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posted by Sharon Chenon Dec 15, 2018 (updated Dec 13, 2022) 8 comments »
Does mustard go bad? No, mustard doesn’t go bad, but it can lose its flavor in the long run, or when not properly stored. Find out the shelf life of mustard, the signs of a mustard gone old, and how to keep the “kick” of its flavor.
Mustard, one of the more common condiments, is known for enhancing the taste of our dishes—from the sweet-hot tangy flavors of Dijon mustard to the smooth and sweet honey mustard. Considered one of the essential condiment trios alongside ketchup and mayonnaise, mustard has always been present in many of our dishes and sandwiches, whether for dipping or as a dressing.
Unless you’re a mustard addict who consumes mustard every day, you probably have a partially used jar of mustard sitting in the fridge. Whether it’s been sitting there for a month (or even a year), it’s good to know if mustard goes bad, how long it lasts, and how to extend its shelf life to keep the best quality.
Table of Contents hide
- Does Mustard Go Bad?
- How Long Does Mustard Last?
- Brand and Storage Condition
- How to Keep Your Mustard Flavorful
Does Mustard Go Bad?
All varieties of mustard are blends of spices and an acid-based liquid like vinegar or lemon juice, so technically, nothing in there goes bad, but mustard can lose its flavor over time. Because of its simple ingredient list, though, mustard will only lose its kick rather than turn rancid.
You should look out for these signs of an old mustard:
- Texture – Mustard will dry out or separate over time, but that’s completely normal. You can fix it by simply stirring it. However, if you find a dry lump at the bottom of your container, it’s best to throw the mustard out. Your mustard won’t spoil, but this is a sign that the liquid is slowly evaporating and will dry out soon.
- Smell – The aroma of mustard also fades over time. If you detect a bad or sour odor, it could be a sign that your mustard ready to be tossed out.
Note: Some mustards have a short best-by or best-before date, which indicates that the change in flavor after those dates will happen more quickly than with other types of mustards.
How Long Does Mustard Last?
The shelf life of mustard varies depending on the type, storage conditions, and packaging.
Brand and Storage Condition
- American mustard – This popular, mild mustard can last for one to two years beyond the best-by date when unopened and kept in the pantry at room temperature. After opening, it can last for a year in the fridge.
- Dijon mustard – Because of its higher proportion of vinegar, an unopened Dijon mustard can last for two to three years in the pantry at room temperature and for one year after being opened in the fridge.
- Chinese mustard – This can last for one to two years when left unopened in the pantry. After opening, it can last for a year in the fridge.
- Honey mustard – This honey-and-mustard blend can keep for two to three years in the pantry when unopened, and one to two years after opening if stored in the fridge.
- Homemade mustard – Expect it to last only for a day at room temperature. However, it can last from a week up to one year in the fridge, depending on the packaging and ingredients used.
- Dry mustard – This can last for one to two years at room temperature and an indefinite time in the fridge.
Mustard stored in a glass jar can last for two years, and 18 months when stored in plastic squeeze bottles. Mustards in sachets can stay fresh for only about six months.
How to Keep Your Mustard Flavorful
Mustard is best used when it gives that kick of spicy and tangy flavors, so keep these storage methods in mind to preserve its flavor:
- Use clean utensils when scooping mustard from its container. Double-dipping can increase bacterial population in your mustard and may cause food-borne illnesses in the future.
- To enjoy the flavor of your mustard, it’s best to consume before the best-by date. After the indicated date, you can expect it to lose its flavor.
- Most mustards don’t have to be refrigerated after being opened, but doing so can extend its shelf life for a longer period of time and preserve its flavor. Refrigerated mustards also dry out slower than those stored in the pantry. However, Dijon and other wine-based mustards, as well as vinegar-based mustards (like yellow mustards) should always be refrigerated after use to keep the aroma and flavor from fading.
