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How Long Does Nutella Last? (Opened vs. Unopened)

I have always found Nutella to be one of those spreads that tend to fluctuate in popularity in my household. Family members go for long stretches without touching the stuff, then the mood strikes them, and they get ravenous for it. So, what do you do with that jar that has been in the back of your cupboard for several months if everyone suddenly wants some Nutella?

Nutella in a plastic or glass jar will last up to 12 months once opened when stored properly. Unopened, a jar of Nutella can last in the pantry for years past the sell-by date. It is best kept in a dark, cool place, but do not refrigerate or freeze it, as it can alter the texture and taste.

The rest of the article will cover the finer details of how long Nutella lasts, how to store it, and how to tell if it has gone bad.

Assorted Vintage Bottles of Nutella

How Long Does Nutella Really Last?

Nutella can last several months beyond the sell-by date. However, the contents of a recently opened container will have better quality than after the container has been opened over and over again over time. Nutella can also last unopened for years on the shelf, even after the sell-by date.

How Long Does Nutella Last After The Container Has Been Opened?

Nutella can last for a year after the container has been opened. It is a good idea to finish eating the contents of the container by no more than 1 to 2 months after the sell-by date.

Should Nutella Be Refrigerated?

Nutella should not be refrigerated since it can cause it to firm up and become difficult to chew.


Besides, the ingredients of Nutella easily allow it to be stored at room temperature and remain edible for long periods of time.

The reason it shouldn’t be kept cold is that hazelnut oil found in Nutella will harden, making it extremely difficult to spread and virtually useless. It should be noted that the label on the Nutella container states, “no need for refrigeration.”

How Long Does Nutella Stay Good In The Refrigerator?

If someone accidentally puts Nutella in the fridge and it has become hard, set it out, and it will slowly soften again. However, even after Nutella is softened after being stored in the refrigerator, it will not last as long as it would have if it were stored in the pantry.

Likewise, if Nutella is frozen, it will not keep as long after being thawed because the ingredients will have been altered, and the taste and texture affected.

How To Properly Store Nutella

Like most other foods that you want to maximize the shelf life, Nutella should be kept in a cool, dry place in your pantry away from heat and light. Always make sure the lid tightly closed after using it.

All of the different types of Nutella containers can be stored the same way. After being opened, the storage requirements remain the same – store in the kitchen pantry or cabinet at room temperature with the lid tightly closed. After storage, before and after opening, no additional preparation is needed.

How Can I Increase The Shelf Life Of Nutella?

Nutella will go bad based on its expiration date and how well it is stored. A person can prolong the shelf life of Nutella after it is opened by keeping the lid tightly closed after use and by using a clean utensil to dip into the jar. However, since Nutella tastes so good, it is unlikely that your jar will stay long on the shelf!

Does Nutella Go Bad?

Nutella is made from hazelnuts and dairy; it has a limited shelf life, and not storing it properly will cause it to go bad much quicker. Additionally, improper storage, such as exposure to heat or refrigeration, or not keeping the lid tight will cause the ingredients to break down and harden.

One of the most significant factors that can make Nutella go bad faster is careless or improper practices when using the product. Using your finger (kids are bad about this) or a dirty utensil will bring on bacteria and contaminants, which will reduce quality and shelf life.

How Long Does Nutella Last Past Its Expiration Date?

Nutella will easily last 1 to 2 months past its expiration or sell-by date. The expiration date is a safe date used by the manufacturer to guarantee product freshness, though it will remain usable beyond this date. Though it is impossible to know how long it will last precisely, Nutella can last a long time if stored correctly in a dry place at room temperature.

Is It Safe To Eat Nutella After The Expiration Date?

The “best before” date for Nutella is used by the manufacturer to mark its guarantee of product freshness. Even so, manufacturers are quite generous with this date to ensure a reasonable margin.

This means that it is quite safe to eat Nutella past the expiration date. As long as the container was appropriately stored, Nutella will still be safe good to eat. The only downside is that the longer Nutella goes past the expiration date, the lower its freshness and quality will be.

How Do You Know When Nutella Has Gone Bad?

The best way to know that Nutella has gone bad is by using your sight, smell, and taste. Here are some tips to know if your jar of Nutella has gone bad:

  • Texture- If it has become hard and dry.
  • Smell- If it has a musty or bitter flavor.
  • Look Closely- If it doesn’t look right or if you see signs of mold growth.

It is important to remember that Nutella will lose its quality over time. Since it is an on-going process of aging, it will not go bad overnight but will go bad over time. With this in mind, getting rid of a jar is a good idea if it is a long time past the expiration date.

What Happens If You Eat Bad Nutella?

If you unwittingly consume some Nutella that has gone bad, you will probably have noticed that it has become hard to spread. In your mouth, it will taste bitter and unpleasant.

If this happens, it would be preferable to spit it out of your mouth and throw the rest away. If you swallowed some bad Nutella, it wouldn’t cause you to be sick as long as you didn’t eat a lot. At most, some mild stomach upset may occur. However, while it is unlikely that you would get food poisoning, make sure you know what the symptoms are.

Why Does Nutella Get Hard?

There are two reasons why Nutella has lost its creaminess and gone hard.

  1. Did it get cold?
  2. If it was stored in the refrigerator or frozen and has gone hard, you can soften it by putting it in the microwave for a short time and stirring it up to restore creaminess.
  3. Check the sell-by date.
  4. The second reason that Nutella may have gotten hard is that it has gotten old and is no longer suitable to eat. In both cases, the loss of creaminess has happened because the ingredients were altered from refrigeration or aging.

Does Nutella Have Dairy?

Nutella does contain dairy products. The typical ingredients of Nutella include skim milk powder, which comes from dairy cows. However, there are dairy-free varieties made, like this kind found on Amazon, which would make it suitable for Vegans.

Final Thoughts

In summary, you can expect Nutella to last up to 12 months when stored properly. However, during my research, I also learned that the shelf life of Nutella could vary due to a variety of factors. Some factors include the packaging, whether in portion packs, a jar, tub, or piping bags. The latter has a shelf life of about 6 months.

Another factor is when the container was opened compared to the sell-by date. It can be expected that Nutella will last if used before the expiration, use-by, date, and will be usable for a reasonable time after the expiration date.

I hope this helps you on your journey to eating the freshest Nutella possible! Thanks for stopping by.

For more, don’t miss Do Nuts Expire? (And How to Extend Their Shelflife).