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Do Nuts Go Bad? Are Expired Nuts Safe to Eat?

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Are you planning to stockpile some nuts and want to know if they are safe to eat once expired? Perhaps you have a pile of nuts sequestered away and want to know if they can go bad?

Or maybe you are curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you! 

We know the fear of food going bad when you are trying to build a stockpile. The last thing you want is for the country to collapse and be left with a pile of rotten food you can’t eat.

How will you feed yourself? How will you feed your children? These thoughts run through your head, keeping you awake at night. 

Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers you need! Keep reading to find out if expired nuts are safe to eat! We have plenty of information about when to eat nuts and when to avoid them to ensure that you can enjoy your food. 

Are Expired Nuts Safe to Eat?

Are Expired Nuts Safe to Eat2

Yes, expired nuts are safe to eat! You just need to check that the oils in the nuts aren’t rancid to ensure they are safe to eat. Thankfully, you can easily tell if nuts look safe to eat or not. Check for signs of mold or if they have insects in them before enjoying an expired nut. 

Typically, nuts can last for six months after the date on them if kept in the pantry, one year in the refrigerator, and two years if kept in the freezer. That’s plenty of time for you to enjoy your nuts! 

Now that we have established that you can eat expired nuts, let’s look at the issue in more detail to get you all the information you need! 

Can Nuts Go Bad?

Yes, nuts can go bad! This happens once the oil in them goes rancid. As we mentioned earlier, you might notice mold or insects depending on how the nuts have been stored.

How long it takes for the nuts to go bad will vary depending on the type of nut, but they can all be eaten after the best before date on the package. 

Don’t worry; we have a list of nuts and their expiry dates coming up, so be sure to stick around to find out more! All times given in this article are approximate rather than exact. Be sure to check your food before you eat it, and don’t eat anything you are unsure about! 

What About Unopened Nuts?

Unopened nuts can still go bad! They tend to last far longer than opened nuts, though. When it comes to open nuts, how long they last will vary depending on the nut and the conditions they are left in.

Usually, you will need to inspect the nut and make the judgment call yourself. 

However, you can use the table below to see how long your nuts will last with unopened nuts! 

Do Nuts Last after their Expiration Date?

Nuts come with a best before date on them, rather than an expiration date. As we know, food can be enjoyed after its best before date, meaning you can enjoy nuts after the date printed on them. 

We have included a handy table below to help you see how long different nuts last after their expiration date! Find your favorite nut and see how long you have to enjoy them! Remember, these approximate times are for after the best before date on the packaging. 

Nut typeRoom temperatureRefrigerator Freezer 
Pine Nuts1-2 months3-4 months5-6 months 
Pistachios 3 months XX
Hazelnuts 4-6 months 1 year 1 year
Pecans 6 months 1 year2 years
Walnuts 6 months 1 year1-2 years
Peanuts 6-9 months1 year 2 years 
Macadamia nuts 6-9 months 1 year2 years
Cashews 6-9 months 1 year2 years
Brazil nuts 9 months 1 year1 year
Almonds 9-12 months 1 year 2 years 

As you can see, the time you can eat nuts after their expiration date varies significantly from nut to nut!

Be sure to note the date you freeze any nut to ensure you consume them before they go bad!

Ways To Tell if your Nuts are Bad

Are Expired Nuts Safe to Eat

There are a few ways you can tell that nuts have gone bad, meaning you don’t need to worry about eating gone off nuts! As the oils in the nuts become rancid, there is usually a bad smell or taste that will tell you they are nuts that should not be eaten! 

You might also notice mold if the nuts are left in conditions that promote mold. In these cases, you can tell by looking at the nut and disposing of it if there is mold. You will also be able to tell if there are insects or larva in the nuts by looking at them. Throw these away, too, as they are not safe to consume. 

What Happens if I Eat Bad Nuts?

You can never be too careful when it comes to eating food, so let’s look at what could happen if you eat nuts that have gone bad. The chances are, if you only eat a few, you should be okay! You might experience diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, but the likelihood is you will just have a bad taste in your mouth. 

However, rancid nuts can irritate your stomach and intestines, so be sure to get rid of them if they taste off. You don’t want to be stuck with vomiting or diarrhea in a survival situation, do you? The last thing you want is dehydration which can be detrimental to your health! 

If you have any concerns about your food being off, do not eat it. You don’t want to be unwell or put your health at risk in any way. 

Can you Freeze Nuts?

Yes, you can freeze nuts, and it’s one of the best ways to keep your nuts for as long as possible! Once in the freezer, nuts can be kept for two years after their best before date, giving you plenty of time to enjoy them. 

Check that your nuts are sealed in their original package, or place them in an airtight container to prevent them from absorbing moisture from the freezer or the smell and taste of foods nearby. 

Be sure to check the nuts before you eat them to ensure they are not rancid and safe to eat! 

How Long Do Nuts last in a Refrigerator?

Generally, most nuts will last for a year after their best before date when kept in a refrigerator. Thanks to a lack of sunlight and cooler temperatures, the nuts can stay fresh far longer than kept at room temperature. 

You will need to take care of shelled nuts, though, if kept in a refrigerator. These nuts can absorb moisture from the refrigerator along with the taste and scent of other foods near them. Not ideal!

To combat this, keep your nuts in an airtight container. This prevents them from absorbing the flavor and smell of other foods, keeping your nuts fresh to enjoy! 

How Long Do Nuts Last at Room Temperature?

How long nuts last at room temperature varies depending on the nut. Usually, you can enjoy nuts for six months after their best before date if kept at room temperature; just remember to check the nuts before eating them. 

If you have kept the nuts in slightly warmer conditions, your time to eat them can decrease. The oils in the nuts can go rancid far quicker when kept at warmer temperatures! Try and keep them at room temperature or cooler to increase their shelf life. 

If you can keep nuts at cooler temperatures, then they could last longer than the times we gave you in the table earlier. Don’t forget to inspect them to decide if they are safe to eat or not! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Get your last-minute queries answered here! 

What Causes Rancidity? 

Rancidity happens when the fats in food are oxidized. This is caused by exposure to water, microbes, metallic atoms, or oxygen. Rancid foods will have a bad smell or taste and can upset your stomach. Rancidity also reduces the nutritional value of food too! 

Does Trail Mix Expire? 

Yes, the nuts in your trail mix can go rancid, making it bad and unsafe to eat. Rancid nuts will have a bad taste or smell and can lead to stomach upsets. This tends to happen roughly six months after the best before date on the trail mix packaging.

Be sure to inspect the nuts before eating them to ensure it is safe for you.