Bad Mustard
There are three surefire ways to tell if your mustard has gone bad or not. It’s important to implement each of these three ways in order to get a full picture of the state of the mustard. The first method is to check to see if there is any discoloration or noticeable changes in the texture. There shouldn’t be any mild, mush, or clumps of liquid that have formed together. If that’s the case though, then there may be a problem with the mustard bottle or container. Another way to tell if mustard has gone sour or not is to open up the bottle or container to smell it to see if a foul or unseemly odor had developed. A foul smell will indicate to the consumer that the product has probably gone bad. If the mustard smells like it usually has previously and has a normal odor, then there should be no reason to worry.
Lastly, a simple taste test will help you to conclude the goodness of your mustard. Sampling a bit of the mustard with a small spoon will not make you get sick and is the best way to tell if your mustard is still viable and useful. If there is a lack of flavor or if the taste just isn’t the same, it may be preferable to throw the mustard out as to not risk yourself getting sick by tasting more of the product.
Overall, mustard is a great product and condiment to buy in bulk with multiple bottles or containers. It will very rarely go bad on its own and is able to be stored for the long term without too much difficulty. The shelf life of mustard can be extended by refrigerating the condiment and also by adding some vinegar or wine to improve the liquid contents of the bottle. Remember to properly store the mustard and you will definitely be ready to enjoy this delicious food product with your family and friends.