Can Butter Get Moldy – What Does Mold on Your Butter Mean?

can butter get moldy

The question of butter getting moldy is an issue that has created various debates for years in the culinary industry. But the answers have also been tricky for the past few years. Butter is a tasty ingredient that is key in the recipes of many foods. The saddest thing any chef would prefer to see is their budding getting mold. Can butter get moldy? Yes, butter can get stale. This scene is rare, but it can happen after some time when exposed to heat. We all know butter stays longer inside the fridge than left outside. The butter left outside the refrigerator will mold faster than inside a fridge. We can eat butter most of the time before it grows mold.

There is a chance of butter getting mold as it is with every dairy product. However, the likelihood of butter turning moldy depends on several factors, including how it is stored and the type of butter. We make butter using water, butterfat, and milk proteins. The combined ratio of these ingredients decides how long the butter can remain without getting moldy. Butter rich in butterfat will have a longer lifespan than those with lower butterfat. In this article let us see whether butter can get stale or not.

Can Butter Get Moldy?

A sad thing we encounter with most groceries is that they become moldy and inedible before we cook them. Just imagine how many occurrences you experience the vegetables in your drawer turning moldy. They became dark green and withered on the bottom of the drawer.

Likewise, many foods we eat gradually grow mold. Once they grow mold, they become inedible. So, can butter get moldy? How long does it take butter to grow mold? This occurrence depends on the salt percentage of the butter. Since salt is a mold inhibitor, unsalted butter will grow and decay faster. However, butter changes its properties in the process of eventually growing mold. If you try to cut a piece of such butter, you will find it harder to cut. Do not eat butter which grows mold. Hard butter can cause food poisoning in a milder stage.

Why Does Butter Go Moldy? – Here Are the Three Reasons

We use the fatty parts of milk to make butter. Therefore, butter is high in fat and includes a lot of moisture. This large proportion of humidity makes it vulnerable to getting moldy. Mold inside butter needs these things to develop. They are food, water, and warmth. The fatty acid inside butter is the food source of mold. The moisture provided the mold with a perfect environment to grow. So, naturally, mold will grow inside butter.

Exposure to Air and Light

These two things are the key factors that contribute to mold growth in butter. You can reduce exposure to air and light by storing butter inside an airtight and opaque container. Such storage will minimize exposure to these elements while also slowing the oxidation process.

Exposure to Heat

Extreme exposure to heat quickens the process of growing mold in butter. You are storing butter at room temperature and keeping the butter container from heat-emitting sources like an oven. Make sure the average temperature of your kitchen is at most 70 F. If there is more heat than that, keep the butter inside a fridge.


If you use uncleaned utensils to spread butter on food, some food particles may transfer to the butter. These food contaminants are catalysts for mold growth and can heighten the rate of mold growth in butter. So as a best practice, use clean utensils to avoid cross-contamination in butter and prevent molding.

How to Store Butter to Avoid Getting Mold?

Can Butter Get Moldy? Now you know that butter can get moldy due to improper storage practices. So, learning to keep your butter for a long time is good without letting mold grow. Here are a few tips for storing butter to keep it fresh for a long time. Always store butter in a closed container and store it in the coldest section in the refrigerator.

Only use the covered area behind your fridge door to keep the butter. When you frequently open the door, there may be various temperatures flowing. If you are leaving butter outside the fridge, store it in an airtight container. When using freezing butter, wrap it in a plastic food warp and put it inside a heavy-duty freezer bag. This method will protect the butter from exposing to air and absorbing flavors from other food in the fridge.

Can You Eat Moldy Butter?

Sadly if you notice mold on your butter, it signals that your butter is no longer edible. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that moldy butter is unsafe to eat. Eating butter with mold on it can cause food poisoning and botulism. The toxins also will damage your immune system. You should pay extra attention to soft butter when stored at room temperature. The smoother consistency allows mold to dive deeper into the butter while disseminating toxins everywhere.

Can You Eat Slightly Moldy Butter While Cutting the Moldy Part?

When you open the butter dish, you see a thin mold layer in one area. How upset would you feel when you have a busy day of cooking? You may think of cutting the mold off and consuming the rest. The FDA’s advice says you should not eat any butter with mold on it. Eating such butter may be a threat to your health.

In Conclusion

Yes, butter can get moldy. If you notice mold growing on butter, the best thing to do is to discard it. Remember, unsalted butter will grow mold faster than salted butter. Although you still cut off the moldy part, mold microbes will be inside the other side.

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