Is organic maple syrup good after expiration date?

Organic maple syrup, like conventional maple syrup, usually has a best by date or expiration date printed on the bottle rather than a use by date. With proper storage, organic maple syrup may stay safe to consume for 12-24 months after the printed expiration date. However, its quality and flavor will start to degrade over time. Let’s take a closer look at how to tell if expired organic maple syrup is still good.

What is the shelf life of organic maple syrup?

Unopened, organic maple syrup can typically last 12-24 months past its printed expiration date if stored properly in a cool, dark place. Once opened, it will keep for 12 months in the refrigerator. The key factors that determine organic maple syrup’s shelf life are the best by/expiration date, how it’s stored after opening, and the ingredients.

Best by/expiration dates

The best by or expiration date on organic maple syrup is usually 12-24 months from the date of manufacture. This date tells you how long the maple syrup should retain peak quality and flavor if stored properly. While not a safety date, it can help guide you in determining freshness.


To maximize shelf life, store unopened organic maple syrup in a cool, dark cabinet away from direct light, heat, and humidity. Refrigerating unopened bottles can extend shelf life slightly. Once opened, store in the refrigerator to keep for 12 months.


100% pure organic maple syrup contains just one ingredient – maple syrup. With no preservatives or artificial ingredients, it has a shorter shelf life compared to conventional syrups with added preservatives. Still, pure organic maple syrup resists mold and bacterial growth due to its high sugar content and low moisture levels.

How to tell if expired organic maple syrup is still good

Here are some tips for evaluating whether your expired organic maple syrup is still safe and palatable to consume:

Check the smell

If it smells sour, bitter, or off in any way, the maple syrup has probably gone bad.

Inspect the consistency

Pure maple syrup should have a thick, viscous texture. If the consistency seems thin, watery, or stringy, the syrup may have gone bad.

Examine the color

The rich amber color of maple syrup can fade and darken over time. Discoloration alone doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unsafe, but a drastic color change can signal deterioration in quality.

Taste a small amount

If the maple syrup tastes unpleasantly bitter, sour, or metallic, it has likely expired and should not be consumed.

Check for mold

Discard the maple syrup immediately if you see any mold growing in or on the bottle.

Assess overall quality

Aside from safety issues, expired syrup may lose its complexity and depth of maple flavor over time. If it simply doesn’t taste as robust and smooth, the quality has diminished.

How long does pure organic maple syrup last after opening?

An opened bottle of pure organic maple syrup will stay fresh for about 12 months if stored in the refrigerator. The refrigerator temperature helps slow microbial growth and preserves maple syrup’s quality and flavor. To maximize freshness:

  • Transfer unused syrup to a clean airtight container to minimize air exposure
  • Make sure the lid is tightly sealed after each use
  • Store in the back of the fridge away from temperature fluctuations
  • Wipe away any syrup around the rim to prevent stickiness
  • Write the open date on the bottle

If mold develops, syrup separates, or the consistency becomes thin and watery, discard the maple syrup even if it hasn’t reached the 12 month mark.

Does pure organic maple syrup go bad?

Yes, pure organic maple syrup can eventually go bad, but it has a relatively long shelf life compared to many other pantry items. When properly stored, the sugars in pure maple syrup inhibit microbial growth. However, its quality and flavor will start to degrade over time.

Signs that pure organic maple syrup has gone bad include:

  • Mold growing on the syrup’s surface
  • Sour, bitter, or strange odors
  • Separation, thinning, or grainy texture
  • Discoloration or darkening
  • Unpleasant tastes

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw out the maple syrup even if it’s within the expiration date.

Does expired organic maple syrup make you sick?

Consuming rancid or moldy maple syrup could make you sick. However, pure organic maple syrup is shelf stable and not prone to pathogenic bacterial growth that causes foodborne illness. Still, out of caution, you should discard expired organic maple syrup, especially if it shows signs of mold or damage.

Here are some potential health risks from spoiled maple syrup:

Upset stomach

Eating rancid or oxidized maple syrup can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains due to a food intolerance. These gastrointestinal issues are your body’s way of rejecting the undesirable compounds.

Allergic reactions

Mold growth produces mycotoxins that can cause allergic reactions in some people. Symptoms may include hives, itchy rashes, swelling, and nasal/respiratory irritation.

Food poisoning

While rare, contaminated maple syrup can potentially harbor dangerous pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria leading to severe foodborne illness.

