Olives are the type of product that can be kept for a year or two in your pantry. But do green olives need to be refrigerated once opened?
After opening, you can place the olives in an airtight container together with the brine and keep the product in the fridge for up to a few months. However, it is generally recommended to consume the olives within a 2-week period as they might start to change their flavor and texture after that.
Can you store green olives without the brine or in an opened can? Let’s find out!
You can leave an unopened container of brined olives at room temperature until the expiration date (which is typically around 1-2 years). However, you would have to make sure that the place where you decided to put the olives is dark and dry. Ideally, the temperature in the pantry or cupboard should always stay below 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
As soon as you open the container in which the olives came in, you will let air, moisture, and, consequently, bacteria into it. If you use a regular spoon or fork to get the green olives out of the jar, you will be introducing even more bacteria, and all that would most certainly make the product’s shelf life go down.
Some manufacturers claim that the olives sold in jars with brine can be kept at room temperature even after they have been opened as long as they are kept out of the heat and direct sunlight. But you might want to place them in the fridge anyway, just in case. By the way, stuffed and marinated olives should always be refrigerated.
If the olives stay in the brine in the fridge, they might be safe to consume for up to a few months, but they may start changing flavor in as little as 2 weeks. In case you decide to remove the green olives from the liquid, they will last for only around 3-4 days without any significant changes in flavor and texture.
What Is the Right Way to Store Green Olives?
Do bear in mind that you can’t simply place an opened can into the fridge. The metal might seep right into the olives and not only taint the flavor but, in the most severe cases, cause negative health effects.
So, once the can has been opened, use a clean spoon to get out as many green olives as you want, and then transfer the remaining product together with the brine into an airtight container. Ensure that all the olives are fully submerged in the liquid.
Now you can place the leftover olives into the fridge. You might not want to store them right next to the fridge door as that’s where the temperature fluctuates the most.
Find the ‘once open use by…’ information on the can and consume the product within the specified range. You would typically have around 1-2 weeks to do that.
If you don’t want to store the green olives in their brine, you can drain them and then place them in an airtight jar or container. But in such a case you will have only a few days to finish up the product.
Can You Freeze Green Olives?
The only time when you should drain the liquid is if you’re planning on storing your olives in the freezer.
Once you get rid of the brine, place the olives in a freezer-safe airtight container and put it at the back of the appliance. Do not wash the green olives before putting them in the freezer as the added liquid might contribute to a freezer burn.
Overall, green olives can last for up to 12 months in the freezer.
Do bear in mind that it’s typically recommended to freeze only the olives with a high oil content as other varieties might soften too much.
You can find a variety of interesting articles on our website like Do Gerber Soothe Drops Need To Be Refrigerated?, Do Greenies Pill Pockets Need To Be Refrigerated?, Do Grape Tomatoes Need To Be Refrigerated?, and Do Fairlife Protein Shakes Have To Be Refrigerated?
Tell-Tale Signs That Your Green Olives Have Gone Bad
Even those who know the answer to the question ‘Do green olives need to be refrigerated?’, might notice some signs of spoilage of the product, at one point.
- Mold – if you notice mold over the surface of the brine or on the actual olives, throw the product away.
- Texture – olives that have gone bad are very soft and mushy. If the product has been stored for too long or in a warm place, some olives might even become gelatinous.
- Smell – a foul odor or a rancid smell is an easily detectable sign of olives that have gone bad.
- Taste – you might not want to eat even a single olive, if you suspect that the product might have spoilt. But in case you do decide to check, taste only one olive. If it tastes too salty or bitter or has a foul flavor, then you should toss the product away.