Does Mustard Oil Go Bad | Inside Secrete

Mustard oil is a special cooking oil made from tiny mustard seeds. It tastes strong and has been used in cooking for a long time. People like it for its yummy flavor and good things for your health. 

Let’s learn more about where it comes from, how we use it, and why it’s good for you.

Does mustard oil go bad? Some say no, but it changes with time.

How long it lasts depends on the type:

Dijon3 years unopened1 year opened
Honey3 years unopened1–2 years opened
Yellow1 year opened1–2 years unopened
Whole Grain1–3 years unopened1 year opened
Mustard Powder3–4 yearsStore it in a spice cabinet

So, mustard can last a while, but not forever!

Why Does Mustard Go Bad?

Mustard stays fresh because it’s super sour. Sourness stops bad stuff from growing, so mustard is safe to eat for a long time.

But, remember, nothing lasts forever. Mustard slowly changes. It can taste worse and be bad for you if it’s too old.

Also, dirty tools can put germs in your mustard, which makes it go bad faster. So, keep things clean when you use mustard.

Mold in the air can make mustard look yucky when you open it. This doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it doesn’t look good.

How to Tell if Mustard Has Gone Bad

When checking if your mustard is still good, remember, that dates are just hints, not strict rules. The government says these dates mostly show how tasty it is, not if it’s safe. So, your Dijon mustard won’t suddenly turn bad on a special day.

Instead of only looking at the date, use your senses to tell if it’s not fresh anymore. If your mustard smells bad, has weird colors, has mold, feels hard or weird, or tastes too sour or bitter, it might be no good.

Trust your senses more than the date. Freshness is about how it feels, not just numbers.

How to Make Mustard Last Longer

In tough times with pricey groceries, it’s okay to want your mustard and other foods to stay fresh longer. To do that, here are some smart tricks:

  1. Keep mustard in the fridge. Don’t leave it out after opening. Cold helps it last. Make sure the jar is tightly closed to keep it safe from light and air.
  1. When you want some mustard, be clean. Use clean spoons, not bitten sausages, dirty knives, or your hands. Those things can put bad stuff in your mustard, and that’s not good for you.

That’s it! By doing these easy things, your mustard can stay fresh and yummy, and you can stop wasting food.

How to Store Mustard to Extend its Shelf Life?

To keep mustard fresh, store it in a cool, dry place. Don’t let it get too hot or cold. This helps prevent mold. Put it in the fridge after opening.

Different mustard lasts different times. Glass jars last 2 years, plastic bottles about 18 months, and tiny packets about 6 months.

Homemade mustard should go in the fridge, too. Use a sealed container to keep it fresh. How long it lasts depends on what’s in it.

Be clean when you use mustard. Dirty tools can make it bad.

Storing food right is good. It helps you eat better, saves money, and helps the Earth by reducing waste.

How to Store Mustard Oil Properly

Storing mustard oil properly is essential to maintain its flavor, aroma, and nutritional properties over time. Mustard oil is a commonly used cooking oil in many parts of the world, particularly in South Asian and Indian cuisines. 

It has a strong flavor and aroma and is known for its health benefits, including being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. 

To ensure the quality and safety of mustard oil, follow these guidelines for proper storage:

Choose the Right Container

Mustard oil should be stored in a clean, airtight container made of glass, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic. Avoid containers made of reactive metals like aluminum or copper, as they can react with the oil and affect its quality.

Keep it in a Cool and Dark Place

Mustard oil is sensitive to heat, light, and air. Store it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources like stoves, ovens, or radiators. Ideally, a pantry or kitchen cabinet is a suitable location.

Seal the Container Properly

Ensure the container’s lid or cap is tightly sealed to prevent air from entering and causing oxidation, which can lead to rancidity and a loss of flavor.

Minimize Temperature Fluctuations

Avoid sudden temperature changes, such as storing the oil near the stove, as this can cause condensation inside the container and spoil the oil.

Keep it Dry

Moisture can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria in the oil. Make sure the container is dry both inside and out before pouring the oil into it.

Do Not Mix with Other Oils

Do not mix mustard oil with other cooking oils, as it can alter the taste and aroma of both oils. If you use multiple types of oil, store them separately.

Check for Contaminants

Before storing, ensure that the container is clean and free from any residues of water, food, or previous oil. Any contaminants can promote spoilage.

Rotate Stock

If you use mustard oil infrequently, it’s a good practice to buy it in smaller quantities and use it within a reasonable time frame. This helps prevent the oil from becoming stale.

Label and Date

Label the container with the date of purchase or the date you opened it. This will help you keep track of its freshness.

Smell and Taste Test

Periodically check the oil for any signs of rancidity. Mustard oil has a strong aroma, and if it smells off or has a bitter taste, it may have gone bad and should be discarded.

Store in Refrigerator (Optional)

While not necessary, some people prefer to store mustard oil in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life. If you choose to do so, make sure the oil is in an airtight container and bring it to room temperature before using.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your mustard oil remains fresh, flavorful, and safe for consumption for an extended period. Proper storage is essential to maintain the quality of this unique and versatile cooking oil.

Final Words

In short, mustard oil can go bad too. Light, heat, and air can make it bad faster. Keep it cool and dark, use it before it’s old. Smell and taste it sometimes to be sure. This way, you’ll have tasty and good mustard oil for cooking.


Does mustard oil have an expiration date? 

Mustard oil typically doesn’t have a strict expiration date like some other products. However, it can go bad over time, so it’s essential to check for signs of spoilage.

How can I tell if my mustard oil has gone bad? 

Look for changes in color, odor, and taste. Spoiled mustard oil may become darker, have a rancid or off-putting smell, and develop a bitter or unpleasant taste. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best not to use them.

Can mustard oil become rancid? 

Yes, mustard oil can become rancid if exposed to light, heat, or air for an extended period. Rancidity results from the oxidation of the oil’s fats, leading to an unpleasant taste and smell.

What is the best way to store mustard oil to prevent it from going bad? 

To prolong the shelf life of mustard oil, store it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Ensure the cap or lid is tightly sealed to minimize air exposure, which can accelerate spoilage.

Can refrigerating mustard oil extend its shelf life? 

Refrigerating mustard oil is not necessary, and it may even cause the oil to become cloudy or solidify due to its high content of monounsaturated fats. Storing it in a cool, dark pantry is usually sufficient.

How long does unopened mustard oil last? 

Unopened mustard oil can remain good for an extended period, often up to two years or more, when stored properly. However, it’s essential to check the “best by” or “use by” date on the packaging for guidance.

Can I use mustard oil that’s past its best-by date?

Mustard oil may still be safe to use after its best-by date if it has been stored correctly and shows no signs of spoilage. However, it’s advisable to use your senses (smell and taste) to determine if it’s still suitable for consumption. If it smells or tastes off, it’s better to discard it to avoid any health risks.

Dr. Renata Micha

Meet Dr. Renata Micha, a wellness and nutrition expert passionate about helping people live healthier lives through good nutrition. With a diverse academic background in human nutrition and dietetics, she holds a Ph.D. and has worked in various institutes across the US.

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