Can you get sick from eating expired peanut butter?

In this article, we will explore the question, ” Can you get sick from eating expired peanut butter?” We will also delve into other significant topics, including proper storage methods and health implications of eating expired peanut butter.

Can you get sick from eating expired peanut butter?

Yes, consuming expired peanut butter can make you sick. While you may not become sick immediately, there is a significant chance of experiencing digestive issues such as diarrhea or vomiting (1 and 2). 

Additionally, there is an elevated risk of developing chronic hepatic toxicity caused by fungal toxins (3).

What are the risks of eating expired peanut butter?

Eating expired peanut butter can be risky due to rancidity, mold and bacterial growth, and nutrient degradation (3). 

Over time, the fats in peanut butter can become rancid, leading to an unpleasant taste and potential digestive issues (4). 

Expired peanut butter that has been stored improperly may have an increased risk of mold or bacterial growth, which can cause food poisoning or infections (4). 

Additionally, the nutritional value of expired peanut butter may decrease as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants degrade, resulting in a loss of nutritional benefits (4 and 5).

What factors contribute to peanut butter’s extended shelf life?

Peanut butter generally has a long shelf life due to its high fat content and low moisture levels. Additionally, it contains stabilizers as food additives, which contribute to its stability on the shelf life.

 The presence of preservatives in peanut butter also extends its shelf life, even after it has been opened. When stored under proper conditions, opened peanut butter can last for approximately 3 to 4 months in refrigeration (1).

How to store peanut butter?

Peanut butter has a long shelf life when stored properly, despite the high fat content and presence of stabilizers and preservatives. To prevent spoilage, it is important to follow proper storage conditions (5). 

These include storing peanut butter in a cool, dark, and dry place, although refrigeration can further extend its shelf life (1). 

Peanut butter is typically packaged in jars or airtight containers to minimize environmental contamination and air exposure (4).

 Closing the lid tightly after each use and using safe packaging can help prevent rancidity caused by air oxidation (5).

What are some tips for properly storing peanut butter?

Peanut butter should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat. It is recommended to store peanut butter in a cool and dry corner of your pantry, ensuring it is shielded from direct sunlight and heat (1).

To preserve the freshness and quality of open peanut butter, you can refrigerate the jar for an extended period (1).

For homemade peanut butter, it is advisable to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (1).

Avoid storing peanut butter in a humid environment (3).

Additionally, always close the lid of the peanut butter jar promptly after scooping out the desired amount to minimize air (oxygen) exposure (3).

Remember to always use dry and clean cutlery when retrieving peanut butter from its jar (2).


In this article, we have addressed the question, ‘Can you get sick from eating expired peanut butter?’ Yes, you can get sick from eating expired peanut butter. To ensure its safety, it is important to store peanut butter in a cool, dark, and dry location. Refrigeration can also help prolong its shelf life.


1. USDA. Food Safety and Inspection Service [Internet]. [cited 2023 May 29]. Available from:

2. Linscott AJ. Food-Borne Illnesses. Clin Microbiol Newsl [Internet]. 2011;33(6):41–5. Available from:  

3. S.; Huang, T. ; International Association for Food Protection , Des Moines , USA , Food Protection Trends. Consumer storage period and temperature for peanut butter and their effects on survival of Available from: https://<ixmlns=””>Salmonella</i> and <i xmlns=””>

4. Isleib TG, Pattee HE, Sanders TH, Hendrix KW, Dean LO. Compositional and sensory comparisons between normal- and high-oleic peanuts. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54(5):1759–63. Available from:

5. GONG A na, SHI A min, LIU H zhi, YU H wei, LIU L, LIN W jing, et al. Relationship of chemical properties of different peanut varieties to peanut butter storage stability. J Integr Agric [Internet]. 2018;17(5):1003–10. Available from:

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