Can margarine go bad?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “can margarine go bad?”, storage, and shelf life of margarine.

Can margarine go bad?

Yes, margarine can go bad. After it has been opened, margarine will typically stay in the refrigerator for 4-5 months and in the freezer for 6-12 months.

In a refrigerator set at 40oF, the shelf life of the spread is reduced to 1-2 months; in a freezer set at 0o F, the shelf life is reduced to 6-8 months.

Margarine Shelf Life

Unopened margarine4-5 months6-12months
Opened margarine1-2 months6-8 months

Identifying whether or not your margarine is bad may be done in three ways.

Simple methods for determining the freshness of your margarine include the ones listed below:


Because of the high moisture content in margarine spreads, the vegetable oil in the spread oxidizes quickly, creating a perfect breeding habitat for mold.

Margarine can get moldy even when refrigerated if it is not handled or kept properly, or if it has beyond its sell-by date.

If there is any sign of mold present, the tub or stick of margarine should be discarded immediately. Try to avoid scooping off the moldy part of the margarine and using the rest of the margarine since some mold spores are invisible and may be hiding inside your margarine.

The surface’s granularity

Margarine that is still usable should be smooth and easily spreadable. If the spread begins to deteriorate, it turns into a liquid mess. If you see any signs of moisture on your spread, you should be concerned about the potential of mold developing on it soon.

Another sign that the margarine has lost its freshness is when the surface of the spread darkens and becomes thicker than the rest of the spread. This happens as a consequence of oxidation and is another sign that mold has started to grow on the surface of the object.

If the texture of the margarine has changed substantially, it should be thrown out immediately.

Smell and Taste

Margarine that has been freshly whipped should have buttery undertones. Generally, a quick inspection of your spread is well enough to tell whether it has gone bad, but if you’re still not sure, try taking a little piece and tasting it.

The flavor of margarine that has been stored in the refrigerator for a long time or that has lost its freshness may be soapy or paint-like. A rotting odor will be present as well, suggesting the presence of bacterial activity.


Margarine should always be stored in its original container in the refrigerator. Margarine is susceptible to oxidation by all three of these causes, which may cause it to become rancid and deteriorate in quality over time. To prevent margarine from being spoiled due to temperature fluctuations, it is suggested that it be kept in the refrigerator where temperatures are lower and more stable, rather than on the refrigerator door.

Margarine may be frozen to extend the shelf life of the product. Margarine may be stored in the freezer for up to a year. Because fats are prone to absorbing the flavors of other frozen meals, it is important to securely seal the containers. Additionally, placing margarine bars in freezer bags will help to extend the shelf life of the product.

While margarine sticks will not change their consistency after freezing, tubs of margarine may split somewhat after thawing depending on the kind. In most cases, the texture and flavor of the margarine will not be affected; thus, it may be re-mixed and used as intended. Refrigerate the margarine overnight to allow it to thaw completely. It is not recommended to thaw margarine in the refrigerator.

Margarine is a product that can be freeze-dried.

Margarine may be frozen in the form of sticks if you like that look. The texture and flavor of the margarine are unaffected by the high temperature, which is a pleasant surprise.

Additionally, freezing margarine extends the shelf life of the product. Margarine has a shelf life of 3-4 months in the refrigerator and 6-8 months in the freezer, depending on the kind of container used.

Consuming Margarine That Has Been Opened

If the margarine has been stored correctly and there are no signs of degradation, you may continue to use it beyond the expiration date. If you keep consumables for a long time, invisible mold and bacteria may grow, putting you at risk of food poisoning or mild but unpleasant symptoms.

Other FAQs about Margarine that you may be interested in.

Can margarine be frozen?

Can you replace butter with margarine in cookies?


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “can margarine go bad?”, storage, and shelf life of margarine.