Can olive oil go bad?
Most oils don’t go bad. They have stable fats which do not easily suffer from exposure to oxygen or moisture. However, the fatty bits that make up olive oil are sensitive to oxygen and dampness, so the short answer is, “Yes. Olive oil can–and does–go bad.”
How do you know if olive oil has gone bad?
The most sure way to tell if olive oil has gone bad is to eat some and see if you end up spending an unpleasant amount of time in the bathroom. We’re kidding! Kind of…
The taste test
It is important to note that rancid olive oil tastes bitter–exactly the same as good, fresh, unspoiled, extra-virgin oil. This means that taste alone is not suitable for proving that olive oil has gone bad.
Instead of noticing if your olive oil tastes bitter, seek to notice a change in the oil’s taste. If the oil tastes the same as when you first bought it, then you are probably alright. However, if the oil tastes different, then it has gone off.
Note: unlike other types of cooking oil, it is super important to pay attention to the “use by” date on olive oil bottles. If your olive oil tastes more bitter than it did and is past its “use by” date, then we’d advise you to throw it away.
The smell test
There is a certain smell that rancid olive oil gives off. Most people often compare it to paint because there’s something “chemical” about it. Fair enough to say that if your olive oil smells like paint, don’t use it.
The “use by” date test
Pay attention to this. Maybe stretch it out for a few weeks, but be very aware of any sudden changes to your olive oil’s taste, smell, or looks once it is outside the manufacturer’s usable period.
A simple and effective way to protect olive oil from going bad early
Apart from its other advantages (such as helping to regulate the amount of olive oil you pour and preventing accidental spills), using a good pour spout seals your olive oil bottle, blocking bacteria, air, and moisture. Find an excellent, reasonably-priced olive oil pour spout here.