mustard go bad

Does Mustard Go Bad and Expire?

Not sure if mustard can last longer than the prescribed date? And what if you have an open bottle in the fridge for a long time? We bring all the answers.     

If you are not a big fan of mustard, you probably keep one jar in the fridge for a long time. Ever wondered how long you can stretch that bond? Well, many ask the same. Since it’s not likely to be buying new supplies each month, the question of durability is quite normal. You know it is a bitter, salty compound and not a very desirable place for bacteria. So how long can mustard last then?  

Good news for all of you indifferent to this condiment, the shelf life is long enough to consume that little bottle you keep. Although there are different versions of this product, the shelf life is generally around two to three years when unopened and will last a whole year after you open it. It is just essential that you store it properly. If you want to know more about everything, read on.  

How Long Does Mustard Last?

Although the decay time will not occur so quickly, it still exists. And yes, mustard can be spoiled. That is, better to say, it loses its flavor and thus its purpose. Here are guidelines you can rely on for unopened and for opened mustard packaging.    

Duration of unopened mustard 

It is important to note that there are numerous versions of this condiment, and according to their composition, the shelf life also varies. However, it generally lasts for at least a year if it is kept unopened on the shelf. More often, this period is up to 3 years. Manufacturers generally put the best by guidelines because the expiration date does not mean that the product is spoiled immediately, but the quality and taste may decline.

Since the share of other flavors in mustard is becoming more and more diverse, pay special attention if the percentage of mustard is lower in the product. You have versions with honey, chili, pepper, fruit, and everything else. Their shelf life may be somewhat shorter due to the presence of other ingredients.  

Duration of opened mustard 

Once you have opened the mustard pack, it is advisable to keep it in the fridge. In which case, the durability will probably be a full year. So if you want to add tiny drops of this spice to your food, you have more than enough time to use it completely. 

All of these guidelines do not apply to homemade mustard that you make yourself. Its shelf life is concise, and it is advisable to keep it in the refrigerator and consume it within a couple of weeks. 

Can Mustard Go Bad? 

It is more likely that the product will be left without the taste rather than spoil in the classical sense. But, certain phenomena are dangerous to health, such as mold. Here’s how you can most easily spot that something is wrong with your flavoring.      

Sign 1: It looks wrong 

Color will be the first indicator that will lead you to buy a new package. It is usual for slightly darker parts to appear on the surface due to oxidation. This is perfectly fine. But if the mustard has changed significantly in color, become darker, or completely pale, bacteria have probably settled in it, and you want to throw such a product in the trash.      

Sign 2: It smells or tastes funky 

With your nose and tongue, you can’t go wrong. First, smell the product. If it has a sour, unpleasant odor, it is a sign of spoilage. If the scent is okay, but when you put the product in your mouth, it has a strong, rancid taste, the mustard is spoiled.    

Sign 3: It has mold on it    

Yes, mold can appear on mustard, and it is a sure sign to throw everything in the trash. Some have a habit of just scraping the moldy part and eating the rest. But you must know that if you see mold spores on the surface, there are almost certainly those you don’t see through the rest of the product. Do not risk your health and throw all the contents in the garbage.   

Which is the Best Way to Store Mustard? 

The usual tips for proper food storage will help you extend the shelf life of mustard long after the label date. Also, it will help to preserve its taste and aroma, which is very important.   

Tip 1: Keep it in cool and dry place 

Keep mustard in a cool, dark place, away from the sun and possible heat sources, until it is opened. After that, it is best to keep it in the refrigerator to preserve the quality.      

Tip 2: Seal well  

Every time you use this spice, close it well as soon as possible. Do not keep it open for a long time as this promotes the potential development of bacteria.    

Tip 3: Use clean spoon  

It is very important to use a clean spoon when scooping the mustard from the jar. What most often causes spoilage is precisely the presence of other foods inside. Especially if you like to put mustard on raw meat, don’t put the same spoon back in the jar a couple of times.      


Is it bad to eat expired mustard?

It will usually be perfectly fine to eat mustard after it has expired. However, to be sure, check if all signs are OK. Whether there is mold, does it smell OK, and whether the taste is correct.

How can you tell if mustard has gone bad?

The most common signs of spoilage will be a bad smell, certainly awful taste, and the appearance of mold.

How long after the expiration date can you eat mustard?

In some cases, it may even be a year or two after the recommended shelf life.

Does mustard have to be refrigerated?

It is not mandatory, especially if you intend to use the whole pack in a short time. But with more extended storage, it is advisable to put it in the fridge.


Mustard is one of the classic and almost inevitable spices when cooking, especially for meat dishes. But if you’re not too much of a fan and don’t spend large amounts, you don’t need to fear. Mustard will be perfectly fine a year or more after you open it. Just keep it in the refrigerator and pay attention to hygiene when handling.

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