Can you get sick from eating expired butter?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired butter” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired butter. Moreover, we are going to discuss tips to properly store butter.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating expired butter?

When it comes to rancid or expired butter, no doubt that it will have off-smell and off-flavors but eating a small amount of rancid butter won’t make you sick (until and unless you consume a moldy butter).

Short-term usage of rancid butter won’t cause any significant health issues but if you consume rancid butter over a long period of time then it can result in an increase in the number of free radicals in the body that can in turn damage the cells of the body, proteins, and DNA.

The excessive consumption of rancid butter over a long period of time has been seen associated with free radicals production in the body that can cause certain harmful effects. The rancid butter has carcinogenic free radicals in it and if someone consumes such butter in large quantities for a long time then these free radicals will mess up the normal body functioning. 

It is worth mentioning that it is the “best by” or “ best before” date that is written on the package of butter instead of the expiration date. 

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the can of butter refers to the quality rather than safety so the butter doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date.

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality of butter but you can still use butter that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

There are certain indicators that you should keep into consideration to find out whether your butter has gone rancid or not. You should consider the appearance, smell, color, texture, and taste of butter to reach a final verdict of whether or not it has gone bad.

Appearance

It is worth mentioning that the butter would have long before gone rancid before it reaches the point where a mold can grow on it.

So if you spot a mold or any other organic growth on your butter, then it is an indication of bad butter and you should discard it.

Smell

Butter can go rancid and it can develop that unpleasant rancid aroma that is noticeable if you take a sniff test of the butter. If your butter smells rancid then it is better to discard it. 

Color

Moreover, if you notice that butter has gone a few shades darker then it is also an indication that it is past its prime time.

Texture

If you feel like the texture of your butter has hardened then it is the indication that it is past its prime time.

Taste

If your butter has passed all other tests then you can go ahead and taste it. If you feel some sour or rancid taste while taking a bite of food having butter in it then it means that it has gone rancid and it is better to discard it.

You can read about the nutritional facts and the health benefits of butter here.

Tips to properly store butter

  1. You should store your butter away from direct sunlight and heat. As sunlight and heat can increase the rate at which butter can go rancid or stale.
  1. No doubt you can store unopened butter in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry but the best way to store butter is to keep it on the middle shelf of the refrigerator and only bring it to room temperature when you are going to use it. 
  1. The fluctuations in the room temperature can degrade its quality, and thereby the likelihood of its spoilage increases, therefore the best practice is to store your butter in the fridge to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time.
  2. If the butter is in paper packaging, then it is recommended that as soon as you open it, store the remaining butter by wrapping it in plastic wrap properly or you can transfer it in the plastic zipper bag or air-tight container or you can even do vacuum sealing to preserve its quality for a long time. 
  1. You should close the lid of the container containing the butter as soon as you have taken out the amount of butter that you need.
  1. You should never use a wet spoon/ knife to scoop out butter from its container. Moreover, you should always use clean cutlery to scoop out butter.
  1. You can even store butter in the freezer. To do so firstly freeze butter in the ice cubes tray and once it has frozen, transfer it to the plastic freezer bag and store it in the freezer.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating expired butter” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired butter. Moreover, we discussed tips to properly store butter.

Citations

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/what-happens-when-you-eat-expired-butter/articleshow/66636057.cms#:~:text=The%20first%20thing%20to%20do,or%20give%20you%20food%20poisoning.&text=Also%2C%20rancid%20butter%20can%20lower,have%20a%20slightly%20sour%20taste.

https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/does-butter-expire-here-what-you-should-know

https://www.bcliving.ca/will-leaving-butter-on-the-counter-make-you-sick

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.

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