canola oil shelf life

Does Canola Oil Go Bad? Expiry Concerns and Preservation

In a nutshell: Yes, canola oil can go bad over time, and while it won’t become dangerous to health, it will become rancid and lose its quality. Signs of rancidity include a strange smell, off taste, and changes in texture.

Canola oil is actually a healthy choice, and it is not bad to include it in your daily diet. However, it’s probably not your first choice when preparing food, so it can often happen that your product expires before you even open the bottle, let alone use up the packaging. So how long canola oil lasts?

Like olive oil, cooking oils or all other fat products, this oil can, of course, spoil as well. It will not happen in a way that it becomes dangerous to health.

Canola oil will simply become rancid over time, just like all other oils. This is an unavoidable process, and it will be a sure sign that you need to buy fresh packaging. Here is all the information you need about the durability of this product.

How Long Does Canola Oil Last?

It is difficult to give an unambiguous answer to the question of exactly how long fresh canola oil can last. It will depend mainly on the conditions in which it was stored.

The shelf life written on the packaging will generally range from 12 months to two years, depending on the manufacturer. But of course, this is not a strict date to stick to. Here are some guidelines.

Unopened canola oil

Although the canola oil shelf life on the package will be between one and two years, you can certainly count on the oil to be valid for at least a few months longer than that. Provided that the storage conditions were not markedly unfavorable. So you are free to use the oil for at least four to six months after the expiration date.

Many tips will say that this period can be up to a year from the expiration, which is certainly true. But we would advise you to check the quality of the product before consumption.

Opened canola oil

After opening the oil, the oxidation process begins to take its faster pace. But canola oil will be fine for at least six months from opening and may last up to a year. Surely good advice is not to wait for the final possible day, and it would be best if you could spend the oil within several months. Once you get rancid canola oil, there is no going back. So spend the whole bottle as soon as you can.

Can Canola Oil Go Bad?

As we mentioned, canola oil will not spoil in the classic sense of the word. But it will become very rancid and lose quality, making it unusable for you. Below are the signs that will tell you that the validity period has expired.

How to tell if canola oil is bad and rancid:

Sign 1: Strange smell

The smell is the first test you need to apply when checking the correctness of food. If you feel that the scent has become somehow chemical and unpleasant, rancidity has likely occurred. It is similar to every cooking oil there is.

Sign 2: Taste is off

If you are not sure whether the oil is correct or not, you can take a very small amount per teaspoon and try it. Any deviation in taste from the usual can mean spoilage. Canola oil has a very mild flavor, so throw it in the trash if you feel a pungent taste.

Sign 3: Change in texture

If the oil has significantly changed its appearance, it is also a sign of spoilage. Turbidity or organic formations found in the oil are a sign that the product is no longer suitable for consumption. You may even notice mold on the cap or bottle of canola oil. Although the oil itself is not susceptible to mold, the presence of other foods or moisture can make it possible.

What Is The Best Way To Store Canola Oil?

Although storing canola oil is a straightforward job, following the instructions and ensuring minimum conditions is imperative. Exposure to sun and heat can damage the product well before the expiration date. Here are some basic tips on how to preserve the shelf life of canola.

Tip 1: Keep away from heat and in a dark place

Any exposure to heat can damage canola oil and cause rancidity much earlier than it should. Keep the oil at a comfortable temperature and avoid direct sunlight exposure. In the pantry canola oil will be perfectly safe.

Tip 2: Seal well

It is good to always close the bottle of canola oil well after use. This will prevent faster oxidation but also prevent dirt from getting into the oil. We will add that you maintain good hygiene of cap and bottle so that mold does not develop due to other substances present.

Tip 3: Pour into a smaller bottle

If you have a one-liter package and have used up half of the oil and are slowly consuming it, it is good to pour the rest into a smaller bottle to have as little air present as possible.


How can you tell if canola oil is bad?

You can tell if canola oil is bad by smelling it; if it has a rancid or off-putting odor, its color has darkened significantly, or it has developed an unusual taste, it might have gone bad and should not be consumed.

Is it okay to use expired canola oil?

Yes, it’s usually okay to use slightly expired canola oil if it appears and smells fine, but always use your discretion and check for any signs of spoilage before using.

Can expired canola oil make you sick?

No, expired canola oil that appears and smells normal is unlikely to make you sick. However, if it has developed an off-putting odor, unusual color, or rancid taste, consuming it might pose a risk of digestive discomfort.

How long can canola oil be kept?

Canola oil can be kept for up to a year or more if stored in a cool, dark place and sealed tightly. However, for the best quality and flavor, it’s recommended to use it within its indicated shelf life.


Canola oil and rapeseed oil are similar to any other oil in its durability and spoilage. Over time, it will undoubtedly become rancid, and it is a process you cannot avoid. However, such changes will not happen in the short term. You can use canola oil sometimes up to a year after it has expired.

Always store bottle of canola oil in a cooler and darker place, do not expose it to the sun, and keep the bottle tightly closed. These essential tips should ensure that your canola oil experiences maximum durability and quality.

See more: Alternatives to canola oil

*image by Wirestock/depositphotos

About The Author

Scroll to Top