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Can Nutella Go Bad?

Are you a Nutella fan? This popular product is used as a bread spread but let’s face it, most of us take Nutella as a dessert. This product is often used as a dessert topping, bread filling, or as an ingredient in sweet drinks. Nutella is made from milk cocoa, hazelnuts, and skim milk. Since the product contains dairy, Nutella has a limited storage life.

It is also worth noting that hazelnuts have short shelf life. And this decreases the storage life of Nutella even further. Nutella is often sold in large glass bottles and tubs so it will take a while to use up a bottle of the product. As such, proper storage is a must to maximize your supply!

Image used under Creative Commons from allison.hare

Can Nutella Go Bad?

Yes, Nutella can go bad pretty quickly especially if 1) the lid wasn’t closed properly and 2) the storage conditions aren’t ideal. Because Nutella contains nuts and dairy, it is susceptible to mold and bacteria growth. This is something to keep in mind if you’re planning to store the product at room temperature.

The ingredients are quite sensitive to heat and sunlight too. That’s why you have to store the product in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. If stored improperly, the overall flavor and texture of Nutella will be altered. And if you’re a Nutella fan, you can’t afford to waste a good bottle of the stuff!

Signs that Nutella has Gone Bad

It is easy to tell if Nutella has gone bad. For starters, spoiled Nutella will develop a weird aroma. The once soft and creamy texture will become hard and dry. The nut oils will turn rancid, giving off a musty flavor and aroma. If you see the presence of mold growth, discard the product.

How to Store Nutella?

The best way to store Nutella is to keep it in the pantry at room temperature. If you’re worried that the product will go bad quickly because it is kept at room temperature, don’t. Nutella is meant to be stored and enjoyed this way.

You might think keeping the product in the fridge is a good idea but it’s really not. At room temperature, the nut spread is more fluid and spreadable. When kept in the fridge, the chilly temperature will cause the product to harden so the texture is no longer spreadable. Once Nutella is kept in the fridge, you shouldn’t return it to the pantry anymore.  Doing so could cause the product to go bad much more quickly.

To store Nutella in the pantry, no additional prep is needed. Just place the product in a cool, dry place away from natural light. Keep the product away from sources of heat, moisture, and humidity. Always keep the lid tightly sealed after every use to extend Nutella’s shelf life.

Unopened bottles of Nutella will keep in the pantry for 2 months or so. An opened bottle of Nutella will keep in the pantry 1 month past its sell-by-date.

Image used under Creative Commons from Janine

Can You Freeze Nutella?

You can freeze Nutella because any type of food can be frozen. But just like refrigeration, freezing is not an ideal method of storing Nutella. Freezing will forever alter the taste and flavor of Nutella if the product has been frozen for a long time. This method hardens the product too so you have to thaw frozen Nutella completely before you can use it.

On top of that, chilly and/or freezing temperature could trigger separation between the milk proteins and nut oil once thawed. If say, you still want to freeze Nutella, you have to transfer the product to a freezer-safe container. The product often comes in glass containers, which will shatter in freezing temperature.

Just scoop the product into your desired container evenly then seal. Write the storage date then stick the product in the freezer. We highly suggest dividing the product into manageable portions so you don’t have to defrost the whole container for a couple of tablespoons.


Storing Nutella is so easy but there are certain things to keep in mind to extend its shelf life. Always keep the lid tightly closed after every use. Use a clean spoon when scooping the product to reduce contamination. Do not store the product in cold storage to maintain its creamy texture and original flavor.