Does peanut butter expire? (3 signs)

In this brief article we will answer the question: does peanut butter expire and three ways to recognize bad peanut butter.

Does peanut butter expire?

Yes, peanut butter has a commercial expiry date of 6 to 24 months if unopened and two to three months if opened. You can eat peanut butter for five to eight months past expiration date.

Peanut butter is a paste spread made from ground, dry-roasted peanuts. It contains many additional ingredients to modify its texture. Some additives are salt, sweeteners, and emulsifiers. It is consumed all over the world as a spread over toast.

Health benefits of peanut butter:

Peanut butter is famous for its texture and richness but it is also good for health. It is rich in nutrients due to which it is consumed all over the world. It has a high level of vitamins, minerals and many other healthy nutrients that make it a nourishing diet overall.

Peanut butter has a vast amount of oleic acid in it which makes it a healthy substitute to a fat rich diet. It also has a large amount of proteins that is why it is used as a workout meal. It maintains blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol level in blood.

Shelf life of peanut butter:

Peanut butter generally has a long shelf life due to high levels of fat and lower levels of moisture in it. It also has stabilizers in it as food additives which makes it quite stable on shelf. The shelf life of unopened jar of peanut butter is almost two years if stored in proper conditions.

There are preservatives present in peanut butter which makes its shelf stable even after it is opened. The shelf life of opened peanut butter is also quite long due to preservatives in it. It is about 2 to 3 months if kept in proper storage conditions.

If Peanut butter is made of natural peanut, then it has a shorter shelf life. It is because these types of peanut butter lack preservatives and stabilizers. However, the use of natural peanuts is healthy and nutritious.

Another alternative to natural peanut is powder peanut butter which has maximum shelf life. If it is stored in proper storage conditions, it stays safe for consumption even after expiration date. It is stable because it has less fats and less reactive to oxygen present in the environment.

How to store peanut butter?

Peanut butter has a long shelf life if it is stored in proper conditions. It comes in proper packaging but it has high risk of spoilage after opening. It is because of the high level of fats in it even though it has stabilizers and preservatives. To avoid spoilage of peanut butter, you should store it properly.

The proper storage conditions for peanut butter are:

Storage conditions:

Peanut butter is stored in a cool, dark and dry place to avoid its spoilage. It is not necessary to place it in the refrigerator but doing so increases its shelf life. Unopened peanut butter stays safe if it is stored in the pantry or kitchen counter.


Peanut butter comes in jars or airtight containers to avoid environmental contamination and air exchange. To ensure maximum shelf life it is best to close the lid of the jar after using peanut butter. Also keep it in safe packaging to avoid rancidity due to air oxidation

Storing Powdered peanut butter:

Powdered peanut butter has high shelf life as compared to liquid peanut butter. But powdered peanut butter needs more careful handling as it forms paste when mixed with water. To avoid its contamination, it is stored in refrigerator in a covered airtight container

Other FAQs about Peanut Butter which you may be interested in.

Can dogs eat peanut butter and jelly?

Can you get sick from eating expired peanut butter?

What Brand of Peanut Butter is Best for Keto?

How to tell if peanut butter has gone bad?

Peanut butter comes in commercial packaging that has an expiration date on it. But if it is stored in proper condition then it can be used past expiration date. It is best to discard a product after its expiration date but you can still use it until it shows spoilage signs.

The signs that peanut butter has gone bad are:

  1. Peanut butter starts to smell rancid and off odor. The smell of fresh peanut butter is quite different from rancid smell and you will easily recognize the change in smell. It will start to smell soapy or bitter if it is spoiled
  2. Spoiled peanut butter has a change in texture and appearance. The texture of fresh peanut butter is soft and creamy while spoiled peanut butter has a hard, dry texture. Its color will start to appear to be Light tan color which is different to its brown color.
  3. The taste of peanut butter changes to sour after it goes bad, it is rancidity of fats. The normal taste of peanut butter is nutty with a rich taste to it. If you think your peanut butter tastes sour to bitter, you should not consume it.


In this brief article, we have answered the question: does peanut butter expire and three ways to recognize bad peanut butter.


Peanut Butter