Does Mustard Go Bad?

If you enjoy mustard, you may be wondering does mustard go bad? This is a commonly asked question, as a lot of people are unsure about the lifespan of this particular type of condiment.

Mustard is a bit of a mystery and you may not know what exactly it is made out of or how long it lasts. Mustard is one of those condiments that seems to be around forever, and it does not seem to go bad very often.

For the most part, condiments tend to last for a very long time due to the ingredients they are made with. They typically contain acidic ingredients, which act as natural preservatives and are usually stored in the fridge.

Keep reading to find out whether or not does mustard go bad and what are the signs that you should not eat mustard.

Mustard Doesn’t Go Bad

If you enjoy eating mustard, you may be wondering does mustard go bad or will it last forever. The good news for those who enjoy this condiment is that mustard does not technically ever actually go bad as it has preserving ingredients.

Mustard is typically made of a basic blend of spices, mustard seed, vinegar, and lemon juice. The addition of these acidic ingredients helps to preserve mustard so that it does not go bad or start to become rancid.

This is one of the rare types of food that does not actually ever go bad in the traditional sense. What happens to mustard that has become old is that it will start to lose its flavor and will not be as potent.

Most people say that all the mustard is still perfectly good to eat, but it is not going to have that same mustard kick to it. It will usually become very bland and not have much flavor at all, becoming useless as a condiment.

So you can’t hold onto mustard for as long as you want to, as it is not necessarily going to start rotting away. But the quality will go down significantly over time and may not taste nearly as good as it originally did.

You Can Eat Expired Mustard

Something that many people worry about is whether or not they should eat expired mustard. The good news is that even if your mustard says it is expired, you can most likely still eat it without any consequences.

Expiration dates are there because of different legal responsibilities of food companies. Any company that produces an edible product is required to add an expiration date for the safety of the customer.

This does not necessarily indicate that your mustard will go bad the next day after it has expired. Expiration dates are typically considered to be best by dates, so the product is best before the expiration date is up.

So it is still safe for you to eat that mustard even if the expiration date has passed. This just means that it is not going to be as fresh as it once was and may not be as good of quality since it is older.

Most people are able to continue eating their mustard months and months after the expiration date. It all depends on your taste and whether or not you think the mustard still tastes good enough to continue eating.

When You Shouldn’t Eat Mustard?

Although mustard does not necessarily go bad, it can become something that you should not eat. The quality may go down significantly or it may start to go rancid if bacteria has been introduced into the container.


There is a possibility of mustard going bad if it has been contaminated with bacteria. This can happen by making contact with fingers, dirty utensils, or other things that could be carrying bacteria.

That is why it is a good idea to understand when your mustard may not be good to eat. It will most likely not be harmful, but it is not good to eat foods that have gone bad as it can upset your stomach or give you food poisoning.

So here are a few signs to watch for that could indicate that you should throw away your mustard and buy a new bottle.

Change In Consistency

Mustard is typically a relatively thick consistency that is easy to spread and pour. This is going to depend on the type of mustard that you get since there are different varieties out there with a different consistency is

Some mustard is smooth and thick, some are grainy, and some are a little bit in between. But if your mustard drastically changes inconsistency, you may want to think about throwing it away.

If this happens, it also may have a strange smell or a bad smell to it. If this is the case, you definitely should not eat this mustard as it has gone bad.

Bland Flavor

Mustard does not typically go bad as long as bacteria have not developed in it. But it will start to lose its flavor over time and will start to be bland and flavor list the older it gets.

If you have noticed that your mustard is very bland and lacks its kick, this could mean that it is getting on the old side. This doesn’t mean that it is bad to eat, but it won’t be as pleasant as it could be.

Most people choose to throw it away and buy a new bottle of mustard once it reaches this point. As mustard is no longer very good to add to things if it does not have its bright and zesty flavor anymore.

Mold Growth

If bacteria has been introduced into the bottle of mustard, there is a chance that mold could begin growing. If this happens, you will most likely start to see moldy-looking spots inside of the bottle and on the mustard.

If you begin to notice different colors and objects in the mustard, you should definitely avoid consuming it. This could mean that there is mold growing in it, which can be harmful to your health if you consume it.

If you see anything that looks like mold in your mustard, you should throw it away, no matter how old it is. It is much safer to simply buy a new bottle and start over than risk consuming mold.

Mustard Lasts Longer

Mustard Lasts Longer In the Fridge

If you want to better preserve your mustard so that it lasts as long as possible, the best way to do this is to store it in the fridge. For the most part, some types of mustard are able to last outside of the fridge without going bad.

They contain natural ingredients that act as preservatives that can keep them from going rancid over time. But it is always going to be helpful to keep it in a cold and controlled environment that does not allow for bacteria growth.

Warmth encourages bad bacteria and can encourage any bacteria in the mustard to begin growing, making it inedible. If you store it in the fridge, you reduce this risk if the environment is nice and cold.

This is especially important for mustard that you have already opened and begun using. You do not want to store opened mustard out of the fridge where it can get too warm and start to actually go bad.