How Long Can Butter Sit Out And Does It Go Bad?

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Out of various dairy products which humans consume, butter is the one. It is prepared from protein and fat components of churned cream. Butter does not sit out well for longer; the same goes for its other kinds, such as Almond butter and Peanut butter.

Want to discover more about this dairy product? Then give this piece of writing a read and gather all information about it.

How Long Can Butter Sit Out?

Butter is a great addition to our everyday breakfasts. It is an excellent source of fats, calories and carbohydrates. However, to make the most of this dairy product, there is one thing of foremost significance. And that is, for how long it can sit out.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, butter is safe at room temperature. But the question is till when it can stay in its finest form? Only one to two days. If the butter is left out for several days at room temperature, it may turn rancid, causing an off odor and flavor.

Therefore, USDA does not recommend leaving butter out for more than one to two days. However, refrigerating or defrosting can be a good option to increase its shelf life. It may be defrosted to help it retain its quality for an even longer duration.

What Happens if Butter Sits Out Too Long?

Butter should not be allowed to sit out for too long, as the USDA recommends. But what if you take it out from the refrigerator or freezer and forget to keep it back inside? Do you need to give a second thought regarding whether it should be used or not? Let’s get that clear.

If the butter is allowed to sit out for too long, it develops rancidity. If you consume rancid butter, it will not kill you or cause food poisoning. However, it may cause stomachache and reduce your Vitamin B and E levels within the body.

What Should You Do If Butter Is Left Out Too Long?

Left out butter for too long? Do you not know what to do next? Worried about your health and safety? No need to panic! If the butter is left out for too long, there are a few parameters that you need to keep well in your mind. The first thing to check if it is left out for too long is; check its odor.

It may have gone bad if the odor seems unusual than the fresh stock. Sourness in its taste, yellow or brown appearance and molds also indicates its spoilage. So, if you witness any of the abovementioned signs, it is better to follow safety protocols and discard the butter stock. However, consuming its small amount will not do much harm to you.

How Long Can Butter Be In The Car For?

Two days are enough for butter to be kept at room temperature conditions. What about keeping it in the car? It depends on the temperature, as butter goes rancid if left out at the wrong temperatures. It is interesting to note that butter lasts much longer than milk without refrigeration.

According to the FDA, bacteria responsible for food-borne illnesses double every 20 minutes, even at room temperature. Therefore, do not leave butter or leftovers in a warm car for more than two hours. However, butter may stay well in cold conditions for more than that.

Does Butter Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?

Yes, if not refrigerated, the butter may go bad. But that doesn’t mean that this is the only way of storing or preserving it. You may also use a butter bell or French crock. Using them is a foolproof way to keep your unrefrigerated butter stock fresh, soft and yet spreadable. These bells function by immersing a small-sized pot in cold water, creating an airtight seal.

Does Butter Go Bad If You Lose Power?

In case of a power outage, you can hold some refrigerated foods at temperatures above 40ºF until power returns. The list includes butter, margarine, hard cheeses, fresh fruits, juices, ketchup, pickles, jellies, jams, mustard, olives etc.

What Temperature Is Safe For Butter?

There is also an optimum temperature condition associated with butter like any other food item. Now, what is the optimum temperature condition?

It would be best to keep both whipped butter and unsalted butter inside the refrigerator. However, if your kitchen temperature exceeds 70 degrees Fahrenheit, butter should go in the refrigerator to avoid spoilage. For a few months, the freezer temperature also works fine for this dairy product.

How to store your butter?

Butter is an important part of your breakfast. You may consume all of it before it goes bad. It is better that you buy enough butter to be consumed with it in a month, so it does not go bad.

The dairy products are best stored in the refrigerator. You can put your butter in your fridge for a couple of months before it goes bad. The following points will help you best to store your butter for a long time.

Put your butter away from sunlight

The butter stays perfect at a lower temperature. If you live in a place where there is a colder climate, you can put your butter on a shelf. The butter will not go bad. You need to assure one thing that your butter is kept away from sunlight.

The sunlight gives warmth to the butter and separates its water and fats. Furthermore, it can also grow molds and bacteria in the butter, and the butter can go bad.

Refrigerate your butter

The refrigerator provides the most suitable temperature range for your butter. The butter does not break into water and fats when put in a refrigerator.

The unopened bar of butter can stay good for up to eight to nine months. If you have opened your pack of butter, it should be consumed in a month. After a month, the butter may become a little sour. The butter can spoil eventually.

Wrap your butter properly.

When you are placing your butter in the fridge, make sure to cover your butter properly. If you leave your butter opened, the air can oxidize your butter, which might change your butter’s color and flavor.

You can wrap up your butter in wax paper or cheese paper. Try not to cover the butter with aluminum foil. The lactic acid from butter can react with the foil. You can also put your butter in an airtight box for further protection.

Can you freeze your butter?

You can freeze your butter in the freezer to extend its life span. The freezer limits any redox reaction in your butter. It prevents any spoilage in the butter. The texture of the butter stays smooth even after months. Moreover, the taste does not turn sour.

However, if you thaw your butter repeatedly, the butter may turn a little pale. It may also smell and taste a little sour. If you have salted butter, there is no need to freeze it. It is good in the fridge.

How long does your butter last?

If you have your butter frozen, it will still be good to use even if it has passed its expiry date. Typically, the butter does not spoil. The butter kept in the fridge can stay for up to a month if it is unopened.

You should consume opened butter in a couple of weeks; otherwise, it will turn sour. The sour butter does not taste good, and you will have to dispose of it. The butter can also be kept on the shelf if the climatic conditions are favorable.

A small precaution to keep your butter on your shelf is that you need to put a small quantity on your shelf. If that goes bad, you have got the clue about what to do next. So by this small test, you can save all of your butter from going bad and check if it is favorable to put it in the shelf.

How to tell if butter is bad?

The butter can spoil quickly, unlike other oils. Certain signs are shown by butter when it goes bad. The following conditions will help you guide if your butter is good or has gone bad.

  • The butter gives an off smell. You must know the smell of fresh butter. If you notice that the butter smells weird, it may have gone bad.
  • The butter has a light pale color when fresh; if it turns dark yellow or brown, it is not good to be used as it may cause health issues.
  • If you taste any sourness in your butter, it is a sign that your butter has gone bad. Do not use it any further.
  • The molds on any food item is a confirmation sign that your food has gone bad. Similarly, if you notice any black spots on your butter, it is molding on it. You should throw your butter away if you see any molds on it.