Can you eat expired butter?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “can you eat expired butter?”. We will also talk about the ways to store butter and discuss the ways to know when the butter has expired.

Can you eat expired butter?

Yes, you can eat expired butter keeping in mind that the butter has been stored properly and does not show any signs of butter turning bad. 

Eating butter after the expiry date mentioned on the label is okay as long as the butter is stored in the fridge wrapped properly to avoid contact with air and light.

Butter in general has a longer shelf life compared to other dairy products like cream, milk, and cheeses due to the less content of lactose in it. Lactose is the reason dairy products go off. As we all know, lactose-free milk has more shelf life than regular milk.

Can eating of expired butter cause poisoning?

The expired butter according to the manufacturer’s label is not exactly when the butter turns rancid. There are no cases of people being poisoned by consuming expired butter or bad butter.

If your stomach is sensitive then you can feel a bit of discomfort but that is all. No other health hazards are to be observed. The butter needs to be properly stored to avoid it turning bad. 

Butter if stored in a good manner will last even months more than that mentioned on the label.

How to store butter?

In the fridge

Butter is to be stored in the fridge properly wrapped with the original foil it came in or in an aluminium foil to avoid contact with air and light. Doing so will keep the butter fresh and flavorful for at least 1-3 months.

Storing butter in the farthest corner of the fridge is recommended since it will keep the temperature stable.

In the freezer

The freezer is also a good choice for storing butter for long-term use. Butter stored in the fridge can last for at least 6-8 months. 

One should be mindful to properly wrap the butter in aluminium foil and place it in a zip lock bag or double wrap with a plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.

The butter in the freezer does turn hard, if not in a hurry, butter can thaw in the fridge within 7 hours, or if in a hurry can be put in a water bath with the wraps still on to thaw. 

Alternatively, one can easily grate the amount of butter needed and put the rest back in the freezer by wrapping it properly.

At room temperature

Butter at room temperature will last a maximum of 1-2 days because the ideal temperature for the butter to last longer is below 40 F. It is important to just keep a small portion of the butter for daily use at room temperature.

The butter stored at room temperature will turn rancid rather quickly than the ones in the fridge and the freezer.

How to know when the butter has gone bad?

Though the butter is mostly fat and very less water content, butter can still go off after some time either due to its lifespan being over or due to wrong storage practices. Here we discuss a few factors to consider to know if the butter has gone bad.

Colour and texture

The butter will either turn too hard or too soft if it has gone bad. Not just the texture, discoloration, and darkening of the butter also take place. 

If the colour and texture are not the same as normal, it is about time to throw away the butter as it has gone bad.


If the butter smells funky and rancid, do not think twice to throw it away.


The butter should taste buttery fresh and clean but if it tastes sour and bitter then it is the indication that it has gone bad.


Mould does develop in the butter if stored for a long time without proper wrapping. The water content in the butter is the reason the butter would mould. Once there is mould developed in the butter, it is advised to trash it.

Does expiration date mean butter has gone bad?

The expiration date on the labels of the packaging of butter does not mean that the butter has gone bad. If the butter is stored properly in the fridge or in the freezer, then the expiration dates should not matter.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “can you eat expired butter?”. We also talked about the ways to store butter and discussed the ways to know when the butter has expired.

I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.