Mustard is a condiment prepared by using the seeds of mustard plants.
There are different types of mustard, and its taste ranges from spicy to sweet.
Many people would agree that mustard is an ideal choice when it comes to hot dog or burger, besides ketchup, mayo, and hot sauce.
It is not unusual to find a half-open bottle of mustard in your kitchen. The main concern appears when you notice that it has past the use-by date. So, does mustard go bad?
If mustard does go bad, then how to tell if it has gone bad? Or perhaps you might be wondering about the shelf life of opened and unopened mustard.
If any of these questions have bothered you, then you have come to the right place.
This write-up aims to discuss the shelf life, how to identify bad mustard, and the signs to look for in mustard.
Does Mustard Go Bad? How Long Does Mustard Last?
As mentioned, there are several kinds of mustard. Some mustard, such as Dijon mustard, contains a high level of acid, while others, such as honey mustard, have a less amount.
As such, the shelf life can vary from one type to another. Besides, the shelf life of mustard will also significantly depend on the condition of the storage.
Similar to other condiments such as ketchup and mayo, the quality of mustard will also degrade at some point. Mustard comes with the label of best-by date, which indicates the duration of freshness for your mustard.
But you should keep mind that mustard can easily last for some months after the use-by date for it has acidic condiment.
For opened mustard, the condiment can last up to one to two months when stored at room temperature.
If you want to increase the shelf life, then you should consider storing it in the fridge. It can extend up to six to twelve months.
When it comes to unopened mustard, it can last up to a year after passing the use-by date. The following table presents the shelf life of mustard:
You should refer to the storage guidelines to enhance the shelf life of mustard.
Moreover, the above-listed periods are an estimate. As such, some mustard can retain its quality much shorter or longer based on the used ingredients.
How to Tell If Mustard Is Bad? Mustard Shelf Life!
Mustard going bad is quite rare because the nature of the condiment is acidic. But it does not mean that your mustard will never get spoilt.
Over time, mustard will lose its acidic nature, thereby losing its effectiveness to fight against microbes or other contaminants.
If your mustard shows any signs of organic growth or bad smell, then you should avoid it. It means that your mustard is not suitable for consumption.
You should also discard your mustard if it is already one to two years after the best-by date.
Another way to tell if mustard has gone bad is by tasting the flavors. Most mustard will lose its natural flavors when it comes into contact with any harmful contaminants.
The best option is to replace it with a new container. The following are some signs that indicate unusable mustard:
Texture: One of the signs that indicate unusable mustard is the texture. Mustard can lose its texture over time. If you notice any lump below the container, then it is a sign that your mustard has gone bad.
Mold: Growing of mold inside the container is another sign that indicates unusable mustard.
Taste: Taste is another sign that can indicate unusable mustard. Mustard usually loses its original flavors when stored for a very long time. If you notice any changes with its taste, then it is time to discard it.
Smell: It is the most common way to tell if mustard has gone bad. Any unpleasant or sour smell can indicate that your mustard has gone bad.
To sum up, mustard usually tends to stay fresh longer. However, the quality of your mustard cannot sustain forever.
For unopened mustard, it can retain its quality for years. But it will last between six months to a year once you have opened the container.
To determine if your mustard has gone bad, you should look for signs such as unusual texture, bad smell, and reduced flavors.
The presence of these signs indicates unusable mustard.