Does Mustard Go Bad If Not Refrigerated? (complete guide for proper storage)

Have you ever had condiments such as mustard just remain in your cabinet for an extended period of time?.. (I know I have).


Then, when you finally have a use for them, you reach to get the bottle, only to discover that it has already been used beyond its expiration date?


This leads us to the question: does mustard go bad if not refrigerated? After doing the research, here’s what I discovered…


Best Method: If you want to consume mustard at room temperature, there is no requirement to refrigerate it because doing so will allow the flavor to be preserved; however, chilling is recommended.


After conducting additional investigation, I discovered additional information that is important for you to be aware of; therefore, you should continue reading.



How Long Is the Shelf Life of Mustard?

The “best by” date is printed on virtually every bottle of mustard. This date will tell you how long the mustard should remain fresh after it has been opened.


Naturally, considering how acidic mustard is as a condiment, it can easily be stored for a few further months after the expiration date. FYI: Mustard, in general, loses some of its flavor and texture as time passes.


After a period of time, both the temperature and the texture become less consistent and less creamy than they were initially. That at some point in the future, it will no longer be of a quality that makes it suitable for usage.


The location in which you store the mustard is a key aspect in determining how long the mustard remains fresh…


Because the environment in the refrigerator is superior to that of a cupboard in the kitchen, the mustard will maintain its quality for a significantly longer period of time in the refrigerator.


The disparity is mind-boggling to say the least. The mustard will maintain its quality for around one to two months when stored at room temperature, but when stored in the refrigerator, it should maintain its quality for approximately one year.


One other item to consider regarding the storage and the duration of the mustard’s shelf life. On the labels of their products, many manufacturers include instructions for proper storage.

It is common for the label to instruct you to store the mustard in the refrigerator after opening it, as well as to provide an estimate of how long the product will remain fresh after being opened.


If there are specific instructions like these on the label, you should adhere to them as closely as possible and only utilize the guidance in this article as a backup.

Pantry Fridge
Mustard (unopened): Best by + 1 year
Mustard (opened): 1 – 2 months 8 – 12 months


4 Telltale Signs That Your Mustard Is Going Bad

The majority of us have probably been exposed to the adage “when in doubt, throw it out!” There is no point in trying to use ruined mustard or any other food, so here are some symptoms and techniques to detect when mustard has gone bad so you can avoid using it…


1. The many components start to become distinct:


At first, the liquid will gradually migrate towards the top of the mixture, leaving the elements that are thicker and more solid at the bottom. If it is discovered in time, the problem can be remedied by simply stirring or shaking the bottle until it returns to its natural appearance.


If despite stirring, the components do not come together to form a single substance, this is an indication that the mustard has likely gone bad and ought to be discarded.

2. It has a peculiar odor:


Even if there are those who maintain that mustard should always have an odd aroma, it shouldn’t smell very unpleasant. This can indicate that something is starting to rot.

3. Mold:


Mold is dangerous, and as a general rule, nothing that has mold on it should be consumed. Mold is most likely to grow in the container’s seal or at the bottom; thus, before spreading mustard on bread, you should be sure to give the container a thorough inspection first.

4. Color distortion:


In most cases, there is not a cause for alarm if the color of the mustard shifts. When mustard is older, the color of the mustard will become more muted and less vivid.


If there are no other issues with the bottle, you should be able to use it without any problems. If, on the other hand, the mustard develops a hue that is far darker than its original state, you should probably toss it out.



What to Do in the Event That Your Mustard Splits

It’s possible that you believe that mustard that has separated has gone off and become rancid…


Don’t be concerned, as long as you maintained proper food safety practices and stored it in the refrigerator with the lid securely on, it should be fine.


When mustard has not been stirred for an extended period of time, it will begin to separate on its own; in this case, all that is required of you is a spoon and some stirring.


If it’s in a jar, give it a thorough shake to combine the ingredients. You’ll observe that it swiftly goes back to having the same texture that it had before.



What to Do in the Event That Your Mustard Expires?

If you leave the lid off of the jar of mustard for an extended amount of time, it will dry out…


To rectify this situation, add one teaspoon of vinegar at a time while stirring the mixture until it returns to its former consistency.


You’re going to need a new jar of mustard if it’s too dry and you have to add too much vinegar to bring it back to its original consistency because the flavor was affected.


Is It Possible That Old Mustard Will Make You Sick?

Mustard, like any other food, can go bad and make you sick, but mustard that’s been around for a while is normally safe to eat.


Mustard is made to be able to sit at the back of the pantry for several weeks without being touched and still be in perfect condition to be used.


Itchiness, a skin rash, congestion, and/or hives are the most typical adverse reactions that might occur in those who are allergic to mustard and who consume it. In very serious circumstances, you can fall into shock.


Does Homemade Mustard Spoil Faster?

It is true that homemade mustard goes bad more quickly…


Mustard that has been produced at home should be placed in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible and kept at a temperature that is lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave the mustard out on the counter, it will not only lose some of its flavor, but it will also start to separate at a much quicker rate.


About two weeks is the typical amount of time that homemade mustard can be consumed once it has been created, however this can vary from recipe to recipe.


The shelf life of homemade mustard can be relatively limited because it does not contain any of the preservatives that are added to mustards that are purchased from the shop.


Mustards that are manufactured well can have a shelf life of up to a year if they are properly sealed and stored in the refrigerator.


Related Questions:

1. Should relish be stored in the refrigerator after opening?


In order for it to remain usable for up to two years, it needs to be stored in a dark, cool place. It is possible to store it in the refrigerator for up to a year after it has been opened.


2. Should pickles always be stored in the refrigerator?


It is necessary to place the jar in the refrigerator. Keeping it at room temperature would cause the fermentation process to restart, which would result in the vegetables being more acidic. Because of this, unpasteurized pickles should be kept in the refrigerator at all times.


Final Thoughts

What exactly did we study in class today?


Now that we know, chilling is advised even though mustard can be consumed at ambient temperature without refrigeration because doing so will maintain the flavor.


The mustard jar’s lid will also dry out if you leave it off for an extended period of time. Add one teaspoon of vinegar at a time and swirl the liquid to correct the problem until it reaches its original consistency.


If the mustard is too dry and needs too much vinegar to restore it to its original consistency, the flavor has been compromised, and you will need a new jar. Enjoy the rest of your day, always stay safe, and treat others with kindness & respect!

Does Mustard Go Bad If Not Refrigerated? (complete guide for proper storage)