How to Store Nut Butters to Prevent Food Poisoning
It’s no mystery. Americans love nut butter. The National Peanut Board claims about 94% of American households keep a jar of peanut butter in their home.  Consumers are also venturing to almond and cashew nut butter. But how do you safely store these key staples in our homes?
First, read the label to determine the best storage method. Based on the other additives, the shelf-life and storage methods will vary. Nut butter with added sugars and other oils are more likely to have a more stable shelf-life. A sealed jar will typically last around two years but breaking the seal will shorten the shelf-life. As a general rule of thumb, an opened commercial nut butter should only stay in your pantry for three months, for breaking the seal exposes the jar to outside pathogens and oxygen (the oxidation of the fats leads to rancidly).
The USDA recommends storing peanut butter in a cool, dry place like a cabinet, but one can extend the shelf-life by refrigerating your jar. For an open jar, do not eat your peanut butter after it has been opened after three months.  For more recommendations on how long to store shelf-stable products, follow this link: https://www.in.gov/fssa/files/CupboardStorageChart.pdf
Nut butter without additives will go rancid more easily, so natural nut butter should be refrigerated. Refrigeration can also help with separation, for the oils will not separate as much in cool temperatures.
The CDC and FDA play an important roll in notifying the public about recalls. Historically, peanut butter has been recalled for Salmonella typhimurium contamination. In times of recalls, it is important to follow the FDA’s guidelines on how to prevent an infection. For more information about the 2009 Salmonella outbreak in peanut butter, visit the CDC’s link here: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/2009/peanut-butter-2008-2009.html