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how long does butter last

How Long Does Butter Last?

Learn from Land O’Lakes about how long butter lasts and the recommended way to store it.

blog_image by Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen

blog_image by Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen

Does Butter Go Bad?

In order to maintain its quality, butter needs to be wrapped and stored properly.  

What is the ideal temperature to store butter? 

Butter should be stored at or below 40°F.  Most dairy products need to be stored in refrigerated conditions. We recommend that people follow the “Keep Refrigerated” directions printed on the package label, as well as the USE BY date stamped on the package. 

Does butter go bad if I don’t refrigerate it?

Butter that is not refrigerated may become darker in color and the taste and odor may change over time. That is why it is best to keep butter refrigerated.

How long can you leave butter out of the refrigerator?  

Do not to leave butter at room temperature for more than four hours. 

How should butter be stored? 

Storing butter in the refrigerator

Once Land O Lakes® Butter is opened and removed from its Flavor Protect® Wrapper, it is best to store it in the refrigerator wrapped or in a covered butter dish. To soften butter for spreading, take it out at least 30-60 minutes prior to use, but no more than four hours ahead. Cutting butter into smaller pieces will speed up softening time (see article on softening butter). Always return any unused butter to the refrigerator. For product that is spreadable right from the refrigerator, try Land O Lakes® Butter with Canola Oil or Land O Lakes® Butter with Olive Oil, available in a variety of container sizes.

Storing butter in the freezer 

For longer storage, Land O Lakes® Butter can be frozen in the original carton for up to four months if put in freezer prior to USE BY date on package. To help maintain the butter’s delicate flavor, we suggest wrapping the carton in aluminum foil or in an airtight resealable plastic freezer bag before freezing. Once the butter is removed from the freezer and thawed, it should be used within 30 days. 

Visit our FAQ page for more questions or explore recipes, tips and all things butter

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