Does Nutella Go Bad, and Can You Eat Expired Nutella?

So many people are obsessed with Nutella. And who can blame them? The blend of rich chocolate and delectable hazelnut is drool-inducing, not to mention this product tastes incredible on everything.

Unfortunately, though, Nutella goes bad over time. Opened jars of Nutella have a 12-month shelf life, although the quality begins to deteriorate after six months. Unopened jars of Nutella tend to last a few months after the expiration date. Just check for signs of spoilage if you’re unsure!

Hey, everyone! My name is Michelle, and while I’m not the biggest Nutella fan, I know plenty of people who are. (I know, I’m sorry, don’t hate me!). Regardless, I wanted to learn more about this handy product and share the exciting information I found so you can safely consume Nutella.

Let’s discuss Nutella!

Does Nutella Go Bad?

Much like other spreads, Nutella has a pretty impressive shelf life. That doesn’t mean it’s immune to going bad, though. That said, yes, Nutella goes bad over time. Knowing the shelf life and signs of spoilage is critical for safe Nutella consumption.

What is the Shelf Life of Nutella?

According to the manufacturer, Nutella (opened and unopened) has a shelf life of 12 months or six months if we’re specifically talking about Nutella piping bags. The 12 months will typically be marked by the “best by” date found somewhere on Nutella packaging.

Keep in mind that a “best by” date and expiration date are two different things. A best-by date refers to the quality of the product, not the safety. 

That said, unopened jars of Nutella tend to remain safe for a few months after the listed date, while it’s recommended to consume opened Nutella within six months to enjoy the peak of freshness.

Unopened12 Months + 1-6 Months Past Best By Date
Opened12 Months (6 Months for Highest Quality)

Can You Eat Expired Nutella?

If you find a jar of Nutella in the back of your pantry, the first thing you might do is shriek with excitement. This is essentially the same thing as finding hidden treasure – that is until you notice that the “best by” date has long passed.

Can you eat expired Nutella? Most likely, yes. Nutella is generally safe to consume for a few weeks or even months past the listed date. As long as it was stored properly and there are no signs of spoilage, don’t hesitate to get spreadin’!

How to Store Nutella (4 Ways)

Improper storage will cause your Nutella to go rancid quickly, and that’s the last thing we want to do. With that in mind, here are some of the top tips for storing Nutella to extend its longevity.

1. Store in a Cool, Dark Place

Much like all your other favorite spreads (peanut butter, almond butter, sun butter), Nutella needs to be stored in a cool and dark environment. The back of your kitchen pantry or cabinet is the best option. The temperature should hover around 65F.

Keep the Nutella away from heat and light sources. This will cause the product to deteriorate at a quicker rate.

2. Keep the Lid Sealed Tightly

This might go without saying, but it’s still worth mentioning. Always keep the lid sealed tightly. You don’t want the Nutella to get contaminated, whether from bacteria growth or pests finding their way into your precious “jar of hazelnut gold.”

If your jar somehow becomes compromised, consider moving the Nutella to an airtight container or mason jar.

3. Practice Proper Hygiene When Using

I know it can be tempting to want to dig your fingers into the jar of Nutella, but you will do far more harm to your product than you can imagine. You should also refrain from using the same spoon or knife to scoop Nutella after scooping something else.

Essentially, you should always scoop Nutella using a clean knife, spoon, or fork. This will ensure no undesirable bacterial growth or deterioration over time.

4. Do Not Refrigerate or Freeze

Trust me, I love storing food items in my fridge and freezer – I even store bread in the fridge sometimes! But Nutella is not a food item that should find itself in these kitchen appliances. The texture and flavor will be irreparable. Keep it in the pantry.

3 Signs of Rancid Nutella

Even with proper storage and hygienic scooping, you can still end up with rancid Nutella. Knowing the signs of spoilage will mean the difference between an enjoyable treat and a horrendous bellyache.

1. Odd Odor

One of the most apparent indicators that your Nutella has spoiled is an odd odor. Whether it smells somewhat musty or downright awful, it’s time to say goodbye to your Nutella and buy fresh. Who wants to consume stinky Nutella, anyway?

2. Mold Growth

Give your Nutella a quick lookover. Do you see some colorful or fuzzy spots in the jar? These aren’t there to give your Nutella more pizazz. It’s mold, and it will make you sick to consume it – especially if you have an allergic reaction. Toss the moldy Nutella ASAP.

3. Rock-Hard Texture

Rock-hard, dried-out Nutella is spoiled Nutella. Not only do you run the risk of getting sick from consuming hardened Nutella, but it will be near impossible to spread. Who wants to deal with that? Buy fresh and enjoy it on top of your fave foods – or eat it with a spoon; we won’t tell!


Yes, Nutella goes bad, but it has a really long shelf life, so you don’t need to worry about it too much. If you want to learn more, check out these frequently asked questions by readers just like you.

Can Nutella grow mold?

Nutella contains nuts and dairy. This means that it is not only able to grow mold but is more susceptible to it. If you haven’t stored your Nutella properly or are considering consuming it past the expiration date, double-check that there is no mold growth.

Can Nutella make you sick?

If Nutella is spoiled, it can make you ill – just like any other rancid food product. Double-check for signs of spoilage before consuming this tasty treat.

Do you refrigerate Nutella after opening?

No, no, and more no. Although you might consider opting for the fridge as it will create a cool and safe spot for your Nutella, you will end up ruining it. Refrigerated Nutella will become rock-hard and unable to be used.

Can you eat 6-month-old Nutella?

Nutella can easily last up to 12 months – the company even states that! So, yes, you can consume 6-month-old Nutella without worry. Just ensure it is appropriately stored and there aren’t signs of spoilage like odd odors, mold growth, or a change in texture.

Final Words

Nutella doesn’t last forever, although most people wish it would. Opened Nutella lasts up to 12 months, although the quality can begin to deteriorate at the six-month mark. 

Unopened jars can easily last months past the best date. To be safe, check for rancidnesses like an unpleasant odor, hard texture, or mold growth.

How long do you store your Nutella? What is the oldest Nutella you have consumed without getting a tummy ache? We would love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and stories, so comment below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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