- If you don’t like your mustard cold, and you use it often enough to not need to refrigerate it to preserve it as long as possible, you can simply keep your bottle of mustard on the shelf, or in any cool, dry place at room temperature.
With its long shelf life, you can stock up on as much mustard as you want. Just be sure to store it properly to enjoy its unique flavor! Looking to whip your mustard into some tasty salads and savory meals? Try out these StreetSmart recipes:
- Tuna Deviled Eggs
- Seafood Quinoa Salad
- Crab Stuffed Mushrooms (Gluten Free)
- Mediterranean Lentil Salad
Keep It Fresh
originally published on Dec 15, 2018 (last updated Dec 13, 2022)
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8 comments on “Does Mustard Go Bad? Shelf Life of Mustard and 4 Tips to Preserve Its Flavor”
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Elma lewis — Reply
Great post about the shelf life of mustard and tips to preserve its flavor! I found the information about using clean utensils to avoid bacterial contamination really helpful. It’s important to prioritize food safety. Also, the tip about consuming mustard before the best-by date to enjoy its full flavor is a good reminder. I usually refrigerate my opened mustards, but it’s good to know that Dijon and wine-based mustards, as well as vinegar-based mustards, should always be refrigerated to maintain their aroma and flavor. Thanks for sharing these tips! If anyone’s looking for some delicious recipes using mustard, the Tuna Deviled Eggs and Massaged Kale Salad with Pine Nuts & Dried Cranberries sound absolutely mouthwatering. Can’t wait to try them out!
Arielle — Reply
Well shoot. I wish I would have read your article a couple years ago. I bought a couple extra bottles of the types of mustards we use the most when the food shortages hit and they’re pretty sad now. We love spicy mustards so you can guess how disappointed we were when I pulled out one of the older bottles and it had almost no kick to it. About the only type that’s not hurt is the classic yellow mustard. Lesson learned and thanks for the article!
Sharon Chen — Reply
Glad to hear that you found this article helpful. Thanks for your comment!
nun — Reply
Because honey mustered already smells sour how much more sour can the smell get when its bad.
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All varieties of mustard are blends of spices and an acid-based liquid like vinegar or lemon juice, so technically, nothing in there goes bad, but mustard can lose its flavor over time. Because of its simple ingredient list, though, mustard will only lose its kick rather than turn rancid.Can you use 2 year old mustard? ›
Like Dijon, honey mustard has a shelf life of up to 3 years unopened and 1 to 2 years opened and refrigerated. Yellow mustard. The “old reliable” of mustards is also usable for up to 1 year after opening. You'll get 1 to 2 years out of unopened yellow mustard.How long after expiration date is mustard good? ›
An unopened jar of mustard lasts for up to 2 years beyond the printed expiration date when stored in a dry place such as a kitchen cabinet or pantry.How do you know when mustard goes bad? ›
Texture: Clumps or a thickened texture may indicate that your mustard is no longer fresh. Smell: An off or sour smell can be a clear indication that your mustard has gone bad. Taste: If your mustard tastes stale or rancid, it's time to discard it.Do you refrigerate mustard after opening? ›
But, like many shelf-stable foods, that jar of mustard “should still be kept in the fridge after opening to prolong the complexity, heat, and flavor.” Collins also notes that “as mustard sits and is opened and closed and taken in and out of the fridge, the flavor will change…so while it doesn't go bad like a fish or ...Can you use GREY Poupon after expiration date? ›
Grey Poupon mustard should not be consumed after the expiration date stated on the jar. Generally, the shelf life of the product is two years if unopened and stored properly.What is mustard good for health? ›
Mustard has a lot of protein, fibre, vitamin C, and many of the vitamins in the B-complex group. Mustard is good for your health in many ways. It can help with muscle pain, ringworm, and breathing problems, and it can also be used to treat cancer and diabetes.Does mayonnaise expire? ›
Before it's opened, a jar of mayo will last in the pantry for about three months. If you just opened a jar, know that it should be stored in the refrigerator and used within two months. However, if you make homemade mayonnaise, it will last only up to a week in the fridge—so make plans to use it all up before then.Does honey expire? ›
Even though honey doesn't have an expiration date, it can still undergo natural changes. The National Honey Board says that over time honey may “darken and lose its aroma and flavor or crystallize,” depending on changes in temperature.How long is ketchup good for after expiration date? ›
Unopened ketchup can last 1-2 years beyond a date stamp if taken care of properly, but there are always certain things to look out for in deciding if your ketchup has gone bad.
