What happens if you eat expired butter?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “what happens if you eat expired butter?” and ways to tell the spoilage.

What happens if you eat expired butter?

It is not recommended to consume old butter. Aged butter, on the other hand, has never been linked to a food-borne disease or death as a consequence of its consumption.

Perhaps it is because most recipes ask for such a little amount of butter that we have never heard of butter being the cause of a food-borne illness outbreak.

In the first place, don’t be alarmed; old butter will not cause death or food poisoning. Possibly, you will have stomach discomfort in the worst-case situation. Additionally, rancid butter depletes your body’s supply of vitamin E and B, which may be harmful.

The discoloration and somewhat sour flavor of rancid butter, like with most other foods, are indicators that the product has gone bad.

Butter Has a Long Shelf Life

Butter, on the other hand, is not perishable like milk and dairy products. Butter is one of the most challenging dairy products to deal with due to its high melting point. Cheese molds, by a long way, precede the invention of butter.

A common expiry date when buying packaged butter is between 3 and 6 months from the date of production. To identify that date, the vast majority of companies utilize the phrases “best by” or “sell by.” Additionally, the USDA advises that all butter be used up by that date as well.

When it comes to cartons that have not been opened, they may be kept refrigerated for about one month beyond the indicated expiry date. If it is frozen, it may be viable for another six to nine months beyond its expiration date.

The vast majority of you have most likely observed that your butter has a much longer shelf life than before. This is since salted butter is almost always present in our kitchens. Additionally, the flavoring salt serves as a preservative, allowing the product to last longer on the market. It will continue to be effective for about five months beyond the expiry date shown on the packaging.

Be aware that these are just approximate time frames for how long you may continue to use a stick of butter after it has reached the end of its shelf life. If the storage circumstances are unfavorable, the product may deteriorate before the expiry date has passed. You should be able to tell whether butter has gone rancid.

The correct technique of storing butter should be followed.

Keep butter at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. When butter is kept at room temperature for a long time, the oils in the butter begin to degrade and turn rancid.

It may be stored in the freezer for up to six to nine months. Additionally, it may be kept refrigerated for up to one month after the date on the label indicates that it has expired. If possible, use the interior shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door shelves to minimize temperature variations in the refrigerator.

There are five ways to tell whether your butter has gone bad

If you’re wondering if your butter has gone rancid, the answer is yes. Here are five clear signs that your butter has gone rancid. 

  • When stored at room temperature, butter, especially unsalted butter, offers a perfect habitat for mold development, even though this is a rare occurrence. Maintain a low temperature for unsalted butter to avoid mold development. The greenish-black color of the butter shows that it has been molded.
  • To avoid cross-contamination, always use a spoon or knife from your butter block that has previously been used to handle another dish. Leftovers from the butter may serve as the main substrate for the molds.
  • In the case of everyday butter consumption, you would realize when the butter has lost its freshness. Additionally, if it has a strong unpleasant or sour odor, it should be thrown away immediately.
  • Depending on how long the butter has been spoiling, it may be either very hard or incredibly soft. Even though this is generic advice, it may be helpful if you have excellent observational abilities.
  • If the outer layer of butter has become significantly darker in contrast to the inner layer, it has oxidized and may have lost its flavor as a result of this. It is possible to eat the remainder of the butter once the oxidized part has been removed.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “what happens if you eat expired butter?” and ways to tell the spoilage.



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.