In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired mustard” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired mustard. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of mustard.
So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.
Can you get sick from eating expired mustard?
When it comes to mustard, you do not necessarily get sick from eating expired mustard as long as it was stored appropriately.
So no doubt mustard can still be eaten once they go past the date printed on them but you can feel a change in its texture and flavor after a certain time so as long as you are okay with it, you can eat the expired mustard, it won’t make you sick.
It is worth mentioning that instead of the “expiration date”, you will find a “best by” or “best before” date written on the packet of mustard.
The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the pack of mustard refers to the quality rather than safety so the mustard 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 and flavor of the mustard but you can still eat mustard that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.
Therefore, you should do the sensory evaluation of the mustard.
The presence of molds or other organic growth in the mustard bottle (a rare phenomenon) is the indication that your mustard has gone bad and it is better to discard it.
When it comes to mustard most of the time the reason behind discarding it is its degraded quality rather than the spoiled mustard. With time the quality of mustard degrades which results in some change in the flavor profile of mustard.
So most of the time, it is the degradation of quality rather than actually spoiled mustard that results in discarding mustard.
Moreover, with time you will notice that mustard begins to lose its creamy consistency and its color also starts to darken and that is also the main factor that points out that your mustard is degrading.
It is worth mentioning that when in doubt, it is better to get rid of the mustard because it is better to be safe than sorry.
So what you gotta do is to do the sensory evaluation of your mustard and if your sensory evaluation gives you a green flag, you are good to eat the mustard without the risk of getting sick.
What is the shelf life of mustard?
An unopened bottle of the mustard lasts for about 2-3 years past the printed date if stored appropriately in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight. The shelf life of mustard also varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and the additional ingredients added to it.
An opened bottle of store-bought mustard will last for about 1-2 months easily when stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry while it lasts for about 8-12 months easily when kept under appropriate conditions in the fridge. An opened bottle of mustard should be stored at approximately 40°F or below in the fridge to preserve its flavor and aroma for a long time.
The mustard can stay even longer than this time if refrigerated properly but the taste and aroma of the mustard will start to change (degrade) gradually afterward.
It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of mustard and it is the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality of mustard.
You can read how to make mustard at home here.
Tips to properly store mustard
- Always store your mustard in an air-tight container or bottle to minimize its air exposure.
- In the case of homemade mustard, it is recommended to properly sterilize all the utensils that you are going to use like the bottles, knife, saucepan, lids, containers, etc.
- Refrigerate your opened bottle of mustard and especially the homemade mustard.
- If your mustard caps are full of the solidified leftovers or crustings from your mustard then there are chances that bacteria will grow on such caps as their air exposure is greater than that of the mustard inside the bottle. So you should clean the caps of your mustard bottle properly.
- You should never dip the food item directly in the bottle of mustard to get it coated with the hot sauce.
- Close the lid/cap of the mustard bottle as soon as you are done scooping out the amount of mustard that you need.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating expired mustard” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired mustard. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of mustard.