Does Mrs Butterworth syrup need refrigeration?

Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup is a popular pancake syrup brand known for its distinctive bottle shape. With its thick, sugary consistency, Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup pours smoothly over pancakes, waffles, and French toast. But when it comes to storage, many people wonder: does Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup need to be refrigerated after opening?

Quick Answer

No, Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup does not need to be refrigerated after opening. The high sugar content acts as a natural preservative, allowing the opened syrup to be stored at room temperature for several months. Refrigeration can cause the syrup to crystallize and become difficult to pour.

Does Unopened Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup Need Refrigeration?

An unopened bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup does not need to be refrigerated. The syrup is commercially sterilized during production, creating an airtight seal that protects the syrup from contamination. As long as the seal remains intact, an unopened bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s can be stored in the pantry for up to 2 years before opening.

Room Temperature Storage

Storing an unopened bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup at room temperature is perfectly safe. The syrup contains preservatives that prevent microbial growth, allowing it to stay fresh when stored in a cool, dry place away from heat and light. Refrigeration is unnecessary and may actually cause the syrup to crystallize over time due to temperature fluctuations.

Check the Expiration Date

When storing an unopened Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup bottle at room temperature, be sure to periodically check the expiration or “best by” date printed on the bottle. This date lets you know how long the syrup will retain optimal taste and texture when properly stored.

An unopened bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s will typically stay fresh for about 2 to 3 years when stored at room temperature. If the expiration date has passed, the syrup may start to darken and develop an off-flavor, though it would still be safe to consume.

Why Does Opened Mrs. Butterworth’s Not Require Refrigeration?

Once opened, Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup does not require refrigeration due to its high sugar content. The main ingredients in Mrs. Butterworth’s are:

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Water
  • Cellulose gum – thickener
  • Salt
  • Potassium sorbate – preservative
  • Sodium hexametaphosphate – preservative
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Caramel color
  • Phosphoric acid

The large amounts of corn syrup and sugar create an environment inhospitable to microbial growth. The high sugar concentration binds with water molecules, leaving little moisture available for bacteria or mold to thrive.

Additionally, preservatives like potassium sorbate and sodium hexametaphosphate help inhibit mold growth. So refrigeration is not needed from a food safety standpoint once the syrup is opened.

Avoiding Crystallization

Besides inhibiting microbial growth, the high sugar content also prevents crystallization. Syrup crystallization occurs when sugars separate from the liquid and form solid crystals. Refrigerating syrup can accelerate this process.

The large amounts of corn syrup in Mrs. Butterworth’s work to inhibit crystallization by interrupting the formation of sugar crystals. Keeping the opened syrup at room temperature takes advantage of this effect for a smooth, uniform texture.

How to Store Opened Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup

To get the most out of an opened Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup bottle, follow these storage guidelines:

  • Keep syrup in a cool, dry place away from heat and light.
  • Make sure the bottle cap is tightly sealed to prevent moisture loss.
  • Store syrup at room temperature between 60°F to 85°F (15°C to 29°C).
  • Write the opening date on the bottle.
  • Use opened syrup within 6 months for best quality.

The key is to store opened syrup in a location that maintains a stable, moderate temperature. Fluctuating hot and cold temperatures can speed up syrup degradation.

Pantry Storage

The pantry is an ideal place to store an opened Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup bottle. Pantries tend to stay consistently cool and dark, which helps prolong syrup freshness. Keep the syrup away from the stove, oven or any appliance that generates heat.

Counter Storage

You can also store opened Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup in a cupboard or right on the countertop for convenience. Just make sure to keep it away from any hot appliances, sinks, windows or direct sunlight that may expose it to excess warmth or moisture.

Avoid the Fridge

Although refrigeration isn’t dangerous, keeping Mrs. Butterworth’s in the fridge can cause the syrup to crystalize. The cold temperature causes the sugars to rapidly separate from the liquid and clump together.

If you do choose to refrigerate, make sure to store the syrup on a shelf away from the cooling element where the temperature fluctuations are less extreme. Let the syrup come fully to room temperature before use.

How Long Does Opened Mrs. Butterworth’s Last?