How to store organic maple syrup properly

To get the most out of your organic maple syrup and avoid premature spoilage, follow these storage guidelines:


  • Store in a cool, dark pantry or cupboard away from heat and light
  • Keep lid tightly sealed
  • Refrigeration can help extend shelf life slightly
  • Do not freeze, as this may damage the texture


  • Refrigerate after opening
  • Transfer to an airtight container to minimize air exposure
  • Ensure the lid is sealed tightly after each use
  • Wipe clean any drips from the bottle
  • Use within 12 months

How to tell if opened organic maple syrup is still good?

Use these guidelines to determine if opened maple syrup is safe to use or needs to be discarded:

  • Smell – Discard if it smells sour, moldy, or unpleasant
  • Appearance – Toss if you see any mold, bubbles, separation, or other damage
  • Texture – Pure maple syrup should have a thick, smooth consistency
  • Taste – It shouldn’t taste bitter, sour, or strangely flavored
  • Age – Consume within 12 months of opening for best quality

When in doubt, remember the old adage – “When in doubt, throw it out!”

Does organic maple syrup freeze well?

Freezing is not recommended for storing organic maple syrup. The freezing temperature can cause the syrup to crystallize or separate. Thawing frozen maple syrup may result in a grainy, stiff texture.

For best results, keep organic maple syrup refrigerated but not frozen. The refrigerator temperature is cool enough to help maple syrup retain its quality and flavor for up to 1 year once opened. Simply transfer to an airtight container and store in the back of the fridge.

Can you make organic maple syrup last longer?

You can help maximize organic maple syrup’s shelf life by:

  • Storing unopened bottles in a cool, dark place like a pantry
  • Refrigerating opened bottles
  • Using clean, airtight containers
  • Checking for signs of mold periodically
  • Measuring with a clean spoon to prevent cross-contamination
  • Wiping the rim and lid after each use
  • Being careful not to introduce excess moisture into the syrup

With proper storage and handling, organic maple syrup can retain optimal quality and freshness for up to 2 years past its printed expiration date when sealed, or 1 year after opening.

How long does grade A organic maple syrup last after opening?

Grade A is the highest grade of maple syrup based on color and flavor. Like other organic maple syrup, grade A organic maple syrup will last about 12-24 months after opening if stored properly in the refrigerator. The key is keeping it in an airtight container and minimizing exposure to air, light, heat, and excess moisture to maintain quality.

Can old organic maple syrup make you sick?

Consuming expired, moldy, or rancid organic maple syrup could potentially make you sick. However, pure organic maple syrup does not readily support pathogenic bacterial growth. The biggest risk is from mold growth and mycotoxins. Symptoms may include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Sore throat, coughing
  • Skin irritation, rash, hives

Severe illness is unlikely, but spoiled maple syrup can cause unpleasant inflammatory reactions. When in doubt, throw it out.

What happens if you eat maple syrup past the expiration date?

Eating pure organic maple syrup slightly past its expiration date is generally not hazardous. However, the quality and flavor will deteriorate over time. Consuming very old, spoiled maple syrup that is moldy or rancid can potentially cause:

  • Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Unpleasant, bitter, metallic, or soapy taste
  • Allergic reactions in those sensitive to mold
  • Diminished nutrition and antioxidant content

For best flavor and food safety, consume opened maple syrup within 12 months and unopened bottles within 24 months. Discard any maple syrup that smells or looks bad.

Can organic maple syrup be donated past expiration?

It’s best not to donate or repurpose opened organic maple syrup past its expiration date. Even if the maple syrup looks okay, the quality and flavor diminish over time. For food banks and charities, it is ideal to donate unopened, unexpired organic maple syrup so recipients get the full flavor, quality, and shelf life.

Is it safe to use old organic maple syrup in recipes?

Pure organic maple syrup lasts a reasonably long time past its expiration date. However, for recipes, it is best to use fresh syrup that hasn’t expired. Older maple syrup may have subtle off-flavors that negatively impact the food. Stick to maple syrup that is within 12 months of purchase and refrigerate after opening.

Can you boil expired organic maple syrup to extend its shelf life?

Boiling cannot extend the shelf life or make expired organic maple syrup safe to consume again. The high temperatures may destroy some bacteria and mold, but cannot remove toxins or prevent rancidity. Once organic maple syrup goes bad, it’s best to discard it. Boiling also destroys the subtle flavors and aromas that make maple syrup special.


With proper, refrigerated storage, unopened organic maple syrup lasts up to 2 years past its printed expiration date, and opened bottles will stay fresh for 12-18 months. While not really prone to pathogenic bacterial growth, old maple syrup can develop off-flavors, aromas, and textures. Consuming very old, spoiled organic maple syrup could also pose health risks if mold or mycotoxins are present. For peak flavor and food safety, adhere to expiration dates, refrigerate after opening, and inspect bottles periodically.

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