corn syrup shelf life

Does Corn Syrup Go Bad? Storage and Shelf Life Explained

In a nutshell: No, corn syrup does not go bad. Corn syrup is a sweetener that can last indefinitely if stored properly. It does not go bad easily, but it can be contaminated by other particles if the jar is left open or exposed to high temperatures. To prevent spoilage, check for signs of mold, discoloration, or off-odor before using it.

You want to make pancakes, and all you’ve found in the kitchen is old semi-open corn syrup. Can you use it? We bring you all the answers.

Right from the start, we need to dispel any doubts you may have. Corn syrup can really last indefinitely and has an indefinite shelf life. This is good news, especially since there aren’t too many fans of this sweetener out there. 

We more or less boil down to the fact that we all buy one bottle of corn syrup and then shyly use it for the next few years.

If you are a rare fan of this sweet nectar and consume one to two bottles a month, you do not necessarily need this article. But if you’re like 99 percent of people and forget you have corn syrup in the kitchen, we bring you valuable tips. Yes, a product can last forever, but there is always some “but”.

How Long Does Corn Syrup Last?

Corn syrup is aware that it cannot win the taste race with, for example, maple syrup, so it tries to stay good on the shelf for years before you use it up. We bring you only a rough estimate of durability, and it will mainly depend on your storage habits.

Unopened corn syrup

If the syrup jar is unopened, there are almost no factors that will cause spoilage. This can extremely happen if you keep it at very high temperatures for a long time. But in all normal circumstances, the unopened light corn syrup will last forever. So feel free to ignore the expiration date written on the label.

Opened corn syrup

Once you open the jar, the product can still last forever. You will just be careful not to allow other contaminants to enter the product and thus impair its stability. Therefore, for a jar of corn syrup that stays open for a long time in the pantry, check for accidental spoilage signs.

Can Corn Syrup Go Bad?

And for foods that can last forever, like sweeteners and similar products, the rule is that certain adverse circumstances can lead to spoilage. This primarily refers to the contamination of the product with other particles.

So how can you tell if corn syrup has gone bad?

Sign 1: It has mold on it

If moisture or other liquids get into the corn syrup, it can lead to the development of mold. Even if only the lid has been contaminated, mold can develop on it and spread throughout the jar. If you notice such a phenomenon, be sure to throw the product in the trash.

Sign 2: Presence of other substances

Sometimes, leftovers or insects can accidentally get into the syrup if the jar is left open without a lid. Any product contamination will not be tempting for consumption either, so replace the product with a fresh one.

Sign 3: Taste or smell is unusual

Sometimes you may not see outsiders in your syrup in plain sight, but a foul smell or taste can reveal that spoilage has occurred anyway. Whatever the reason, replace the corn syrup with a new one if you notice that the aroma and taste are not the same. If it smells sour, toss it.

What Is The Best Way To Store Corn Syrup?

Corn syrup will be perfectly okay at room temperature or slightly cooler in the pantry. There is no need to keep the syrup in the refrigerator. In fact, it could only harden its texture. However, it is important to provide a few prerequisites for long-term proper storage.

Tip 1: Keep tightly sealed

Close the jar tightly with the lid each time after use. As we have said, one of the biggest enemies of corn syrup is the presence of foreign contaminants. Therefore seal the jar tightly when not in use and do not leave half opened corn syrup on the counter.

Tip 2: Keep it clean

If you have a corn starch syrup in a jar, always use a clean spoon when taking it. If packaged in a plastic ready-to-use bottle, keep the cap clean. There is often dirt or food debris on the stopper. Foreign food particles can cause spoilage.

Tip 3: Avoid damp places

It goes without saying that you should avoid damp places for all liquid sweeteners. As corn syrup is a long-lasting product, exposure to moisture for a more extended period could cause spoilage. You do not have to refrigerate corn syrup.


How can you tell if corn syrup is bad?

You can tell if corn syrup is bad by observing changes in its color, texture, and smell. If it becomes darker in color, thickens significantly, or develops an off odor, it might have gone bad and should be discarded.

Is it okay to eat expired corn syrup?

Yes, it is generally safe to eat expired corn syrup due to its high sugar content, but its quality might be compromised.

Can expired corn syrup make you sick?

No, expired corn syrup is unlikely to make you sick due to its high sugar content, which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. However, its quality may have diminished, affecting its taste and performance in recipes.

Is 2 year old syrup still good?

Yes, syrup that is 2 years old might still be safe to consume, but its quality may have deteriorated, resulting in changes in flavor, texture, and overall appeal. Inspecting its appearance, smell, and taste before using it is recommended.


Corn syrup is mostly used as a sweetener, and you can use it with most dishes for which you would otherwise use other syrups. Still, it’s a product that tends to stay in the kitchen cabinet for a very long time before you finally run out of a whole bottle.

The good thing is that you don’t have to worry about the expiration date. If you do not explicitly recognize the signs of spoilage that can occur due to contamination of the product, you are free to reach for a dusty half opened bottle that has been sitting in the cabinet for a couple of years. It probably is perfectly fine.

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