Does Margarine go bad? Interestingly, margarine may go bad, and its shelf life may be much shorter than you actually could imagine. The Food and Drug Administration indicates that margarine that has not been opened will remain good for 3-4 months after the date indicated on the package.
Margarine that has been opened will only stay fresh in your refrigerator for a month before it begins to go rancid. Therefore, while it could sound nice to buy those massive discount tubs of margarine, unless you intend to consume them in a single month (unhealthy though), they are not a good investment of money.
But now comes the exciting part.
A small portion of hard margarine left at room temperature for 24 hours should be good, but soft tub margarine should be refrigerated immediately after use, according to the manufacturer.
A small portion of hard margarine left at room temperature for 24 hours should be good, but soft tub margarine should be refrigerated immediately after use, according to the manufacturer. So, what happens as Margarine goes bad?
Saturated fats and trans fats in large quantities in stick margarine help to preserve the texture and flavor of the product. However, soft margarine (margarine in tubs) loses its shape, texture, and flavor if left at room temperature because it contains polyunsaturated and/or monounsaturated fats, which eventually undergo oxidation, become liquid, and perhaps go rancid at room temperature.
What Makes Margarine Go Bad?
In order to determine how long any specific soft margarine product can be kept out of the fridge, several factors must be considered. These include the amount of heat it has been exposed to, the amount of emulsifier and antioxidant that has been added to extend their expiration date, and the proportion of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in the margarine product. (Polyunsaturated fatty acids deteriorate more quickly.)
According to a representative from the Land O’ Lakes consumer support line, margarine should be returned to the refrigerator immediately after use.
Customers of Unilever’s I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! margarine need to watch out and not to consume it if it has been left out for 12 hours or at temperatures above 70° F for far too long.
Shelf Life of Margarine
- Unopened butter will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 months if kept in a sealed container.
- Margarine can be stored for 3-4 months if it is unopened and for 1-2 months if it has been opened.
How long will margarine be “good” once it’s opened?
Margarine normally lasts approximately a month in the refrigerator after it has been opened. Keep a margarine stick in a covered butter dish to keep it from drying out and to keep it from being exposed to aromas originating from other food.
When purchasing margarine in a tub, choose a size that you will be able to finish within a month. Try to utilize a half-inch of concrete every week so that you’re always working on a relatively new surface that hasn’t been hardened by oxygen.
It is possible for margarine, particularly soft tub margarine, to split into oil or water and solids if it is not kept refrigerated, however it will still be edible.
Is it only a matter of quality when margarine gets “bad,” or does it become potentially hazardous?
It is unlikely that it will remain in your refrigerator for an extended period of time that it will become dangerous. Because of exposure to oxygen and bacteria, margarine becomes rancid and develops a “soapy” scent and “paint-like” smells, which normally dissuade customers from ingesting it before it becomes contaminated with hazardous bacteria and becomes contaminated with bacteria.
How To Tell if Margarine Has Gone Bad
The heat, oxygen, and moisture that margarine is exposed to cause it to melt or solidify, emitting an odor that may be similar to that of soap, paint, or microwave popcorn when it is “off.”
You will tell is margarine is fresh when it is crisp, firm, homogenous, and “spreadable” with no droplets of moisture.
Smell and sight are the two most reliable clues that margarine has become rancid. Soft and fresh margarine will have a lovely buttery scent and will appear smooth and soft.
Margarine that has gone bad may have a darker, hard, or waxy appearance. It may also taste bad. Spoiled margarine will not have a buttery scent, rather it may smell like detergent or paint, or it may even smell like leftover microwaveable popcorn.
With margarine, droplets of liquid that have made it to the surface of the spread are another indication that it has gone bad.
When using fresh margarine, make sure it is properly combined and will not separate. When margarine begins to split and droplets of liquid develop, it is not recommended that the margarine be consumed.
The only exception to this rule is margarine that has been frozen prior to use.
When frozen margarine is thawed, it may separate as a result of the moisture level in the margarine. This is not a sign of spoilage and should not be discarded.
Can Expired Margarine Make You Sick?
Margarine that has expired can make you sick because it can have a bad smell and grow mold. You never know the type of mold that could grow on it. Avoid eating expired margarine. If you consume it accidentally, you don’t have to panic. See your doctor immediately if you notice any strange body reactions such as stomach ache.
Although the margarine will not be harmful, it will lack the high-quality flavor and consistency that it was supposed to have, particularly after you’ve opened the tub.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted in a 2003 study that, unlike other dairy products, butter and margarine have a long history of remaining safe to consume even when they are not kept in the refrigerator.
How to Store Margarine
- Purchase a quantity that will be consumed within a month. This is because the shelf life of an opened margarine is 30 days.
- Get the margarine home, put it straight into the refrigerator as soon as possible.
- If the margarine has been opened, it should be stored in an airtight container in the butter compartment of a refrigerator set at 40°F (or lower).
- Because margarine absorbs the scents of other foods, it should be kept away from onions and garlic.
Can You Freeze Margarine?
A large majority of margarine products may be refrigerated for up to 12 months at 0° F before losing their texture and flavor noticeably. However, read the product label carefully because some manufacturers do not advocate freezing. In the case of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, the label stating, “Keep refrigerated. Do not freeze.”