Does Nutella Go Bad? Signs Of Spoilage & Preservation

Have you noticed that a jar of Nutella can last months if you don’t use it very often? According to Ferrero’s website, a jar of Nutella will last one year after opening it.

Does this mean it won’t go bad until after one year? No. Nutella will go bad under certain conditions.

If you found an old jar of Nutella or you’re about to stock up from a sale at the store, get to know all about 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 at spreading it over bread. You can also eat Nutella as it is. However, this is not so good for the body.

Does Nutella go bad?

Yes, Nutella goes bad. It is like every food and won’t last forever.

Despite the long shelf life of the chocolate spread, ingredients such as milk and hazelnuts impact how long it lasts. These ingredients have a short shelf life and will make the spread go bad quickly.

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 unopened and opened jars 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 chocolate spread out will help keep its consistency and make it easy to scoop and spread.

Does Nutella go bad in the refrigerator?

No, it does not.

You may store your jar of Nutella in the refrigerator or freezer, but it is not advisable. At cold temperatures, this chocolate spread will solidify gradually and lose its fluid consistency. It may also 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, keep it 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. But if you have not opened the jar or bag, you can expect it to last longer than this.

Can you eat expired Nutella?

You may still eat Nutella a few weeks or months past its printed date.

After the printed date, the chocolate spread begins to lose its taste and texture. But unopened jars will remain safe for consumption if you store them well. However, you must consume the spread within a month.

Most importantly, ensure you carefully examine the spread for any sign of spoilage when you open the jar.

How to tell if Nutella has gone bad

Take a good look at it

Carefully examine the chocolate spread for mold, bacterial growth, or discoloration. Look inside the jar and under the cap too. If you notice any of these signs, discard the jar.

In addition, try to take a scoop. If the chocolate spread is still good, it should scoop and spread easily. Bad chocolate spread, however, will be dry, hard, and rough. If your spread looks like this, do not eat it.

Smell it

The chocolate spread contains oil, milk, and hazelnuts which smell rancid once they go bad. Take a whiff of it. Throw it away if you detect a rancid smell.

Taste it

After taking a good look and a whiff of the suspicious spread, 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. The sweet, nutty flavor will turn 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 them 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, 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 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, 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 them.

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 it 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 dry and hard 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. And without proper storage, your jar of Nutella 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. Trash the jar if you notice any deviation from the original delicious taste and flavor.

Thanks for reading.

Read more articles on the shelf life and preservation methods of foods and drink on Millenora.