Shelf Life Tips
- How long does apple butter last once opened? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - to maximize the shelf life of opened apple butter, keep it refrigerated and tightly covered.
How long does opened apple butter last in the refrigerator? Apple butter that has been continuously refrigerated will generally stay at best quality for about 1 year.
Is opened apple butter safe to use after the expiration date on the jar? Yes, provided it has been stored properly, the jar is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below) - commercially jarred apple butter will typically carry a Best By," "Best if Used By," Best Before, or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the apple butter will remain at peak quality.
The storage time shown for opened apple butter is for best quality only - after that, the butter's texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, it will still be safe to consume if it has been kept continuously refrigerated, the jar is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
How can you tell if opened apple butter is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the apple butter: if the butter develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
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Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here