Can you eat expired peanut butter?

In this brief guide we will answer the following query” can you eat expired peanut butter?” We will discuss the nutritional value and proper ways to store the peanut butter. We will also discuss the health concerns of eating expired peanut butter.

Can you eat expired peanut butter?

No, it is not a good option to eat expired peanut butter. Expired peanut butter goes rancid and its flavour changes along with its aroma and texture. Such rancid peanut butter will not be pleasant to eat and it also can affect your stomach health.

Peanut butter contains many preservatives that increase its shelf life for upto 24 months. If the peanut butter jar is opened its freshness, texture and flavour will change in a few months. 

Peanut butter packaging has its expiration date mentioned on it which usually guides you for how long you can eat it after the opening.

Usually, the peanut butter lasts long after its expiry date. Your peanut butter is safe to eat until it is not producing any rancid smell and it has the same creamy texture. 

The separation of oil is not a sign that your peanut butter has gone bad, in fact in organic peanut butter due to the lack of stabilisers the oil gets separated from the peanut butter. 

What are the nutritional constituents of peanut butter?

Peanut butter is a paste that is made by mixing and grinding the peanut and then salts, sugar, and other stabilisers are added to it. This creamy and buttery delight is often eaten with bread. Peanut butter is high in fats especially saturated fatty acids and all of its calories come from fats and protein in it.

Peanut butter contains the goodness of peanuts. It is a good source of many vitamins and especially minerals. Peanut butter is a rich source of potassium therefore it is used by bodybuilders to maintain their muscle health. 

Following nutrients are present in the 100 g of peanut butter.

Nutrients Value 
Energy 589 kcal 
Fats 49 g
Protein 24 g
Carbohydrates 22 g
Sodium 221 mg
Potassium 654 mg
Calcium 50 mg
Magnesium 193 mg 
Phosphorus 393 mg 
Zinc 3 mg
Selenium 20 µg
Niacin 17 mg
Biotin 88 µg
Folate 97 µg
Vitamin E5 mg
Vitamin B60.3 mg

What are the tips to store peanut butter?

The shelf life and freshness of the peanut butter depend upon its storage conditions. Following are some tips and tricks that should be kept in mind while storing peanut butter.

  • The first step is to buy good-quality peanut butter. If you want to remain sure go for organic options that do not contain any adulterants or harmful preservatives.
  • The peanut butter will go well in the refrigerator if you have opened your jar.  A tightly closed peanut butter jar will avoid leakage and prevent the entry of any microbes into it.
  • If you do not want to keep peanut butter in the fridge then it should be kept in a cool and dry place.
  • Tightly pack your jar after opening it to prevent any microbial contamination.
  • Avoid adding the water in the peanut butter jar this will cause the mould to produce in the peanut butter and your peanut butter will go to waste. 

When do you know that your peanut butter has gone bad?

Peanut butter does not expire soon; it can be eaten after its expiration or best before the date has passed. However, if your peanut butter shows a visible change in its texture and taste then you need to discard it.

Following are the changes that should be noticed in your peanut butter.

  • See if the consistency of your peanut butter has changed then it becomes unpleasant to eat.
  • The rancid smell from the peanut butter comes when the oi present in it has been oxidised and gone bad. 
  • Sometimes the taste of the peanut butter changes from sweet nutty to sour and this indicates that your peanut butter has gone bad.

What are the health concerns of eating peanut butter?

  • Peanut is a major source of fats and protein. The fats present in peanut butter are alarming for people who are restricting their fats intake or are suffering from cardiovascular disorders. The increased consumption of peanut butter will lead to the risk of a heart attack.
  • Peanuts contain a mould called aspergillus which makes a toxin known as aflatoxin which is carcinogenic in nature. This mould is present in the peanuts and it can be transferred to the peanut butter. Aflatoxin has the potential to cause cancer.
  • Salmonella contamination can occur in peanut butter as it is a fat-based food. Upon ingesting salmonella-infected peanut butter it can cause an upset stomach and diarrhoea.


In this brief guide we answered the following query: “Can you eat expired peanut butter?” We discussed the nutritional value and proper ways to store the peanut butter. We also discussed the health concerns of eating expired peanut butter.


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.