Can you get sick from eating old olive oil?

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

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

Can you get sick from eating old olive oil?

When it comes to rancid or old olive oil, no doubt that it will have off-smell and off-flavors and will also have lost some of its antioxidant content but eating food cooked in old olive oil won’t make you sick.

Short-term usage of rancid olive oil won’t cause any significant health issues but if you consume rancid olive oil 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 old and rancid olive oil 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 olive oil has carcinogenic free radicals in it and if someone consumes such olive oil 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 olive oil instead of the expiration date. 

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the can of olive oil refers to the quality rather than safety so the olive oil 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 olive oil but you can still use olive oil that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

Therefore you should do the sensory evaluation of the olive oil to reach a final verdict if it is still suitable to consume or not.

It is worth mentioning that if you notice that your olive oil has become cloudy or flaky, you need not worry as such olive oil is not rancid. 

The reason behind this cloudy or flaky olive oil is that it was either kept in the refrigerator or at a very low temperature. What you gotta do is to keep your olive oil at room temperature and you will notice that the olive oil has returned to its original state.

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

Smell

Oil can go rancid and it can develop that unpleasant rancid aroma that is noticeable if you take a sniff test of the oil. 

Taste

Moreover, if you feel some unpleasant taste or rancid taste while taking a bite of food fried in oil then it means that your oil has gone rancid and it is better to discard it.

What is the shelf life of olive oil?

An unopened bottle of refined olive oil lasts for about 18-24 months when stored properly in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry or cellar away from direct sunlight and heat while once opened it is recommended to use it within 8 months.

Unopened extra virgin olive oil lasts for about 12-18 months while once you open your extra virgin olive oil bottle, it is recommended to consume it within 2 months to enjoy its best quality.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are the estimated shelf life of olive oil and during this time you can enjoy the best quality of olive oil. Olive oil can even last longer than this provided that it is stored properly.

You can read the benefits of olive oil here.

Tips to properly store olive oil

  1. You should store your olive oil away from direct sunlight and heat. As sunlight and heat can increase the rate at which oil can go rancid or stale.
  1. Olive oil starts to lose its characteristic flavor and aroma when it comes in contact with the air and sunlight owing to the oxidation reactions which can ultimately make it rancid. Therefore to seal the quality of oil for quite a long time we recommend you always close the lid/cap of the oil bottle as soon as you are done pouring the oil that you need to reduce the air exposure of oil.
  1. You can store the unopened olive oil easily in a cool, dry, and dark corner away from direct sunlight and heat. Thus you can store oil in your pantry, cellar, or kitchen cabinet. You can store the olive oil in the pantry even after it has been opened and it can last for a long time there.
  1. Moreover, it is better to store olive oil in dark-colored bottles.

Conclusion

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

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-olive-oil-go-bad#:~:text=Effects%20of%20consuming%20rancid%20olive,potent%20antioxidant%20properties%20(%202%20).

https://www.livestrong.com/article/459786-can-you-get-sick-from-eating-rancid-oil/

https://www.purewow.com/food/does-olive-oil-go-bad

https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/faq/can-rancid-olive-oil-make-you-sick

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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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