maple syrup

Does Maple Syrup Go Bad? Shelf Life, Signs and Solutions

Quick summary: Yes, maple syrup can go bad after opening it. Unopened maple syrup can last indefinitely if stored properly, but once opened, it has a shelf life of about a year when refrigerated and a shorter duration at room temperature.

It looks like honey, it is equally sweet, it has a very similar texture and color. So why then would it not last forever, just like honey? If you live in the belief that your sweet syrup can’t spoil, you might be unpleasantly surprised one morning as you pour it over the pancakes and realize it has mold on it. 

Yes, maple syrup can go off once you start using it. It is very important to store it properly. Despite the very high sugar concentration, unlike honey, this product is not as durable after the jar is opened. Here’s how to recognize the signs of spoilage and how to properly store the syrup.  

How Long Does Maple Syrup Last?

The recommendations we make about the shelf life of this beautiful sweetener only apply to pure maple syrup. All other variants that only taste like this syrup or are made on some other basis do not apply these rules. In which case, the durability is not similar, and you need to rely on the label guidance. 

Unopened Maple Syrup

As you have already suggested from the introductory text, an unopened jar of maple syrup can really last forever if stored properly. No matter how long it lasted on the shelf, it won’t spoil. Manufacturers put a border best by date because the food ordinance prescribes it. But if you have a jar that passed its expiring date a couple of years ago, and everything looks good, feel free to consume it.   

Opened Maple Syrup

Now we come to the tricky part. Once you have opened the jar of your pancake sauce and started using the product, it begins to run out of time from that moment on. Generally, if you keep the pot in the refrigerator, the shelf life will be about a year. On the kitchen counter at room temperature, it will last significantly shorter. 

How to Tell If Maple Syrup Is Bad?

Maple syrup can spoil after you open the package. So to answer, can maple syrup go bad? Yes. It is not uncommon to see mold on the surface of the syrup. Here’s how to recognize that the product is not correct.   

Mold formed on the top

It is indeed common for mold to catch on the surface of your favorite pancake syrup container. Mold growth is the most common case when keeping the jar at room temperature. In the fridge, it’s a little harder to happen. We must note that it may not be necessary to throw the product in the trash in the case of mold. Although most will do it, you can use a trick if it’s your last jar and you absolutely need it. Scoop up mold from the surface. Try to remove everything and then boil the remaining liquid to destroy the harmful microbes. Pour everything into a clean jar and allow it to cool. The syrup should be perfectly fine to use.   

It has a really off smell

A powerful, slightly sour smell will clearly indicate that something is wrong with the product. Even though everything seems fine, if the smell is unpleasant, you can be absolutely sure that spoiled maple syrup should go in the trash. 

Darker color or sediment does not mean spoilage   

We need to add signs here that you would suspect but don’t really mean that the product has expired. If you notice sediment that has accumulated on the bottom of the jar, it is quite fine. Also, a darker color may come after opening due to oxidation, but if the syrup does not have an unpleasant odor, it is likely all right.  

Which is the Best Way to Store Maple Syrup? 

As long as the product is factory sealed and untouched, it can stand at room temperature indefinitely. The condition is, of course, that the packaging is not damaged. Instructions for better storing maple syrup apply after opening the jar. 

Keep it in the refrigerator  

Once you have started using maple syrup, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator. This will significantly help maintain its stability and taste quality. Also, the cold temperature will not favor the development of mold.  

Close after use 

Always put the lid back on the jar after using the syrup. You want to prevent external impurities from contaminating the contents and allowing spoilage. So keep a clean container and use tidied cutlery. 

Freeze for longer storage  

If you have opened maple syrup and know that you will not need it for a long time, you are free to freeze it. So you will save it for as long as necessary. When you want, simply defrost it and continue using it.   


How can you tell if maple syrup has gone bad?

You can tell if maple syrup has gone bad by looking for signs of mold, an off or sour odor, or a significant change in color or texture. Properly stored maple syrup can last a long time, but any noticeable changes should prompt caution.

Is it OK to eat expired maple syrup?

Yes, it’s generally safe to eat expired maple syrup if it has been properly stored, as it has a long shelf life. However, be sure to check for any noticeable changes in taste, texture, or appearance before consuming.

How long will maple syrup last once opened?

Once opened, maple syrup can last for several months to a year if properly stored in the refrigerator. Regularly check for signs of mold, off odors, or changes in texture to ensure its quality before consumption.

Can maple syrup go moldy?

Yes, mold can form on the surface of the syrup maple.  

Does maple syrup expire if not refrigerated?

Maple syrup does not typically expire if not refrigerated, thanks to its high sugar content and natural preservatives. However, refrigeration can help prolong its shelf life and maintain its quality over time.


Despite being indescribably reminiscent of honey, maple syrup does not have the same shelf life once the package is open. All up to then, it behaves the same and can last for decades. When you start using the product, be sure to keep the jar in the refrigerator to ensure the stability and quality of the syrup. So stored will last almost certainly a year, possibly longer. 

If you are not confident that the product is suitable for eating, make sure there is no mold and smell it. If the smell is okay, the syrup is likely entirely safe and ready for your favorite pancakes, otherwise you can find a maple syrup substitute.

See more: How long does corn syrup last?

*image by NewAfrica/depositphotos

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