Do Olives Go Bad? No Way!

All Keeping Tricks Revealed!

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on Is It Possible For Olives To Get Spoiled

Olives can be truly called universal foodstuff, but usually, recipes need only a few. It explains why we often have so many leftover olives that end up spoiled so that we have to discard them.

Are you also tired of wasting food? Then we prepared a very handy guide for those who want to learn how to keep these small fruits really long-lasting!

And, how to tell that olives are bad? Olives go bad after 2-3 days if it stored improperly. If you see mold, spicy smells, or changed the color- olives are bad. Store Olives in a glass jar or a container for up to 2 weeks at 30,2 °F in the fridge. Unopened olives last up for 1-2 months at 35,6 °F.

Do olives go bad? Let’s get a closer look and try to find it out!

Storing Olives. Hints And Rules

We can’t say that we have so many kinds of olives in the market. Usually, it is all about whether they are black or gree, with a pit or without, or, maybe, they have some filling.

But the major thing we have to pay attention to is how they are packed – in brine or in oil. This is the only thing that matters when it comes to maintaining olives.

  • Olives in brine can be kept unopened in your pantry. Only ensure that the spot you chose for them is cool and shaded, without excess moisture.

The second the tank is opened, transfer those fruit to the fridge, and double-check that the tank is tightly sealed. 

If you bought olives in a can, then remove them to any airtight tank that can be sealed tightly.

What if you accidentally pour out the brine? No panic! it’s easy to make it yourself by mixing ½ tsp of salt per each cup water. This brine is less strong so don’t keep olives in it for more than two weeks.

  • What about olives in oil, you may ask? Well, these are anyway better to be tossed to the fridge since oil “brine” doesn’t tolerate room temperature.

And again, consider to always keep the olive tank firmly closed to avoid oxidation and thus spoilage!

All simple and effortless, but these hints can make olives last way longer.

 How to Tell That Olives Are Bad

Is It Possible For Olives To Get Spoiled?
Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

Unfortunately, even when stored correctly, foods tend to lose their quality and spoil. Do olives go bad? Yes, they are not exceptional. 

To spot the expired fruit, check them for one or several of the following symptoms.

  • Off and pungent odor
  • Faded pale color
  • Mold
  • The rounded or dome-shaped lid on the unopened jar/can

Any of these signs means that olives must be tossed away since they are no longer eatable and can be unsafe. 

What to Expect If You Ate Bad Olives

What if you accidentally swallowed some olives without noticing that they are not good? It can happen, especially if the foodstuff is not yet badly spoiled and looks and tastes more or less fine.

In this situation, be ready to have some unpleasant symptoms like stomachache or nausea, but usually, they disappear after a couple of hours or a bit more.

Eating bad olives can also lead to diarrhea and/or vomiting – typical symptoms of food poisoning. By emptying your stomach, taking activated charcoal, and drinking enough water you can cope with that problem pretty fast. But if the symptoms are really nasty, don’t hesitate and go to the hospital!

Lifespan Of Olives And What It Depends On

So how to avoid those troublesome symptoms from eating bad olives? It’s simple: just mind the expiry date!

When purchasing foods, always pay attention to the best-by date indicated on the container. Olives, when stored correctly in the untouched can, can stay good for more than half a year past that date!

But once the tank is opened, here comes the mess! Different producers have a different term of duration which means some olives must be eaten sooner whereas others can have some time on the shelf.

California Ripe Olives: From Orchard to Store ShelfCalifornia Ripe Olives: From Orchard to Store Shelf

To not get completely confused, we recommend you get those fruit finished within three weeks after opening the tank.

However, all that fuss works for the olives sold in brine only. Those in oil don’t care how soon you will eat them.

To make it all simpler, check out this short chart.

Pantry Fridge
Olives in brine (unopened) Best-by plus 3-6 months Best-by plus 3-6 months
Olives in brine (opened) - three weeks
Olives in oil  - 2-4 months past the date on the label

How to Make Olives Live Longer

What to Expect If You Ate Bad Olives
Photo by Jessica Lewis

Are there any tricks that can extend olives’ lifespan? In fact, there are. It may seem somewhat annoying though to do these actions all the time, but believe us, it’s easier than throwing food regularly just because someone is too lazy to screw the lid properly!

So whenever you grab a jar of olives, remember to do the following:

  1. Seal the tank tightly after each use
  2. Keep olives in their brine/oil since it makes them stay fresh. And remember that they must be completely submerged in it!
  3. Follow the basic keeping instructions e.g. temperature, lighting, etc. Know that olives feel best of all at no warmer than 75 F.
Lifespan Of Olives And What It Depends On
Photo by Major Wave

Such little effort will allow extending their lifespan so that you could enjoy these tasty and nutritious fruit longer.

Olives Health Benefits

Finally, let’s figure out why these small fruit of olive trees are so popular in certain countries and why they are spreading so fast all over the world.

How to Make Olives Live Longer
Photo by Timothy Newman on Unsplash

The answer is surprisingly obvious: olives are packed with nutrients and vitamins.

  • They contain healthy fats
  • They are good for the heart 
  • Olives reduce inflammation
  • These fruits are loaded with carbs and fiber
  • Eat them, and your immune system will increase the level of vitamins and minerals
  • They are one of the best antioxidants
Tremendous Health Benefits of Olives | Dr. WestonTremendous Health Benefits of Olives | Dr. Weston

So maybe it is time to stock your pantry with some olives? Moreover, today we have plenty of them presented on the store shelves – for any taste!

We hope that now you are more informed about how to keep olives and what to do to prolong their lifespan. 

Make sure you provide them with all the necessary conditions, and olives will thank you with the long life!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Are all olives edible?

Well, any olives whether they are green, red, or black can be eaten, however, raw fruit are very bitter.

⭐ Are olives OK left out overnight?

If they are in oil, it won’t hurt them. Olives in brine will most likely be also fine unless they were exposed to sunlight of high heat.

⭐ What happens if you eat bad olives?

In this case, you will most likely have symptoms of food poisoning from stomach ache to nausea and vomiting if you ate too many of bad olives.

⭐ Are black olives healthy?

Any olives are. They are good for the heart, they increase the level of good cholesterol, and they contain healthy fats. All benefits!

⭐ What do you do with olive brine?

Just keep olives in it. And if it’s still left after you ate them all, feel free to add it to pizza sauce, vinaigrette, martini, homemade aioli or hummus, or even to a slaw!

⭐ Do olives need to be refrigerated?

Some of them do. Olives in brine must always be kept chilled, for instance.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
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