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Can I Eat Expired Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a popular staple in Americans’ household used in pies and cookies, and it is present almost everywhere. Very delicious, portable, and comes with lots of healthy elements. 

Peanut butter has been a choice for many people for years now. And it has become more popular than ever.

However, just like any other food, it is necessary to be cautious of the expiration date written on the jar. Like any other food, eating peanuts can be dangerous due to their ability to salmonella.

However, the danger increases with expiration because of resveratrol breakdown, aflatoxin, and rancidity. However, similar to most of the supplements out there, the potency decreases with storage duration.

The longer it stays, the more the functionality of the potency decreases. 

Expired Peanut Butter

So Can I Eat Expired Peanut Butter?

But you’re still asking, can I eat expired peanut butter? Before we answer this question, there are a few things you should know about an expired peanut.


Aflatoxin is a substance that can potentially cause cancer present in peanut butter and peanuts. And it can be there either before harvest, during storage, or any stage of the peanuts. 

The tendency of aflatoxin present in peanuts increases as it expired. This makes it necessary to ensure that you consume and dispose of yours before the expiration date. 

Aflatoxin is one of the potential causes of liver cancer. And in fact, not just liver cancer, but many other liver diseases. 


Even if the peanut butter is still fresh, salmonella can still present problems. Its major problem is through its eggs, and it is reproducing highly well in fatty foods like peanut butter. And once it is present in the food, it can thrive for several months. 

Thanks to roasting, because it kills almost all the salmonella in peanut butter. Most of the peanuts’ recipes are roasted, making it difficult to find any surviving salmonella in them.

But once there is salmonella in any product, it is impossible to get rid of it without losing the flavor or even the entire product. 

In essence, salmonella can be in peanut butter even when fresh. But the possibility increases with the expiration date; therefore, it will be a great decision to consume peanut butter when still fresh. 


It is a harmless active nutrient that is present in peanut butter. It has anti-microbial and anti-fungal functions that help in combating the pathogens that are present in our system. It has been proven that Resveratrol has lots of benefits to humans. 


Because peanut butter has a high-fat content, it has a higher tendency of rancidity within a range of time. If you consume rancid peanut butter, you are likely to come up with diarrhea or stomach aches. 

To avoid this, it is better to store peanut butter far away from heat and more properly in the refrigerator. This will decrease the possibility of becoming rancid faster. 

What is the shelf life of peanut butter?

Most spreads do not have a long shelf life, but not peanut butter. It is far better than they are in shelf life, and the reason is that it has lots of fat and lower moisture content. These two conditions do not allow easy growth of bacterial.

Most of the commercial manufacturers of peanut butter use some additives to enhance its shelf life. Some of them are sodium benzoate, palm oil, as well as hydrogenated vegetable oil. These are meant to prevent the separation of oil and give a better appearance and texture. 

How do you know if peanut butter is expired?

When you buy any well-packaged peanut butter, there is always this date called best-by-dates on the jar. This is the expiry date of the peanut butter. This is not the ultimate guide as some of these products will still be fresh and good even if the expiry date has elapsed. 

But to be on the safe side, it is best to choose the ones that the expiry date has not passed. But the ideal and probably the most reliable way to be sure the product is still good is by smell and sight. 

What Are The Side Effects Of Eating Expired Peanut Butter?

From the discussions so far, it is obvious that it will not kill you, so there are no side effects of eating peanut butter; but will impair your overall well-being. This, therefore, means you should avoid it for good health. 

Note that the expiry here means the actual damage to the freshness of the flavor and the appearance. Meaning that even if the expiry date on the jar has elapsed, but the content still looks fresh, you can eat your peanut butter. 

What Does Rancid Peanut Butter Smell Like?

For long-lasting peanut butter, there is a need for proper storage to boost the shelf life. While many made it clear that it must not be in the fridge, it is a well-known fact that there is a need for a cold environment. So, the best source of cold temperature in the fridge. The idea is when there is no fridge, but you can surely get a cold temperature somewhere, it’s pretty cool. 

Also, a dark place like a pantry is required to keep peanut fresh. And ensure that the peanut jar is always closed to avoid exposure to air, which will cause rancidity. So then, what does rancid peanut butter smell like?

When rancid, peanut butter will have a sharp, soapy smell.

Expired Peanut Butter Conclusion

Peanut butter is consumed in many parts of the world but probably more in America. And it has lots of nutritional benefits, but before you consume it, there is a need to be sure of the expiry.

Is the question, can I eat expired peanut butter still lingering in your mind?’ If you notice that the peanut is creamy and soft, that’s enough evidence that it is good. But when there is an appearance of hard texture on the peanut, it’s enough reason that it has gone bad. 

Color is another way of distinguishing good from bad peanut. The good one has a light tan color, while the bad one will have a dark brown appearance. 

A soapy, sharp, and bitter smell is an indication of bad peanut butter. The proper observance will make these appear to you, enhancing your decision. 

If it is still fresh even though the expiry date written on the jar has passed, you can eat it. But if you noticed it to have some unpleasant taste, better avoid it. 


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