Safely Storing Olives

olives deli

Are These Olives Still Good?

If you are not sure how old that jar of olives is, take a moment to check a few things before mindlessly consuming them.

Look for signs of mold, changing texture, or if the liquid has discolored – toss them in the trash if anything does not look right.

Smell the container and if you detect an off odor, throw them away.

Listen for the pop if you are opening a new jar – if there is no “pop” pitch them.

Does the can have rust? Likely it has long passed the “best by” date and should be tossed.

If the “best by’ date is fairly recent, consume them as long as they pass the other tests.

Enjoy your olives safely and mindfully. Now let’s talk about storing olives.

Unopened Containers

Submerged in brine, jarred olives will keep for two years or more at room temperature. If there is no “best before” date, write the date of purchase on the bottom of the jar using a sharpie marker. Most olives will be good for a while past the best before date. Before you eat them, make sure they meet the quality tests.

I am dubious about the FDA’s claim that BPA, which is used in the linings of many cans, is safe and do not suggest that you buy olives in cans. If you prefer to use canned, transfer the olives – brine included – to an air tight storage container of a similar size and refrigerate. Stored in this way, the olives will keep for six months.

Opened Containers

Opened jars will keep for up to six months in the refrigerator. If the olives remain submerged in the brine, they can safely stay at room temperature for one to two weeks, but they should be used quickly. Before consuming, make sure they meet the tests for quality.

Deli Olives

Do not store deli olives at room temperature for more than a day. They will last one to two months in your refrigerator.

One of the wonderful things about being a mindful cook is that you know how to take the time to pause, breathe, and safely enjoy your food.


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