Is That Three-Year-Old Mustard In the Refrigerator Too Old To Be Eaten?
Have you ever wondered if that jar of mustard that's been sitting in the refrigerator forever was gonna go bad?
Will Eating Old Mustard Kill You?
Aging mustard is certainly a valid issue considering the fact that it generally doesn't get used all that frequently. Before you know it, months - and in some cases even years - have rolled by while that yellow condiment continues to age gracefully. But, how do you know when it's time to move on? Can eating old mustard kill you?
A Mustard Convention In the Refrigerator
What I know from personal experience is that eating old mustard will generally not be fatal. Recently at a staff lunch here at the radio station, I ran to the refrigerator, grabbed some mustard and slathered it on a hamburger. I never considered checking the "Best By" date stamped on the jar until after lunch. Upon returning the mustard to the fridge, I realized there had been some sort of unholy invasion of mustard at the radio station. There in the refrigerator sat four bottles and hundreds of packets of yellow mustard. We had so much mustard we could have filled a bathtub.
This Stuff Has Been In There A While
This prompted me to look at the date on the bottle I had just used. Best by October 6, 2020. This was in August of 2022. I had just consumed mustard that was two years past its Best By date. I had not detected any sort of foul taste, nor was I feeling sick. I figured I was gonna be okay -but then I got extremely curious.
If this bottle was dated 2020, what about the other three bottles? Upon closer inspection, I discovered we had a bunch of mustard that should have been discarded years ago.
Notice the date - July 17, 2019. Are you kidding me? Three-year-old mustard. Do you have any of that in your refrigerator? That was way before COVID and that seems like a lifetime ago.
I looked at another one.
The next bottle shows a date of January 28, 2021. Okay, not so bad. It's only about 18 months past its Best By date. But, the question has to be asked " Do we not have any sort of quality control at the radio station to ensure we are not ingesting food that has probably begun to grow various organisms deep within?" Who is responsible for cleaning out the refrigerator? Who's job is it to watch over the mustard?
Here's the bottle of mustard I used for my hamburger. Best by October 6, 2020.
I continued the refrigerated mustard purge.
Hard To Believe the Mustard Is Still Yellow
All of these individual packets of mustard have been accumulating since I arrived at the station during the Bush administration. Honestly, I'm surprised the mustard is still yellow. These packets have now been safely disposed of and it's time for us to start a new collection.
Do You Have Old Condiments In the Fridge?
So, back to the question of how old is too old when it comes to eating old mustard. According to the Does It Go Bad website, opened mustard that's been in the refrigerator should definitely be good for at least a year and probably a few months past the date on the package. After a while, there may be some separation, but that only requires a simple stir to restore it to an edible form.
If it's been more than a year, you ought to give the mustard a little taste test. If it tastes okay, you're good to go. However, you might want to open up the bottle and check to make sure there are no signs of organic growth.
Before you head to the fridge to check the date on your mustard and other condiments, scroll on for an interesting look at some unlikely foods that are better with mustard.