Can Expired Vegetable Oil Make You Sick?
It’s important to be aware of the expiration date on your vegetable oil. If your oil has expired, it may cause food poisoning and make you sick.
When Vegetable Oil Expires
Vegetable oils tend to have a long shelf life when stored correctly. Unopened, the oil will last for around 18 months. After opening, the oil should remain safe to consume for around 6 months. It’s important to ensure the oil is stored in a cool, dry place away from light.
If your oil is older than these guidelines, you should throw it away. Any rancid odors, off-colors, or thickening of the oil are more signs that you should discard it.
The Dangers of Consuming Expired Vegetable Oil
When vegetable oil becomes rancid, it contains an unhealthy amount of free fatty acid. If consumed, this can cause food poisoning. Symptoms of food poisoning include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- An upset stomach or abdominal pain
These symptoms usually last for a few days before subsiding. In more extreme cases, food poisoning can require hospitalization.
It’s best to always check the expiration date of your vegetable oil, and always discard it if it’s past the date. Even if the oil looks and smells normal, it could contain high levels of free fatty acids and make you very sick.