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How Long Does Mustard Last? Does Mustard Go Bad?

Mustard is a condiment that almost everyone uses in cooking every day.

However, during storage, people do question themselves do mustard go bad, or can it lose its texture if not stored properly?

There is no doubt that mustard does lose its quality as time passes, but this does not mean you cannot eat it.

Some people consider the best-by-date as the sauce’s shelf life, but they are both entirely different.

This is because shelf life describes the period till which the sauce is edible, whereas best by date is an estimation till it offers its best quality.

What is Mustard?

This sauce is made from the round and tiny seed of the mustard plant.

These seeds are cracked, crushed, and grounded then a liquid is added to convert them into a spreadable paste.

One can find them in versatile varieties such as brown, yellow, flavored, coarse, or even extra spicy.

The origin of mustard was in ancient Rome, and now they are available all around the world.

The mustard sauce includes a lot of nutritional benefits as they contain condiments such as calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and iron in it.

This condiment can offer you lower calories and antioxidants, which protect your body from damage and diseases.

Mustard is also a rich source of kaempferol, isorhamnetin, and carotenoids which are effective in dealing with illnesses related to the heart and type 2 diabetes and even reduce the risk of cancer.

How Long Does Mustard Last? Does Mustard Go Bad?

When you are looking for the shelf life of mustard, then you need to see the variation you are holding.

Mustard has various different versions that have different shelf lives.

If we talk about the life that mustard can serve in the pantry, then its regular sauce can be stored for 1 to 2 years.

However, this period can exceed 12 – 18 months if you keep them in a refrigerator.

Other variations like Dijon and honey can be stored for 2 to 3 years in the pantry or kitchen.

For more shelf life, you can keep them in the fridge, and they can serve you for one year or more after the best-by date.

Compared to stored mustard, homemade mustard cannot be preserved for that long because stored mustards contain added preservatives.

Thus homemade sauce can last for 1 to 3 days in the pantry and 2 to 8 weeks if refrigerated.

Mustard will last till the earlier provided periods if you keep them with suitable storage measures.

Therefore you must pay attention to storage and be sure to look for bad signs if you have found mustard that was stored long ago.

How to Tell if Mustard Has Gone Bad?

  • Discoloration.

One can get an indication that their sauce is going to go bad if there is any discoloration.

If you can see a dark layer on the surface, then that means that it has begun to deteriorate.

However, if the color has turned brown or entirely pale, then the sauce is not edible anymore.

This discoloration can be because of the growth of bacteria in the mustard.

  • Sour Odor.

One can easily recognize the pleasant smell of mustard, but your sauce will not smell like mustard as you prolong its storage.

That means if you are not getting a fresh mustard smell from it like before, then it has degraded its flavor.

But if you are getting a sour or foul odor, then it is an indication to throw the sauce out as it has gone bad.

  • Mold.

It is common between people to eat moldy food as some people are good at enduring it.

However, this is highly unsafe and can even cause food poisoning.

Therefore you need to be careful and check if there is any mold present before having old found mustard sauce.

  • Texture.

Over time the texture of mustard will become dry, and sometimes you can even notice separations in it.

When the mustard contains cracks, then that means the process of oxidation has begun to spoil it.

At this stage, there are chances that it will not serve you for a long time.

How to Store Mustard?

  • Use Clean Utensils.

Make sure you always use clean utensils while taking out mustard to use.

Many people use wet or dirty utensils to take out the sauce.

Therefore they end up giving bacteria or microorganisms to their mustard.

Thus one must use a clean and dry spoon or utensil when scooping it out.

  • Pick the Right Spot.

When you buy a pack, then you need to place it in the right place to prolong its storage.

Thus it would be best if you stored it in a cool or dark place, such as in the corner of the kitchen.

You need to keep it away from heat and light as they can change the temperature and increase humidity.

  • Seal Tightly.

Once you have opened the jar of sauce, then be sure to close its lid tightly.

If you seal the jar, then your mustard will be less likely to get bacteria.

This will help you minimize exposure to air and absorption of odor by the surrounding items.


One must avoid transferring the leftovers from their plates to the original jar.

This will make the whole jar bad within a couple of days; therefore, instead of storing it, either eat the leftovers to keep them at a different place.

You can prolong the storage of mustard by managing the jar according to the above-provided storage measures.

How Long Does Mustard Last? Does Mustard Go Bad?

Want to know if your mustard is still good to use? Check out our guide on how long mustard lasts and whether it goes bad.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Mustard
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  • If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  • Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
Keyword How Long Does Mustard Last
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