Does Peanut Butter Go Bad?

Peanut butter is the most popular sandwich spread because of its rich creamy texture and tasty flavor. Peanut butter like other sandwich spreads can go bad although it happens rarely.

Peanut butter lasts longer on your shelf as it can be used for almost 7-8 months once it is opened.

Peanut butter contains essential nutrients, vitamins, and healthy fats that make it different from other spreads. The healthy fats in peanut butter improve heart health by lowering the cholesterol level in the body.

Peanut butter is an excellent way to add protein to a diet, especially for vegetarians who want to include extra protein in their diet.

What is peanut butter?

Peanut butter is a delicious food spread prepared by ground, dry roasted peanuts, and some other ingredients that make it creamy and flavourful.

Undoubtedly, peanut butter makes breakfast healthy because it contains lots of vitamins as well as essential minerals. 

What does peanut butter taste like?

Peanut butter is a little salty and sweet in flavor because traditionally sugar is added to the butter to minimize nutty salty flavor.

Peanuts are legumes not nuts though the peanut butter contains a nutty taste with a runny smooth creamy texture.

Most brands offer two types of peanut butter; one that contains chunks of peanut in it and the other one is fine to paste peanuts.

How to store peanut butter properly?

Storing the peanut butter properly enhances its shelf life although it’s not necessary to keep the butter in the refrigerator. You can keep the peanut butter in a cold & dark place like a pantry.

As we know, peanut butter has a little moisture due to the fats present in it, that’s why when air gets in contact with butter, it loses its flavor and smell.

After using peanut butter, make sure that the jar lid is tightly closed and butter is not exposed to air. Exposure to air causes bacterial growth in peanut butter and it gets rancid fastly.

In the case of powdered peanut butter, you can store it in the refrigerator for approximately 48 hours and after this period, it gets spoiled and loses its smell as well as flavor.

How long does peanut butter last?

Most brands use preservatives and stabilizers to increase the shelf life of peanut butter from 6-24 months.

The use of preservatives diminishes the growth of bacteria in butter and stabilizers control the oil separation as well as improve the texture. Placing peanut butter in the fridge can also extend its life.

Natural peanut butter contains at least 90% of roasted peanuts and it has a shelf life of 3-4 months if it remains unopened or in the pantry. Once the jar of natural peanut butter is opened, it will remain flavourful for a month only.

To get rid of the risk of spoilage, some peanut butter companies use an alternative like powdered peanut butter. 

Powdered peanut butter is made by grinding roasted peanuts and it is very less prone to react with oxygen as well as it has fewer fats.  

Does peanut butter go bad?

Yes, absolutely peanut butter goes bad although it happens very rarely because the high-fat content prevents the rancidity of butter.

According to experts, “Close the lid of the jar tightly after using peanut butter otherwise it may go bad within a few days”.

When peanut butter is exposed to excess oxygen, the fats in the butter start to destructure and the butter will lose its flavor, smell, and creamy runny texture.

How to tell if peanut butter has gone bad? 

Most peanut butter brands use labels on containers, having expirations dates printed on them. These labels are not necessary and do not ensure product safety because some peanut butter stays fresh even after the expiry date.

The best way to tell if peanut butter has gone bad or not is the sense of sight and smell.

Normally, peanut butter has a fresh creamy texture, a light tan color, and a nutty taste which indicates the butter is good. 

If you feel a little change in color and texture of peanut butter like it turns dark brown, hard & dry, it likely has gone bad.

Drastic changes in smell and flavor of peanut butter are an indication of rancid peanut butter as well. The rancid peanut butter smells sharp, soapy & bitter and the taste turns sour instead of being nutty.

Keep in mind, Oil separation is not a sign of bad peanut butter because natural peanut butter lack stabilizers, due to which the oil separates.

According to experts, powdered peanut butter is less likely to go bad though a change in taste, odor, and texture is an excellent indication of bad peanut butter.

What are the health benefits of peanut butter?

Peanut butter contains oleic acid and omega-6 which aids in maintaining good cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar in the blood.

Taking peanut butter for breakfast is the best way to add proteins to your diet and it reduces the risks of chronic heart diseases as well.  

Can old peanut butter make you sick?

Eating rancid and old food is not a good thing because it can cause serious health problems like abdominal pain and vomiting. 

Eating old rancid peanut butter may cause stomach aches, diarrhea, or vomiting because it may be contaminated with salmonella and bacteria.

To prevent these conditions you should follow some preventive measures;

1: Keep the butter in the refrigerator

2: Keep the butter away from heat and humidity

3: eat the peanut butter before the expiration date

Can you freeze peanut butter?

Yeah, of course, you can freeze the peanut butter in the freezer for up to 6 months or more. 

If the peanut butter remains in the freezer for more than 6 months, it doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to eat. It may develop a strange taste which is not as pleasant to eat as the fresh one.

Additionally, you can use the frozen peanut butter for making cookies and cake dough fillings.

Frequently Asked Question

Can you eat outdated peanut butter?

Peanut butter is sold in jars, and these jars are labeled with the date of expiration on them. As long as these jars are tightly closed and not exposed to air, you can eat the butter inside them.

When the jar is opened then eat it as early as possible otherwise it may become rancid and no longer safe to eat.

Can bacteria grow in peanut butter?

Yes, even though peanut butter provides an inhospitable environment for the growth of microorganisms. The spores of bacteria and strands of salmonella can still grow inside the peanut butter.

Some snacks that you can prepare with peanut butter

Some snacks that you can prepare using peanut butter are as follows;

Peanut butter oatmeal bars

Peanut butter pancakes

Chocolate peanut butter cookies

Peanut butter balls

Peanut butter smoothies

Peanut butter cupcakes

Bottom line

Peanut butter is a creamy smooth sandwich spread made up of roasted peanuts, and it is the most popular spread because of its health benefits.

In this article, I have covered a few peanut butter-related questions like How to store peanut butter? What does peanut butter taste like? Does peanut butter go bad? How to tell if peanut butter goes bad?

Moreover, I have elaborated some facts about peanut butter and some recipes that you can prepare from peanut butter & I hope you will love it. Happy reading!

About Carissa Taylor

Carissa is the founder and creator of the Gliving. With an emphasis on healthy eating and living, Carissa's recipes and food photography have been featured in various publications including the Food Network Blog, Huffington Post, TODAY Food, and more.