Can Green Olives Go Bad?

In this short article, we are going to provide an answer to the question, “Can green olives go bad?”, with an in-depth analysis on how to tell if they have gone bad, how to store a green olive, the nutritional profile of green olive and the disadvantages of consuming an expired olive.

Can green olives go bad?

Yes, green olives can go bad. If preserved properly you can prolong the shelf life of the olives but they are perishable. The way you store them indicates the longevity of olives.

Olive plants are mainly in the form of shrubs or a tree of a marginally short height. Olives are used in many forms, either for the production of olive oil or for use in culinary aspects.

The odor and the texture itself of an olive is an indicator if the olive has expired or not. Some varieties have been known to last for 9-12 months in brine while others do not exceed a few weeks or more.

 The standard of brining, fermentation techniques are also an indication of the life span of green olives. Canned and jarred olives have a different expiry duration than the freshly obtained ones.

How to observe if they have expired?

If the lid of a can or jar is somewhat open or its packaging has been mutilated, an in-depth inspection can give an indication if the olives are not up to par.

The best way to identify if green olives have expired is by judging the smell. If it smells remotely different or has an odd odor, it should be immediately discarded.

A few varieties show indication of rot or mold, that is major because of moisture in the storage space or unhygienic food handling. Mold can be white and spindly and is easy to observe, if seen on even a single olive, it is better to dispose of the entire jar or can. If rot is observed on fresh green olives then get rid of the entire batch as it has mostly festered bacteria.

The presence of brine is also an indicator of the quality of olives. If the brine has dried off then it is better to check in other factors to observe if the olives maintain their standard.

If you still have a doubt regarding the quality of olives, do a customary test taste to make sure it is up to the mark, if something feels different about the taste discarding the jar seems the better option.

The proper way of storing olives:

·         Storing olives via brining is the most effective way as they can stay preserved for a long time duration, even years if stay unopened. However, opened jars even in brine last far lesser time than that.

·         Oiled green olives are better to be consumed within a time limit of 2 weeks. Otherwise, they are bound to go bad or give off a foul odor.

·         Maintaining a proper hygiene standard after opening the package is also a way to keep the olives up to the standard.

·         Make sure that the olives are completely submerged in the brine liquid as dry olives become brittle and are prone to rot.

·         It is advisable to store olives either brined or oil stored in the refrigerator as it prolongs the storage life of olives, and keeps them from developing mold.

·         Mostly obtained fresh olives are too bitter and sour to be consumed. They need to be properly preserved and then stored.

·         Proper brining techniques and maintaining a stable salty environment keep the olives fresh for a very long time.

Adverse effects of consuming an expired olive:

Like most expired entities, an expired olive also has many negative impacts on the general health of an individual; that is why it is advisable to thoroughly check the quality of one before consuming it. But if due to some reason if you have accidentally consumed one, here are some effects it might have on you.

·         Stomachache is the first and common most symptom.

·         Eating a moldy or a rotten olive can lead to nausea and dizziness.

·         In some cases, a bad olive can result in a severe case of dehydration.

·         Some people have also experienced vomiting and diarrhea because of a faulty olive.

Nutritional value of olive:

Green olive with an estimated portion size of 100 g contains the following nutrients;

·         Water                76.7 g

·         Energy              140 kcal

·         Carbohydrates  4.96 g

·         Nitrogen            0.18 g

·         Protein              1.15 g

·         Vitamin E         3.78 mg

·         Lipids                8.86 g

·         Calcium            121 mg

Other FAQs about Olives that you may be interested in.

Can you freeze olives?

How to preserve olives

Can you eat fresh olives?


In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can green olives go bad?” while providing a detailed review of the storing techniques, indicators of an expired olive, the disadvantages of consuming a bad one, and a standard nutritional profile of a green olive.


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.