Properly stored, an unopened bottle of mustard will generally stay at best quality for about 2 years.How long does ketchup last in the fridge? ›
An opened bottle of ketchup can be stored in the refrigerator for one to six months without changes to color or texture. Obviously, if it smells or looks rancid or "off", it should be discarded. But because ketchup is so high in acidity, it keeps quite well. Unopened bottles may be kept in the pantry.Does Worcestershire sauce go bad? ›
Worcestershire sauce that has been continuously refrigerated will generally stay at best quality for about 3 years.Why should you not put yellow mustard in a refrigerator? ›
Mustard . . .
Dijon and horseradish-based mustards should be refrigerated, but others are OK to leave out if you prefer them at room temperature. Refrigerating yellow mustard will help maintain its flavor, but it doesn't contain any ingredients that spoil.
An open jar of peanut butter stays fresh up to three months in the pantry. After that, it's recommended to store the peanut butter in the fridge (where it can maintain its quality for another 3-4 months). If you don't refrigerate, oil separation can occur.What condiments should not be refrigerated? ›
Common condiments that don't require refrigeration include soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, honey and hot sauce. Feingold says vinegars and olive oil (stored in a cool, dark place) are pantry-bound; coconut oil is actually best kept out of the fridge since it hardens below room temperature.Does ketchup need to be refrigerated? ›
Ketchup is said to be shelf stable
However, its stability after opening can be affected by storage conditions. We recommend that this product, like any processed food, be refrigerated after opening. Refrigeration will maintain the best product quality after opening" (via Today).
Mustard. Surprisingly, mustard goes hand in hand with ketchup, but it outlasts it in terms of shelf life. If it's in the pantry, mustard is good to use for one to two years after it was bought. If it's in the refrigerator, that gets cut down to one year since it's opened.How long does Worcestershire sauce last? ›
|Worcestershire Sauce lasts for||Indefinite|
|Worcestershire Sauce lasts for||3-4 Years|
Mustard is rich in protein, fiber, vitamin C and many of the B-complex vitamins. There are several health benefits of mustard for the body like relief from muscular pains, ringworm, and respiratory disorders and also helps in treating cancer and diabetes.
The body uses acetic acid to produce acetylcholine, which is essential for leg muscle contractions. This is why mustard is effective for leg cramp relief. Mustard contains acetic acid. Yellow Mustard is the only kind of mustard documented to relieve nighttime leg cramps.How long after expiration date is dijon mustard good? ›
While many of the ingredients in dijon mustard are natural preservatives, the condiment will degrade in quality over time. Typically, the shelf life of unopened dijon mustard is around two to three years past the printed expiration date on the label.Can you give a 1 year old mustard? ›
Mustard seeds, however, do also have some antioxidant and antibacterial properties, which will help support your baby's growing body. The impact of these benefits will be small since portions will also be small but you can safely add some mustard or mustard seeds to your cooking as soon as your baby is one year old.Can you age mustard? ›
For a milder punch, allow mustard to age for two to eight weeks at room temperature, then refrigerate. The longer it stands, the milder it will be and the better the flavors will blend. The mildest mustards are those that are cooked, then allowed to age at room temperature.How long can mustard sit out after opening? ›
Condiments such as ketchup and mustard
According to TheKitchn.com, yellow, Dijon, or even whole-grain mustard can be put away in the cabinet for up to two months and as mentioned before, ketchup can be kept outside the refrigerator for up to a month.