Do Peanuts Go Bad?

Peanuts can be great and healthy snacks for you to munch, also allowing you to cook them to add to some of your meals. However, one thing you might be wondering is whether or not peanuts ever go bad or whether you can keep eating them safely for as long as they last.
Technically, peanuts do come with an expiry date, but this does not necessarily mean that they will go bad after this point. They can generally last for quite long, even beyond this date, but eventually, they will go bad and you will need to throw them out.
It’s critical to learn how to differentiate between unsafe and undesirable peanuts. In addition to being aware of the shelf life of peanuts and the best ways to store them to maximize their safety and quality, you should keep an eye out for a number of indicators.
You can go through each of these aspects of peanuts below.

Figuring Out If Peanuts Have Gone Bad

Peanuts can go bad at some point or the other. However, due to the high fat or oil content in peanuts, there will come a moment when the peanuts will go bad and rancid.
Here are some ways in which you can figure out if peanuts have gone bad or not.

  • Smell: If the peanuts happen to smell strange in any way or give off a sour odor, then they have most likely gone bad and you should throw them out.
  • Appearance: If you notice any signs of mold on the peanuts or if they look a bit off in terms of their texture, then they have gone bad. Shriveling and drying up too much can also indicate spoilage.
  • Color: Signs of discoloration or dark spots and patches on the shell of the peanuts or the seeds themselves can also point towards spoilage, so make sure you throw them out.
  • Taste: If the peanuts taste sour or strange instead of nutty and rich, this can suggest that they have gone bad. Throw them out.

Shelf Life of Peanuts

How long your peanuts can actually last will depend on the temperature you store them at. Several other factors can affect the shelf life that you can go through below.


If your peanuts are still in their shells, you can expect them to last for much longer than those that no longer have their shells. In the case of peanuts still in their shells, you can easily make them last for up to four months if you keep them on a shelf and in a cool and dry location.
In the fridge, they can last for as long as a year and for two years in the freezer.
If you have peanuts without shells, then they are much more likely to be exposed to temperature changes and bacteria, in which case they will last only for four weeks on a shelf.
The fridge and freezer lifespan is the same as that of in-shell peanuts.


If you have a large quantity of peanuts that you bought in bulk, then you can stick to the shelf life mentioned in the previous sections for both in-shell and no-shell peanuts.
However, if you have a smaller quantity of peanuts or those that you bought in small packages from the market or store, then this might not last as long as fresh peanuts bought in bulk.


Processed peanuts also last for a shorter time period as compared to fresh and unprocessed peanuts. Processing might involve roasting the peanuts and adding flavors, both of which are bound to reduce the shelf life.
In this case, make sure you only roast as many as you need. If you have some extra ones, you should store them in the fridge or freezer to minimize spoilage.

Best Storage Practices for Peanuts

To ensure that peanuts last for a long time and remain safe, you can either store them on a shelf in your pantry or kitchen or keep them in the fridge or freezer.
If you are using the pantry, ensure that the conditions are cool and dry enough.
If you need to keep your peanuts safe and in good quality for a few months, then make sure you store them in the fridge or freezer while also leaving them in their shells.
If opting for colder temperatures, make sure you use paper towels, freezer bags, or an airtight container to prevent too much moisture from coming in.

Summing Up

Now that you know about the signs (smell and appearance) through which you can tell that peanuts have gone bad, you can go ahead and take a good look at the peanuts you have lying around on your shelf.
Make sure you also follow the proper storage conditions and practices, whether you keep them at room temperature, in the fridge or in the freezer.

Related: Food Storing Guide: Storage Times For The Refrigerator And Freezer

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