Can Olive Oil Spoil? Understanding the Shelf Life of Olive Oil

Mar 14, 2024By Nick Blue


Olive oil is a staple in many kitchens around the world, prized for its flavor and health benefits. But have you ever wondered if olive oil can spoil? Understanding the shelf life of olive oil is crucial for ensuring you get the best quality and flavor from this beloved ingredient.

What Factors Can Cause Olive Oil to Spoil?

Olive oil is a natural product that can be affected by several factors that can impact its shelf life:

  • Exposure to light
  • Exposure to heat
  • Air exposure
  • Time

These factors can cause the oil to oxidize, leading to rancidity and a deterioration in flavor and quality.

Understanding Olive Oil Shelf Life

The shelf life of olive oil can vary depending on the type of olive oil and how it is stored. Generally, olive oil can last:

  • Extra virgin olive oil: 18-24 months
  • Virgin olive oil: 12-18 months
  • Regular olive oil: 12-18 months

It's important to check the best-by date on the bottle and store the oil properly to ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible.

Food diet and nutrition concept. Assortment of fresh organic extra virgin olive oil in bottles with green leaves on a rustic wooden table

How to Store Olive Oil Properly

To extend the shelf life of your olive oil and prevent it from spoiling prematurely, follow these storage tips:

  • Store in a cool, dark place away from heat sources
  • Keep the bottle tightly sealed to prevent air exposure
  • Avoid storing olive oil near stovetops or windows

By following these simple storage guidelines, you can enjoy the full flavor and benefits of your olive oil for longer.

Signs Your Olive Oil Has Spoiled

It's essential to know when your olive oil has gone bad to avoid using rancid oil in your cooking. Signs that your olive oil has spoiled include:

  • Off smell or taste
  • Cloudy or murky appearance
  • Bitter or sour taste

If you notice any of these signs, it's time to replace your olive oil with a fresh bottle.

Glass bottle of olive oil and wooden breakfast  bowl with raw  turkish olive seeds and leaves on wooden rustic vintage table. Olives background


Understanding the shelf life of olive oil and how to store it properly is essential for maintaining its quality and flavor. By following these tips, you can ensure that your olive oil stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible. Remember to check the best-by date on the bottle and keep your olive oil away from light, heat, and air to maximize its shelf life.