Can Peanut Butter Go Bad

does peanut butter go bad

Peanut Butter is an extremely popular product that can be primarily found and sold in the United States but is also exported to many other countries around the world. It can be added as a topping or ingredient to many snacks such as cookies, ice cream, bread, brownies, and even in cakes. The product should be primarily considered to be a food paste, which is made from grounded or mashed up dry peanuts. Peanut Butter can often be chunky or smooth in its’ texture and each consumer has their respective preference for either kind of the product. It is similarly to regular butter in that it can be spread across bread and is easily smeared onto sandwiches. Peanut Butter goes back hundreds of years to the times of the Aztec and Inca civilizations but is most closely associated with gaining popularity in the U.S. starting around the time of the Industrial Revolution. If you do not have an existing peanut allergy and you would like to try this product out, almost all grocery stores will have different kinds of peanut butter for you to try. If you’re at your local supermarket and you see a big sale on peanut butter containers, and you’d like to buy a few of them, should you go through with it? Would it be worth the savings in both time and money? Would you be able to store the peanut butter for the long-term without any problems? The ultimate question remains; does peanut butter go bad?

Does Peanut Butter Go Bad Or Expire?

Unfortunately, Peanut Butter does not last forever and it does have an expiration date before it goes bad. However, it can last for a long time if you follow the proper steps and procedures. Peanut Butter will only go bad if it is contaminated somehow or you neglect the container in certain ways. The more likely thing to happen with your product is that the quality or taste of the peanut butter will decline over time after a while. It will still be edible to eat but it won’t taste the same as it did before. Continue to read on to figure how what are the best ways to store the peanut butter, how best to extend its shelf life, and what are the signs to look out for to figure out if the peanut butter has gone bad or not.

Storing The Peanut Butter

The most important thing to keep in mind when storing Peanut Butter is to keep the jar or cover closed at all times. You want to make sure it’s tightly sealed even after the initial opening so that any outside elements won’t be able to make their way in. Some examples include heat, sunlight, water, oxygen, etc. that would be harmful to the product if the exposure was for a long time. Oxygen will affects the oils and fats that are apart of the peanut butter’s contents so the longer the product is exposed to outside air, the less original taste and flavor that it will have.

Before you open the peanut butter, it would be alright to store the container or jar in the kitchen pantry or cabinet. If it hasn’t been used at all yet, there will be no problems if you simply keep it at a location, which is at room temperature. The kitchen cabinet or pantry works well for storage because it is cool, dark, and dry, which is conducive for the long-term preservation of the peanut butter. There won’t be any outside elements affecting the product in those locations.

After you decide to open the peanut butter and use it for the first time, how should you store the leftovers? You can still keep the peanut butter in the kitchen cabinet for a few weeks or months but then it would be best to move the product over to the refrigerator. This is done in order to make sure that the cool temperatures will help to keep the flavor the same but to also ensure that the oils and fats don’t separate from the peanut paste. Whether it is in the pantry or in the refrigerator, your peanut butter should be stored at room temperature or colder than average temperatures.

Shelf Life of Peanut Butter

On all containers and jars of peanut butter, there is a “best before” or “use by” date for the product. Contrary to popular belief, this is not an expiration date but rather a reminder for customers to let them know that after that specific date passes, the quality of the peanut butter will begin its’ inevitable decline. When it comes to actual shelf life, if your peanut butter remains unopened, it can last from two to three years at pretty good quality. Once the jar of peanut butter is opened, the shelf life decreases to about six months or so of having good quality peanut butter. Even after these months or years, it’s likely that the peanut butter will still taste alright even if its’ not at its’ best quality. With good storage comes good quality peanut butter years after purchase.

Signs of Bad Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter has a lot of oils and fats in its overall contents and not a lot of water. This means that it won’t spoil really but its’ quality can be affected by outside elements such as oxygen. Your product won’t be at much risk of contracting mold, bacteria, or other problems but if you expose it to oxygen for an extended period of time, negative changes can take place. The most important thing for the peanut butter is not that it will go bad but that its’ quality and flavor will have declined considerably over time.

In order to check out to see if its’ happened to your product, it’s important to smell the product in order to see if it has an unusually pungent or nasty odor. You can also do a small taste test to see if the flavor has changed considerably or is still the same. Some consumers don’t mind a different flavor but if you want the original flavor, it may be best to throw the peanut butter out if it has changed. Also, long-term storage will cause the oils to separate from the fats of the peanut butter so its’ important to stir the contents together in order to preserve the original texture too.

If you like peanut butter taste then you pay like this 4 ingredient peanut butter fudge recipe.


coming back to the initial question, yes peanut butter can go bad eventually. However, you can enjoy this creamy treat for a longer period of time if you store it properly. Best of luck and enjoy this delicious snack!

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