Can you get sick from eating expired peanut butter?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Can you get sick from eating expired peanut butter” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired peanut butter. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of peanut butter and the proper way to store peanut butter.

Can you get sick from eating expired peanut butter?

When it comes to peanut butter, certain factors determine whether or not you will get sick after eating expired peanut butter. Firstly, you need to understand what does it mean when we say that peanut butter has expired.

You need to know that no expiration date is written on the jar or container of peanut butter. There is written best before or best by date on it. 

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

It is the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of peanut butter but you can still eat peanut butter that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

So firstly before consuming peanut butter that has expired, you need to look for certain indications. 

For instance, if you smell something rancid then it may be the indication of bad peanut butter and you should discard it. 

Moreover, if you spot a mold in your peanut butter then the best thing you can do is to get rid of it as it is an indication of bad peanut butter.

Three obnoxious agents can be the reason that you get food poisoning after consumption of expired peanut butter. 

  1. Aflatoxins (the amount of aflatoxin increases a lot in the expired peanut butter)
  1. Salmonella (that can even be present in the peanut butter that has not expired owing to the case when the peanuts fro which peanut butter is made had salmonella on them)  
  1. Rancidness (owing to its high-fat content peanut butter can go rancid after a certain amount of time and eating rancid peanut butter is associated with some foodborne illnesses and especially abdominal pain and diarrhea)

Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered it. So consumption of bacteria-laden peanut butter often causes diarrhea. 

Food poisoning after consuming peanut butter that has some organic growth on them is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is also accompanied by vomiting and nausea in most cases. 

If you have consumed peanut butter that has microbial growth on them then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body.

So if you have accidentally eaten bad peanut butter and now are suffering from vomiting or diarrhea, you should immediately look for medical help, moreover, you should drink a lot of water to compensate for the water loss that you are facing owing to vomiting and diarrhea. 

If you do not consume water, excessive vomiting can lead to weakness, dizziness, electrolyte-imbalance, and dehydration.

It is worth mentioning that Resveratrol is the compound present in the peanut butter that is best known for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties, with time, its potency decreases, therefore it is recommended to use peanut butter before it expires to not only enjoy the peak quality of the peanut butter but also to get the complete benefits of Resveratrol.

What is the shelf life of peanut butter?

Unopened commercial peanut butter lasts for about 6-24 months when stored properly in the pantry. On the other hand, opened peanut butter has a shelf life of about 2-3 months when stored in the pantry. Refrigeration can further prolong the shelf life of peanut butter. 

You can read how to make peanut butter at home here.

How to properly store peanut butter?

Peanut butter should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Therefore you can safely store peanut butter in a cool and dry corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

Moreover, you can also refrigerate peanut butter bottles to preserve their freshness and quality for a long time as the cold temperature of the fridge lowers the rate at which microbes can grow.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you get sick from eating expired peanut butter” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired peanut butter. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of peanut butter and the proper way to store peanut butter.

Citations

https://healthyliving.azcentral.com/what-are-the-dangers-of-eating-outdated-peanut-butter-12528044.html

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-peanut-butter-go-bad#shelf-life

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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