In this article, we will answer the question “How long do black olives last in the fridge?”, and how to tell if the olives have gone bad?
How long do black olives last in the fridge?
Balck olives are often preserved in oil. An unopened jar of black olives will last 3-6 months past the printed date. Once opened, the shelf-life reduces to 1-3 weeks or 6-12 months( for some brands) under refrigerated conditions.
How long do olives last?
The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of olives.
|Product||In the pantry (Unopened)||In the fridge (Opened)|
|Past Printed date||Past Printed date|
|Olives||1-2 years||3-4 months|
|Deli olives (submerged in oil)||—||2-3 months|
|Pimentos||1-2 years||3-4 months|
The shelf-life of olives varies with the storage method, the preservation method, and the type of olive. Olives stored without a brine solution or oil will have a shorter shelf life. Stronger brines do a better job of preservation than their weak counterparts.
Olives preserved in oil will have a longer shelf-life than those preserved in brine. Once the jar is opened, the self-life of olives stored in oil and brine is pretty much the same.
The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of olives depending upon their storage and preservation technique.
|Olives (black/ green) (whole/ pitted/ sliced)||In the pantry||In the fridge|
|Olives (with brine liquid or oil) (unopened)||Best by date + 3 to 6 months|
|Olives (with brine liquid or oil) (opened)||—||1 to 3 weeks; up to 6 and 12 months for specific brands|
|Olives to-go (sliced, without liquid) (opened)||Best by date + 1 to 2 months||—|
|Olives to-go (sliced, without liquid) (unopened)||—||2-3 days|
|Olives (from an olive bar)||—||1-2 weeks|
|Stuffed olives (unopened)||Best by date + 1 to 2 months|
|Stuffed olives (opened)||—||1-2 weeks|
|Homemade stuffed olives||—||3-5 days|
How to tell If the olives have gone bad?
Olives must be completely submerged in their preservative solution at all times after opening. Those exposed to air are more susceptible to spoilage.
Inspect the jar or can
If the jar/can is bloated, leaking has dents or feels rusty, throw it in the bin. The bloated can is a solid indication that it is housed by bacteria that are releasing gas.
Similarly, the damaged or leaking can/jar puts the food safety at risk as it is more vulnerable to microbial attack.
Inspect the olives
Off-putting smell: Bad olives will give a very pungent and awful smell the second you open the lid or can top. Usually, canned olives give off a metallic smell due to the metal of the can they are stored in.
Mold: Mold grows in an opened jar/can of olives that have been sitting in the fridge or counter for too long.
The colored organic growth will be obvious in most cases. The slimy texture of the solution, in which the olives are submerged, is an indication of mold growth.
Rancidity: This occurs in olives stored in oil. The oil undergoes rancidity if the jar or can has been sitting in warm temperatures for too long.
Storage tips for olives
- An unopened jar/can of olives can sit in the pantry or any other dark and cool place for years. The printed date specific for each brand and type of olive will give you a more accurate estimate of the shelf-life. An opened jar of olives stored in brine should last a few months.
- When storing the olive jars in the pantry, make sure the temperature is consistent and the jar is not exposed to any sources of heat like direct sunlight and the stovetop. The continuous exposure to light or heat will ruin the taste of olives.
- An opened jar of olives should always be refrigerated. Some manufacturer allows their storage outside the fridge if the surrounding temperatures are below 68°F or 20°C.
- If you do not plan to use the olives in a can immediately after opening, it is best to transfer its contents to a glass jar. Then refrigerate the jar.
Whether brine or oil, the olives should stay completely submerged in that solution. Submerge the olives in a homemade brine solution if you drained the original brine.
- Use clean and unused spoons or forks to take out olives from the jar/can. Refrain from putting the leftover olives back into the jar.
- Liquid-free olive packages must be tightly sealed after between uses. If the original packaging is not resealable, transfer the contents of the package to an air-tight jar.
In this article, we answered the question “How long do black olives last in the fridge?”, and how to tell if the olives have gone bad?