Find Out if Nutella Goes Bad and How You Can Preserve It

If you found an old jar of Nutella or you’re about to stock up from a sale at the store, you’re most likely wondering if this chocolate spread goes bad. Yes, it does go bad. It may take a long time because of its long shelf life, but after a while, and under certain conditions, Nutella will go bad.

This article details everything you want to know about your favorite chocolate spread. Here are answers to your questions on its shelf life, storage, and preservation.

What Is Nutella?

Nutella is a healthy chocolate spread made with roasted hazelnuts, skim milk, and cocoa. It has become a very popular and favorite spread for bread, sandwiches, and pancakes; a topping for cupcakes and desserts; and an extra ingredient in beverages.

This spread has an irresistible taste that makes it difficult to stop using it as a spread for bread. You can also eat Nutella as it is. However, this is not so good for the body.

SEE: If Nutella is Gluten-Free and Fit for Celiacs

Does Nutella Go Bad?

Yes, Nutella goes bad. It is like every food that won’t last forever. The ingredients in the chocolate spread contribute to how long it will last. Milk and hazelnuts are part of the major ingredients in the spread, and this impacts how long the chocolate spread can last.

The ingredients will make the spread go bad quickly. These ingredients have a short shelf life. Also, other conditions like the storage and best-by date determine how soon Nutella goes bad.

Does Nutella Go Bad Once You Open It?

Just like with many processed and packaged food, when you open a jar of Nutella, it begins to lose its freshness. However, it can last up to six months if you store it properly.

Does Nutella Go Bad if Left Out?

No, it does not. Nutella is not one of those foods that should be kept in the refrigerator or freezer. You can leave an unopened and opened jar of the chocolate spread on the kitchen counter or in a cupboard.

Moreover, the spread was not made for storing in the refrigerator or freezer. Leaving your jar of Nutella out will help keep its consistency and make it easy to scoop and spread.

SEE: Get a Chance to Win a $500 Gift Card at Giant Foods

Does Nutella Go Bad in the Refrigerator?

No, it does not. While you may store your jar of Nutella in the refrigerator or freezer, it is not advisable. In any of these places, the chocolate spread will solidify gradually and lose its fluid consistency. Also, it may lose its taste.

Does Unopened Nutella Go Bad?

An unopened jar of Nutella can last many months past its printed date. While it remains unopened, store the spread in a cool, dry, and dark place like the pantry or kitchen cupboards.

What Is the Shelf Life of Nutella?

Nutella has a shelf life of 12 months. Under proper storage conditions, an opened jar of this spread can last this long. Nutella in a piping bag, on the other hand, has a shelf life of 6 months. However, if you have not opened the jar or bag of Nutella, its shelf life will be longer than this.

SEE: Can You Freeze Peanut Butter to Keep It Fresh?

Can You Eat Expired Nutella?

You may still eat Nutella a few weeks or months past its printed date. The expiration date does not always mean the day it no longer becomes fit for eating. After the printed date, the chocolate spread begins to lose its taste and texture.

As long as you have stored it properly, especially if it has been opened, the chocolate spread is still edible. But, you should consume it within a month.

Most importantly, when you open the jar of chocolate spread, make sure you carefully examine it for any sign of spoilage. If you do, throw it away immediately.

How to Tell if Nutella Has Gone Bad

Take a good look at it

Carefully examine the chocolate spread for mold, bacterial growth, or any discoloration. Look inside the jar and under the cap too. If you notice any of these signs, you should not eat the Nutella anymore. It is best for the bin.

In addition, try to take a scoop. If the chocolate spread is still good, it should scoop and spread easily. Bad chocolate spread, on the other hand, will be dry, hard, and rough. If your spread has any of these features, you should not eat it.

SEE: Here’s How to Stop Food Spoilage and Food Poisoning

Smell it

The chocolate spread contains oil, milk, and hazelnuts which quickly smell rancid once they go bad. Take a whiff of it. If you detect a rancid smell, it is no longer good. You should throw it away.

Taste it

After taking a good look and a whiff of the suspicious spread, you can taste a little of it if you are not sure of what you got. If the chocolate spread has gone bad, it will taste nothing like hazelnut and chocolate spread. Instead of the sweet, nutty flavor, you’ll find that it tastes bitter, sour, and unpleasant.

If you notice any of these three signs, save yourself the trouble of food poisoning by throwing it away.

How to Preserve Nutella

  • After opening a jar of Nutella, always keep the lid firmly closed
  • Store unopened and opened jars in a cool, dry, and dark place. Keep it away from sunlight and direct heat
  • Also, if you can avoid keeping the chocolate spread in the refrigerator or freezer, do so
  • But if you have refrigerated your chocolate spread before, opened or unopened, do not store it in the pantry. You either consume it quickly or leave it refrigerated
  • In addition, try to consume the spread within the printed date
  • When scooping from the jar, use a clean utensil. When things like bread crumbs or other food items enter the jar, they enhance molding and bacterial growth. Consequently, it shortens the lifespan of your sweet spread


Can you freeze Nutella?

Yes, you can. Although the manufacturers of the hazelnut and chocolate spread advise against freezing, you can still store Nutella in the freezer. The spread can stay frozen for up to six months. This may slightly affect its taste and texture, but it is a safe method for preserving your chocolate spread.

Why does your Nutella have white bumps in it?

The white bumps you see on your chocolate spread are sugar blooms. This happens when the sugar and fat separate. To get rid of this, you can mix the contents of the jar. If that’s not too easy to do, allow the contents of the jar to soften in hot water before you mix.

Why is your Nutella grainy?

If your spread is grainy, that should be the hazelnuts in it. But it shouldn’t be too hard.

Why is there oil over your Nutella?

If the oil in your Nutella separates and stays at the top, it’s not an issue of concern. This happens because the spread has a lot of oil in it, and after standing for a while, the oil separates and floats to the top of the spread.

You don’t have to throw it away if the Nutella is still within its best-by date. All you have to do is mix the oil and the solid below to have fine-textured chocolate spread again.

How can you make Nutella soft again?

Pour hot water into a bowl and submerge the jar of Nutella into it. The heat from the water will soften the chunks gradually. When you see it dissolve, take a spoon and stir the contents of the jar to mix them.


Nutella can last up to one year under proper storage. Like every other packaged food, it comes with its best-by date. More on that, if you don’t store your jar of Nutella properly, it will go bad even before its expiration date.

If you have just found an old jar of Nutella in the pantry or kitchen cupboard, carefully inspect the jar. Check for the expiration date. Open the jar, smell, touch, and taste the chocolate spread. If you notice any deviation from the original delicious taste and flavor, trash the jar.

Thanks for reading.

Read more articles on the shelf life and preservation methods of foods and drinks on Cheffist.