What happens If you eat expired mustard? (+3 Tips)

In this article, we will answer the question “What happens If you eat expired mustard?”, and how to store mustard?

What happens If you eat expired mustard?

Eating expired mustard won’t make you sick, generally. In some cases, you may experience mild symptoms of food poisoning. Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting may be experienced in the worst situations. Mustard is shelf-stable owing to its ingredients like vinegar and seasonings that have natural preservative action. 

How long does mustard last? 

Never used, unopened

An unopened bottle or jar of mustard will last 1-2 years past the expiration date or the ‘Best-by’ date. Dijon mustard varieties last longer due to a higher proportion of vinegar and other seasonings.

Opened and refrigerated 

Thanks to the vinegar and seasonings, mustard will stay good for at least 1 year past its expiration date or ‘best-by date even after opening. 

The condition is that the mustard is kept in the fridge at all times and the cap is screwed tightly on the bottle after each use.

Nice and clean 

Good handling and storage practices play an important role in extending the shelf-life of mustard. If you contaminate the mustard bottle or jar with the sandwich crumbs, bread, cheese, or meat during handling or preparing your meal, you are facilitating the spoilage. 

After each use, wipe lean the area around the cap of the mustard bottle. This will prevent the formation of dried and flaky mustard over there which can potentially contaminate the whole bottle.

Product Pantry (unopened) Refrigerator (opened)
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date 
American Mustard 1-2 years 1 year
Dijon Mustard 2-3 years 1 year
Chinese Mustard1-2 years 1 year
Honey Mustard 2-3 years 1-2 year
Homemade Mustard 1 day1 week-1 year
Dry Mustard 1-2 years —-

How to store mustard?

Pick the right spot 

The rule of thumb is to keep the mustard somewhere dark, cool, and dry away from direct sources of heat like the sunlight or the stovetop. The pantry or a kitchen cabinet will be good in this regard.

Seal tightly

The lid of the jar or the cap of the mustard bottle should remain tightly sealed between uses. This will keep the contaminants at bay maximizing the shelf-life of the mustard.

Use clean utensils 

Use a clean and dry spoon to scoop out the mustard as much as you like. Finger dipping or dipping your food into the bottle is a direct way of introducing microbes into the mustard that lead to spoilage.

Stir it

When the mustard has been sitting for too long in the fridge, It experiences separation of the vinegar from the solids. This is completely normal. The vinegar can be stirred back into the solids until thoroughly uniform. 

A second most common problem of mustard during storage is drying. Add more vinegar to the mustard to replenish the liquid.

Throw leftovers away 

Do not be tempted by saving that little amount of leftover mustard by pouring it back into the bottle. By doing so, you are actively introducing contaminants into the whole bulk. Pour out only as much mustard you need and throw away the leftovers.

Other FAQs about Mustard which you may be interested in.

How does mustard help burns?

Can you freeze mustard?

Freezing mustard does not make sense since It has a pretty long shelf-life in the fridge and even in the pantry. Freezing will result in the separation of the liquid and the solid contents of the mustard. The solids might stick to the bottom. 

The jar or bottle of mustard can be vigorously shaken to make the contents homogeneous but the quality won’t be the same. However, If you are determined to freeze your mustard, follow the steps below to do it correctly.

  1. Pour out small scoops of mustard onto a baking sheet or aluminum foil(use a muffin tray or an ice cube tray alternatively). Slide the baking tray or sheet in the freezer and let it stay in there for about 2-3 hours or until the mustard cubes are compelled frozen.
  1. Transfer the now frozen cubes to an air-tight container or a ziplock bag and chuck it in the freezer.
  1. You can use the mustard in your dishes while It is frozen. However, for defrosting, leave the mustard in the fridge overnight while It is still in its container.

How to tell If the mustard has gone bad?

  1. If the mustard gives off a pungent sour smell or tastes extremely acidic or bitter, it has gone bad.
  1. The presence of white, green, or black moldy patches on the surface of the mold is an obvious indication of spoilage.
  1. A color change from the usual bright yellow to deep brown or pale yellow is an indication of spoilage.


In this article, we answered the question “What happens If you eat expired mustard?”, and how to store mustard?



Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.