When stored properly at room temperature, an opened bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s will typically last:

  • 6 to 8 months – Optimal taste and texture retained.
  • 1 year – Syrup may start darkening and thinning but is still safe to consume.
  • 18 months – Quality degradessignificantly but syrup is likely still edible.
  • 2 years – Syrup near end of shelf life and may taste unpleasant or spoiled.

The shelf life depends heavily on storage conditions. If left in direct sunlight or in hot environments, the quality can diminish within months. An opened syrup bottle kept in the fridge may also crystallize and degrade faster.

The best way to determine if opened syrup has expired is by inspecting its appearance and aroma.

Discard if Syrup Exhibits:

  • Crystallized texture
  • Mold growth
  • Dark brown color
  • Bubbling or fermentation
  • Sour or rancid smell

Syrup that has any of the above characteristics should be discarded. If the syrup simply becomes overly thick, gently heating it on the stove or microwave can restore a pourable consistency. But this indicates the syrup is nearing the end of its shelf life.

Does Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup Ever Need Refrigeration?

Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup only requires refrigeration under certain circumstances:

  • Temperatures exceed 85°F (29°C) – Refrigerate if room or pantry temperatures rise above 85°F, as heat can accelerate deterioration.
  • Long-term storage – For unopened bottles, refrigeration can prolong freshness past the 2-3 year pantry guideline.
  • Nearly empty bottles – Refrigerating a nearly empty bottle helps prevent mold growth since less syrup is available to inhibit it.

Otherwise, refrigeration is unnecessary for an unopened or newly opened bottle stored in typical household conditions. The main priority is keeping the syrup in a stable environment that maintains its quality and pourability.

Signs Your Syrup Has Gone Bad

Over time, Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup can show signs of spoilage, whether refrigerated or not. Watch for these clues that syrup has expired and should be discarded:


  • Crystallization – Gritty or clumpy texture
  • Mold – Furry or fuzzy spots
  • Bubbling – Foamy appearance
  • Separation – Watery layer at top of bottle
  • Darkening – From amber to brown or black


  • Vinegar-like smell
  • Fermented odor
  • Sour milk smell
  • Rotten or stale scent


  • Loss of sweetness
  • Unpleasant sourness
  • Bitter, chemical taste
  • Soapy or rancid flavor

Any odd aromas, textures, or tastes are signals that the syrup has spoiled and should not be consumed. Remember to periodically inspect syrup bottles for signs of deterioration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can maple syrup be left unrefrigerated after opening?

Like Mrs. Butterworth’s, pure maple syrup does not require refrigeration after opening due to its high sugar content. Store opened maple syrup in a cool, dry place and use within 1 year.

Does pancake syrup go bad?

Yes, opened pancake syrup will eventually go bad once enough moisture evaporates, allowing mold to grow. Properly stored, pancake syrup lasts 6-12 months after opening before quality loss is noticeable.

What happens if you eat bad syrup?

Consuming rancid, fermented, or moldy syrup can cause unpleasant digestive symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Syndromes like acidosis and dehydration are also possible if enough bad syrup is ingested. Severe illness is rare but immunocompromised individuals should avoid spoiled syrup.

Can old syrup make you sick?

Generally, consuming syrup a few months past its prime won’t cause illness, but the taste will become progressively worse. However, syrup that shows visible mold or crystallization may contain harmful bacteria and mycotoxins that can make you sick, especially if it is ingested in large quantities.

Does syrup attract ants?

Yes, opened syrup left out on the counter can attract ants. The sugary syrup contains glucose and fructose that ants are highly attracted to. Wiping up any drips and storing syrup containers in a secure cabinet helps keep ants away.


Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup holds up well when stored properly, retaining its quality and performance for about 6 to 8 months after opening. Thanks to its heavy sugar content, the syrup does not require refrigeration to stay safe and mold-free. Simply keep the syrup in a cool, dry pantry or cupboard after opening for optimal freshness and texture.

Refrigerating Mrs. Butterworth’s is unnecessary for food safety and can actually degrade the syrup faster in some cases. But if the room temperature rises excessively, refrigeration may be needed to slow sugar crystallization and mold growth. Checking opened bottles occasionally for signs of spoilage is recommended.

With its iconic bottle and velvety smooth pour, Mrs. Butterworth’s pancake syrup is a breakfast staple in many households. Now you can enjoy it right out of the pantry while knowing exactly how to store it for maximum freshness.

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