How To Tell If Butter Is Bad?

It can be challenging to tell if butter is bad, but luckily, there are simple ways to determine when the spread is spoiled. If the butter has turned rancid, it has two main signs: a discolored and moldy appearance and a foul taste. It’s also best to discard the butter if you see it. If you don’t recognize these signs, you can always ask your butcher to check them.

Another noticeable sign of rancid butter is its powerful smell. Usually, butter has a faint, sour odor. A darker yellow layer on the surface of the butter is a warning sign that it’s past its expiration date. These factors can affect the shelf life of the butter and should be checked before using it. If the butter appears to have turned black, a few days of refrigeration can prevent this issue.

How To Tell If Butter Is Bad?

When your butter is spoiled, it will smell rancid or foul. It will also look darker than its standard color. In addition to the smell, the butter should be tasted and discarded. If the yellowing has developed, the butter is likely to be wrong.

You can avoid wasting it by purchasing smaller quantities. It’s also a good idea to use the butter before it turns rancid. But it’s still better to buy a larger block of it. The indicators that your butter has gone wrong are as follows.




The presence of discoloration indicates that the butter has gone rancid. The color of good butter is uniformly yellow from the inside out. If the knowledge of a little bit of your butter seems brighter or lighter, it has gone rancid. Another sign that your butter has gone wrong is its appearance.

You can quickly identify rancid butter by visual inspection. Cut the butter into slices and test the color with a clean knife. If the color is bright yellow, the butter has undergone oxidation and is no longer fresh. If the butter has a dark yellow or mold growth, it’s best to throw it out. It’s not harmful, but it’s not safe to consume.


The first sign of lousy butter is mold. This indicates that the butter has gone wrong, as it is complex and has little oxygen. It’s essential to throw out any moldy butter as soon as you notice it. Another sign of evil or rancid is a strong smell or bright yellow color. Although this is a warning sign, the rancid butter is safe to eat.

Black dots show mold formation on butter. Moldy butter should be thrown, and it’s already gone bad if your butter smells terrible, rotting, cheesy, or sour. When soiled butter is touched, it becomes mushy or stringy.

The Sour Or Rancid Smell

There are other signs that butter has gone wrong. One of these is its smell. If it has a strong odor, it’s probably already gone bad. A dark yellow layer is a sign of oxidation. If it’s darker, the butter has likely gone bad. It’s also important to look at the packaging. If it’s dirty or has a moldy exterior, it’s spoiled.

The smell of the butter is another indication that it is terrible. It should have a faint sour smell, or it should be off-white. It should also be free of any mold or fungus. When it’s time to use it, a deeper yellow layer is a sign of oxidation. When the color of the butter is off-white, it isn’t good. Likewise, if it’s dark, it’s spoiled.

How To Test The Freshness Of Butter?

Check The Expiry Date On The Packaging

This should be the first sign that the butter is still fresh. Butter close to or past its use-by date is less likely to be new.

Check How The Butter Has Been Stored.

During storage, butter should not be exposed to light. This is why it is well-wrapped, and it is preferable if it is foil-wrapped. If it’s been opened, it’s dangerous to go bad faster than the specified use-by date.

Cut A Small Slice Of Butter From The Block Or Stick

Take a look at the hue. It’s still fresh if the inside of the butter matches the outside. On the other hand, the knowledge of the butter is lighter than the outside; it has oxidized. As a result, the butter has gone wrong.

Smell The Butter

Some people are better at using this method than others; if you use and consume a lot of butter, you should tell when it is no longer fresh. A short taste test can also reveal a lot; if it is no longer fresh, it will taste sour or nasty.

What Is The Best Way To Keep Butter?

Butter, as previously said, should be appropriately preserved. What exactly does that imply? Because of the continuing oxidation process, the oils in butter will go rancid. Because heat and light enhance oxidation, butter should be kept in the refrigerator.

When butter is refrigerated, oxidation does not halt but does slow down. As a result, it takes a long time for the oils in butter to go rancid (and therefore, the butter to go bad). Of course, butter can be kept at room temperature, but it only lasts a couple of days.

If you want your butter to be friendly and spreadable, store it in a butter dish for 3 to 5 days. Keep the rest in the fridge.

Another thing to keep in mind is to keep your butter firmly covered. As a result, most of its surface is not exposed to air, slowing the oxidation rate.

When It Comes To Butter, How Long Does It Last?

If you refrigerate butter, it should keep its quality for two weeks past its best-by date. It will go rancid if you leave it on the counter for over a week. Follow the date on the packaging for the butter’s shelf life. Those dates are pretty conservative, so nothing untoward should happen if you eat butter a week or two after that date.

Unlike other dairy products (such as cream cheese or sour cream), whether butter is opened makes little difference. To put it another way, just because you started a stick of butter doesn’t mean it would spoil any faster.

Please store it appropriately (more on that later), and keep the date in mind. Another thing to remember is that salted butter keeps better for longer than unsalted butter. When you think about it, salt is a preservative, and thus salted butter will keep for a more extended period.


The second obvious symptom of rancid butter is a discolored or rancid-smelling center. It may have a sour smell, which is another sign of rancidity. An oxidized layer is likely to be wrong. However, it’s still safe to use if you’re not afraid it doesn’t go well. If it’s yellow, it’s not a bad idea to discard it.

The most apparent sign that butter has gone wrong is mold. While butter has a shelf life of 3 to 5 months, it can deteriorate faster if stored in moist or warm conditions. Generally, butter with a dark yellow layer is spoiled. While it won’t harm you, it’s best to discard it, and it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator until it’s time to eat it.