How Long Does Mustard Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer:  1 to 2 Years

Mustard is one of North Americans’ most consumed ingredients, as it is low in sugar and fats, nut very high in sodium content. It gives the perfect taste and flavor to the food consumed, especially hotdogs.



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There are different kinds of mustard present in the market, and many can extend up to the shelf life of 3 years. But the freshness and the expiry depend entirely upon the conditions in the mustard is stored; factors like moisture and temperature can affect the shelf life.

Mustard is one of those eatables whose expiry date is not considered an exact time to throw away the food, but it all depends on consumption and storage.

How Long Does Mustard Last

How Long Does Mustard Last?

Storing mustard is similar to storing mayonnaise; it should never be stored in direct sunlight, instead of in a cool, dry, and dark place. The best place to store the mustard is a kitchen or the pantry cabinet.

While applying the mustard, always use a clean spoon or a knife for application as any used spoon may transfer bacteria leading to premature spoilation of the mustard. Even if transferring the mustard to the other container or jar, try to clean it by rinsing it with water and then changing the pot.

All mustard has a best before date behind the back, and in many cases, it can be used even after the expiry date as it is an acidic compound. The expiry date indicates the mustard’s health; the mustard starts losing its texture and becomes watery but can be used after the expiry date.

Storing is the main factor; keeping mustard can have a tremendous and massive impact on mustard health. Storing it in a specified and cool environment can increase the life

There is no official way to tell if the mustard is terrible or not, but many times the mustard can and will show some factors that will help determine if it is good or not. The mustard can often develop mould inside, or the mustard smell becomes a little off and becomes pungent, or the mustard can even lose its thick texture and ultimately become watery, moreover if the mustard is stored for over. Year it’s the best time to throw it away.


Type of MustardIn RefrigeratorWithout Refrigerator
Mustard Seeds9 to 12 months3 to 6 months
Mustard Sauce4 to 6 months5 to 7 weeks

Why Does Mustard Last 1 To 2 Year?

The mustard is an acidic compound and a consumable whose shelf life is excellent in every way. Being a food that is always consumed and brought in bulk, there is always a chance that the mustard can go wrong.

But preservation is the number one factor that keeps the mustard tight and ready to eat constantly.

 As mentioned above, mustard contains a large amount of sodium or salt that enhances the taste and acts as the best preservation agent. As sodium is a base and mustard being an acidic compound, both neutralize each other’s reaction during production.

Often, store owners and households who buy mustard in bulk add vinegar in a specified proportion to the mustard reason being; vinegar is also a great form of preservative that is found in homes. The vinegar preserves the texture of the mustard prevents it from drying and even going stale or rotten.

Although preservation might play an important role, storage remains one factor. If the mustard is stored in moisture and hot condition, it can and will go wrong even before the expiry date; therefore, if stored in a cool and dry place, it preserves its taste and texture.

Moreover, if the mustard is stored in the cabinets or pantry, the mustard will last only 1 to 2 months after the expiry date. Still, if the mustard is stored in the refrigerator, it can last up to 1 to even two years after expiry as the fridge provides a perfect environment and keeps the mustard tight and fresh.


Mustard being a consumable stored and eaten in bulk, but expiry date and throwing away the mustard always remains a problem.

Mustard is one of those food items whose shelf life is never determined by the expiry date but only by how it was stored, as the preservations present in large quantities make the food fresh.

Expiry or best before is just an indication of the texture. After the expiry date, the surface becomes loose and flowy, fixed after adding vinegar, but the mustard can last up to a year even after the expiry and consumable in all kinds of forms.


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