Can butter mold?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can butter mold?”  and other queries related to this topic.

Can butter mold? 

Yes, butter can get moldy but that takes time to happen. Since butter has a long shelf life due to its low water and high-fat content. Moreover, before getting molded butter goes rancid, and develops a sour taste and smell. 

Moreover, mold development within the butter makes it inedible because they are hard to be removed from the butter, and bacteria secrete their toxins inside the product. Additionally, several environmental factors are behind the mold development within the butter.

So, keeping your butter in a warm environment such as at room temperature will increase its chance of melting and thus bacterial development. However, storing your butter in the fridge will surely increase its shelf life and delay mold development.

Thus store your butter in a well-sealed container in the coldest place in your fridge, in the back of the refrigerator, and not at the fridge door where the temperature will fluctuate due to the regular door closing and opening.

Why does butter go moldy?

Multiple factors that lead to or enhance mold development on your butter. First of all, exposing your butter to the light and the air is one of the reasons why butter gets moldy. So, store your butter in its package, or when transferring it to another container make sure to be opaque.

Additionally, heat and high-temperature exposure enhance bacteria and mold development. So, when keeping your butter at room temperature do not let it stay for more than a few days outside, and store it in a dark and opaque, not transparent container.

Those three factors, light, air, and heat lead to fat oxidation, thus butter deterioration. However, oxidation naturally occurs and can not be totally prevented but we can slow down its progression through proper storage. 

Moreover, butter can develop mold even when refrigerated and stored in an air-tight container due to the oxidation process that naturally occurs in the products during the storage process and due to other factors that enhance mold development. 

Furthermore, to avoid mold development use clean utensils to cut your butter and do not use for example the same knife to remove the jam from the jar and to cut butter. Food residue on the butter will accelerate and enhance mold and bacteria development.

Besides, you will find two types of butter, the salted and the unsalted butter. The unsalted butter since it does not contain salt will be more likely to develop mold, whereas the salted butter can last longer. Because salt is considered one of the most effective preservatives in food.

How do you know if the butter has gone bad?

Three main signs indicate the spoilage of your butter. The first one is the change in the color and the appearance of the butter. Generally, butter has a yellow color, so once it goes bad its color will change. 

Moreover, its smell will go off and sour, which is due to the fat rancidity and oxidation. In addition, if none of the previously mentioned signs was clear, you can taste your butter if it has passed its expiry date and you are concerned about its quality thus it will have a sour taste.

Can you eat butter with mold on it?

It is advised and recommended to avoid eating and consuming butter, or any other food, that has developed any sign of mold or spoilage. Aflatoxins and other types of toxins will be secreted by the bacteria into the product. 

So, these toxins will affect your overall health and especially your immune system. Moreover, moldy butter is unpalatable because its smell and taste will be sour, also its color will darken. In addition, the texture of the moldy butter will be different than fresh butter.

Generally, eating a small amount of moldy butter or a little piece of it will not make you sick. However, toxins can not be seen so eating spoiled butter will be risky, because toxins ingestion will lead to food intoxication, which might require hospitalization sometimes. 

Moreover, do not remove the mold from a part of your butter and leave or use the other part in your recipe preparation. However, some people do it but it is risky because in some cases butter can be spoiled without developing any sign of spoilage.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “can butter mold?” and other queries related to this topic.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.