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Does Nutella go bad?

It’s chocolate and a sandwich spread, so it doesn’t last long in most households, especially those with hungry kids. Most sandwich spreads last a long time in your cupboard, and chocolate seems to last forever, but chocolate spread like Nutella’s packed with dairy-derived products, so surely it doesn’t last all that long. This guilty pleasure might not be enjoyed all the time by the adults in the house, so there’s sometimes a half-empty jar in the cupboard. How long can you leave it there before it goes bad?

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How to store it

You don’t need to store Nutella in the fridge. In fact, you really shouldn’t keep it there unless you’re OK with a hard and impossible chocolate spread. You could put it in the fridge then microwave it when you want to use it, but that’s not recommended. You need to store it in a cool and dark place. It needs to be stored between 64°F and 68°F, so the kitchen cupboard is the ideal place to store your Nutella.

Can you freeze it?

Freezing Nutella’s OK, but it will ruin the taste. It lasts long enough for most of us, so there’s really no need to put it in the freezer. As with putting it in the fridge, your Nutella will get very hard in the freezer. It’ll take a while to defrost too, and when it’s ready to eat, you’ll notice it’s lost some of its flavour as the milk proteins and nut oil separate during the freezing process. If you decide to freeze, you’ll need to take it out of its glass jar. If you don’t, it’ll shatter when it freezes. Put it in a few smaller containers that contain the amount of Nutella you usually need.

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How long does it last?

There’s always a best before date on the label to use as a guide, but that will only tell you how long the spread will stay fresh. It will last a lot longer than the best before date. According to Ferrero, the makers of Nutella, a jar will last 12 months once opened. The flavour and its freshness will diminish over that period, but it’ll be safe to eat. The same is true if you use it once the sell-by date’s expired. The manufacturers say you can use it for up to six months after its use-by date, but you really should check it first before spreading it on your toast, bagel or sandwich.

How to tell it’s gone bad

Since you’re ignoring the use-by date, you’ll need to know what to look for when it goes bad. As Nutella contains a lot of oil, you’ll find it rises to the top while in storage. But that’s not a sign it’s gone bad. If you check it and it’s OK, you can gently stir the oil back into the spread. The oil can be a sign your Nutella’s gone bad. If the spread smells bad, you might want to throw the jar away.

Check for these signs

When you open the jar, check your Nutella for signs of bacteria and mould. You know to expect a soft and creamy texture, so anything else might be a sign it’s gone bad. You’ll be used to the sweet smell of Nutella, so if you get any other scent when your twist off the jar lid, throw the contents away. Don’t taste-test something that looks or smells wrong. Trust your sense. After all, a new jar’s less than £3 from any supermarket.

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