Can You Eat Expired Peanut Butter?

by Charlie

Peanut butter is a spread derived from ground, roasted peanuts. It mainly contains several ingredients other than peanuts that improve its taste and consistency. Such ingredients include honey as a sweetener, additional oils to enhance the texture and salt for better taste. 

In 1884, peanut butter production was invented in Montreal, Quebec, Canada by Marcellus Gilmore who got a patent for peanut butter made from heating roasted peanuts. Therefore, peanut butter has become a daily use in most households in many countries around the world.

You may have stumbled upon a past expiry date on your recently bought peanut butter. Hence the question, can you eat expired peanut butter? Yes, you can. The upside of peanut butter is that it contains preservatives that maintain your peanut butter’s freshness even after the best before date. However, this applies only if the peanut butter jar is not opened.

How Long Can You Eat Peanut Butter After It Expires?

Peanut butter jars have an imprinted sell-by date or best-before date. Even after purchasing your peanut butter, the expiring date tends to catch up with you before consuming the whole jar.

As a result, you find yourself stranded and asking the question, how long can you eat peanut butter after it expires? Well, this depends on your storage methods. Unopened peanut butter is a perfectly good shape to be eaten since no air has come into contact with the product. 

Unfortunately, if your peanut butter has been opened and reached the expiry date, it is unfit for consumption. It is because air has reacted with the product and developed off-flavors of rancid nuts.

If you are consuming fresh or homemade peanut butter, you will likely observe that your peanut butter oils float to the top and require stirring before spreading. Your peanut butter will become rancid more quickly since no preservatives have been used. You will have to get rid of your peanut butter two months after production.

On the upside, improving your storage methods will give you more time with your jar of delicacy. Storing through refrigeration will add you time to finish your peanut butter to the last portion.

How to Tell if Peanut Butter is Bad

Proper hygiene practicing is one of the must-have, especially when handling food. Food safety is a virtue you will appreciate when preventing food-related illnesses. Your peanut butter might tempt you just to spread it on your toast and later discover, through your trips to the bathroom, that it had gone bad.

So, how to tell if peanut butter is bad will be your question. Well, you have to use your nose and eyes for this task. You will observe your peanut butter tend to change the texture from the usual smooth and creamy to hard and dry through sight. The color too will change by becoming darker. Through smell, the pleasant aroma of peanut butter disappears.

As for freshly made peanut butter, a natural separation occurs where oils float to the top, which is normal since no additives or stabilizers have been added. You need to mix the oils or pour them out to a frying pan for this type of peanut butter and make a meal. It is not the case with processed peanut butter, which, when you observe oil separation, it is an indication of going bad and should be discarded.

Therefore, always ensure you practice food safety and proper storage measures. It will help you to determine the food that has gone bad or what is safe to consume.

What are the Risks of Eating Expired Peanut Butter?

Risks of eating expired peanut butter are not expansive since peanut butter contains oils that reduce the possibility of turning rancid if kept in a cool place. However, if your peanut does not smell like fresh peanut butter, you should not eat it since the taste is not worth the risk. Also, you might find yourself making trips to the bathroom more than normal. 

It is, however, different in cases where you are allergic to peanuts. An allergy will bring about several reactions, including fatal ones like anaphylaxis. They include:

  • Tightening of the throat
  • Itching
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Digestive complications
  • Skin swelling 

As a result of peanut allergy, it may lead to the prohibition of peanut butter or any other peanut related foods.

Fresh or homemade peanut butter is at a higher risk of getting rancid. Reason being it is easier for oil separation to occur compared to processed peanut butter which has preservatives and other additives. Such chemicals help to keep it fresh and have a longer shelf-life.

Therefore, you should buy small quantities of fresh or organic peanut butter. Such amounts allow easier consumption without worrying about wastage or expiration. During this period, your peanut butter maintains its aroma and taste.

What are Other Uses of Peanut Butter?

As an everyday consumer or producer of peanut butter, you tend to come across excess production. 

Additionally, you want to know what to do with your peanut butter as it is about to go bad, hence asking the question, what are other uses of peanut butter? Peanut butter is not only used as a spread on your toast but can be used as a cooking ingredient and as animal food. 

  1. Peanut Butter as a Cooking Ingredient

Peanut butter is occasionally listed as an ingredient in various recipes in the culinary space. For instance: sandwich recipes often include peanut butter and jelly sandwiches commonly known as PB&J sandwiches. Also, you will come across peanut butter cookie and peanut butter candies.

  1. Peanut Butter as Animal Food

 Animals such as dogs often play with chewy toys. In such cases, you can fill a hollow chew toy and keep your dog occupied with a delicious treat. Also, if you enjoy feeding birds, you can use bird seeds coated with a peanut butter layer usually filled in a pine cone.

Final Thoughts

  • The period in which you should eat your peanut butter after expiring depends on whether it is fresh or processed. Opened jars of peanut butter tend to take lesser time after the expiration date to go bad since the air has reacted compared to unopened jars.
  • Peanut butter is easily determined when it has gone bad. You can easily detect an unpleasant smell of expired peanut butter. Moreover, you will notice the change in color and texture, which changes from smooth to hard and dry.
  • Risks of eating expired peanut butter are not extensive since oil acts as a perseverative. If you have a peanut allergy, you will likely experience swelling and difficulty breathing.
  • Peanut butter is used as a spread for your sandwiches, as a cooking ingredient and animal food. Animals that benefit from this snack are dogs and birds.

You may also like