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Can Olive Oil Go Bad?

Can olive oil go bad? Olive oil is one of the most important ingredients in every kitchen. It’s in most cases used in salad dressings, sometimes in frying. It also has a variety of uses outside the kitchen, e.g. in cosmetics. All in all, if you’re using olive oil as an ingredient, it’s critical to know answers to the following questions: “does olive oil expire?” or “how long does olive oil last”. This article will give you all the answers you need.

How long does olive oil last?

As long as the bottle of olive oil in unopened, it should last about two years, of course if it’s stored in appropriate conditions. In most cases, storing olive oil in the pantry is the way to go. Just put it somewhere where the sunlight can’t reach it and the temperature stays pretty low (lower than room temperature) all the time. Light and changing temperature can accelerate the process of going bad.

If you live in a hot and humid environment (like in the tropics), you should seriously consider storing olive oil in the fridge. That will definitely extend its shelf life.

Olive Oil - it can go bad
Image used under Creative Commons from Amy Guth

Once the olive oil bottle is opened, it can be stored in the pantry as well. It should be fine for at least a year, maybe even two. If you’d like to lengthen the shelf life of olive oil, you can store it in the fridge. Of course you need to remember that opened olive oil deteriorates faster than one that is still unopened, so you should open a new bottle until you’ve used all oil from your previous one.

One more thing, always keep your bottle of olive oil sealed tightly with its original can. Oxidation of olive oil causes faster deterioration of the liquid.

Does olive oil spoil? How to tell if olive oil is bad?

Like almost any other food product, olive oil expires. The first thing you should check out is the “Use By” or “Best By” date placed somewhere on the bottle. Of course that date is just a rough estimate of how long the product should remain at its best quality. In most cases, olive oil will be fine at least as long as stated in the previous section.

Of course if your bottle of olive oil haven’t been used for a while, it’s always good to check whether its contents are still fine. So, how to tell if olive oil is bad? It’s pretty simple – check its smell, flavor and appearance. If it has developed an off (or “funny”) odor, you should discard it. If it has a stale taste (or it simply doesn’t taste right), it’s best to throw it away either. If you’ll notice any signs of mold, proceed similarly. If the smell around the lid is funny, but contents of the bottle seem OK, olive oil is fine to use.

Adding olive oil to cauliflower
Adding olive oil to cauliflower

As you should know by now – olive oil can go bad. It has a pretty long shelf life, but it does expire. You should also know how to tell if olive oil is bad – you just need to test its taste, flavor and examine its appearance.