One of the most popular chocolate spreads in the world is Nutella. If you haven’t heard of it, you must be living on another planet. Nutella is very popular amongst all age groups, and people have found different purposes for it – from making sweets to eating it for breakfast.
Even though it can be very hard to resist Nutella, sometimes we can forget we own one, and by the time we remember that we have a jar of it in our house, the expiration date has already passed.
Nutella after the expiration date can still be safe to eat, only if there is no change in consistency, smell, or taste of the product. If all these conditions are met, the Nutella is safe to be consumed for about 1 to 2 months after the best before date.
However, the state of the product in the jar needs to be monitored, and as soon as you notice that there are some changes, you need to get rid of it, and get a new jar instead.
What Happens if You Eat Expired Nutella?
The answer to this question solely depends on the quality of the Nutella in the jar that you have got. Generally speaking, nothing will happen if you eat Nutella that has a close expiration date.
This is because the manufacturer usually leaves the printed expiration date closer than the actual expiration date. When the jar has been stored according to the recommended guidelines, it can last even after the expiration date, which we will explain more in detail a little later.
If the condition of the Nutella in the jar has been good enough after the expiration date, meaning that there are no bad smells, or it didn’t change looks, then it is safe to eat it. This means that you would probably not have any side effects from eating such a product.
On the other hand, if you do notice that some processes have taken place in that jar, and still decide to eat it, you will probably have stomach problems afterward, depending on the severity of the issues that are going on with the product itself.
Of course, it is recommended always to double-check the condition of the jar you are opening, even if it is within its expiration date, just to make sure that you will not have any consequences after you eat the product.
Another tip is to always make sure that the opened jar hasn’t gone bad, by checking the smell, looks, consistency, and overall looks of the product before you decide to spread it on a piece of bread. This is all to prevent you from having any health-related issues from eating food that has gone bad.
What Does Expired Nutella Look Like?
Fortunately enough, there are a few signs that will tell you that the jar of Nutella you have at home has gone bad, regardless of the fact whether it is within the expiration date or past it.
The first obvious sign you will notice once you open the jar is the smell. Because of the ingredients inside the spread, the jar may develop a rancid smell (because Nutella’s key ingredient is hazelnuts, which are known to have the ability to develop such a smell). If you do notice that your jar has such a smell, make sure to toss it right away because it is not usable anymore.
Another sign that your Nutella has gone bad is the change inconsistency. Usually, Nutella is very easily spreadable across a slice of bread and has a creamy texture that allows easy handling. If that texture has changed to a rough, dry one, then the Nutella is probably not usable anymore.
The third sign that can tell you whether the Nutella has gone bad or not is the taste. A change in taste is a clear sign that something is wrong with the product. When Nutella goes bad, it loses its characteristic chocolate taste, which signals you to throw away the jar.
However, for most typical Nutella users, the content from the jar would be long gone before they even have a chance to start noticing that something is going on with their jar. The manufacturer of Nutella – Ferrero Rocher – has made sure that the product has a shelf life that is satisfactory both for them and for the customers.
If opened within the expiration date, a single Nutella jar has a shelf life of about 12 months. This means that you will have the whole year to open and finish eating that single jar before it starts showing any signs of the content going bad. This period is long enough for most typical users to start and finish eating all Nutella from the jar, regardless of how big the jar actually is.
How Long Does Nutella Last?
As aforementioned, a single Nutella package can have a long shelf life, depending on your storage habits as a customer. Every single Nutella package comes with a printed expiration date (or best to use before date).
This date has been given as the last date by when the manufacturer can guarantee the quality of the product in the package. As you may already know, Nutella comes in different sizes, and in different packages, so the expiration dates can be different for those types.
All Nutella packages, including jars, and small packs, have a shelf life of 12 months. As already explained, this means that you have 12 months to open and use the content of your Nutella jar.
During the shelf life of 12 months, the quality of Nutella in the opened jar may deteriorate, especially when it is opened. Simply when the product is exposed to oxygen, it can change some of its properties, such as the consistency (which means that it can lose its spreadability and become drier, making it harder to spread).
On the other hand, Nutella in the piping bag has a shorter shelf life, which is 6 months after opening. This Nutella is usually used by professionals (since the package is 1kg), who use it to decorate cakes, muffins, and other sweets, and by default, they will use it quicker than the regular users who eat Nutella at home as a part of their regular meals (for breakfast for example).
How Long Is Nutella Good for After Expiration Date?
If you do have a jar of Nutella that is expired, which means that the best by date has passed, you can still use it, but under certain conditions. First of all, after the expiration date, the Nutella can be used without any consequences for about 1 to 2 months.
This needs to be taken with reserve, meaning that certain conditions have to be met in order for you to be able to safely use the Nutella. Before you proceed to use the product, it is a must to check the condition of the Nutella in the particular jar that is past the expiration date.
What to Do With Unopened Expired Nutella?
If the quality of the product is unchanged, meaning that there are no unusual smells, colors, and the spreadability of the product is maintained – those are good signs that Nutella is still good and safe to use after the expiration date.
On the other hand, if you notice any change in color, smell, consistency, or any other unusual sign, you, unfortunately, have to throw away the jar without any further questions.
Let me also say that you constantly need to check the condition of the Nutella in the jar if it is opened, even if it is within the best before date. This is simply because the product naturally reacts to oxygen, as I have already explained. In this case, an opened Nutella jar can last up to one month from the opening date, without losing its standard quality traits.
Whenever it is possible, it is recommended to use the Nutella after the expiration date for making cookies, rather than just spreading it on a piece of bread and eating it. If you can make baked cookies with Nutella, even better. When the product is heat-treated, or thermally processed), it is safer to use it.
This is because sometimes you cannot notice that certain processes begin to take place, and the heat will stop and eliminate them, making the Nutella safe to eat again.
How to Store Nutella?
If you store your Nutella products carefully and according to the recommendation of the manufacturer, it is more likely you will extend its shelf life, and you will have more time to use the product.
Nutella’s manufacturer recommends you store the Nutella product in a dry and cool place away from the sun and any type of heat source (ideally at 18 to 20 degrees Celsius). The jar must always be in the upright position.
However, when you do store Nutella like this, it is possible for the oil from the product to separate and create a layer on top of the jar. People are usually afraid when they see this and think it is a sign that Nutella is bad, but that is not true. The separation of oil (usually palm oil) from the rest of the product is normal in this case.
When this happens, all you have to do is to mix the oil with the rest of the product until they are combined again, and then you can proceed to use it. Make sure to use clean and dry utensils for this purpose.
Should Nutella Be Kept In the Fridge?
Most people also believe that they will keep their Nutella usable for a longer period of time if they store it in the fridge. This is a common misconception that is totally wrong because storing the jar in the fridge is totally against the recommended storage treatment.
Storing the Nutella in the fridge will only make the product hard and unusable because it will lose its light spreadability. However, don’t panic since this can be easily fixed by taking the Nutella out from the fridge and keeping it somewhere according to the recommendations.