Properly Storing Almonds to Keep Them Fresh and Safe


Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

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Almonds are a fantastic snack and an ideal addition to a healthy diet. These nuts are rich in nutrients, including fiber and protein, and they're quite tasty. However, if you're a fan of almonds, you might have noticed that they can go stale and end up tasting really bad. These should not be eaten, though the solution is simple and all you need are a few tips about proper storage.

The Right Way to Store Almonds

Almonds should be stored in an airtight container and it's best to store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Almonds are not recommended to be stored at room temperature for periods of time, so your pantry is not a good idea. However, you can take enough for a day or two out of storage while keeping the rest safe and fresh.

Shelf-Life of Almonds

According to the Almond Board of California, the shelf-life of almonds depends on how they're produced, processed, and packaged.

  • Almond paste should be refrigerated and will stay fresh for 2 to 2 1/2 years.
  • Natural almonds can be stored for two years or more when their freshness and shelf-life is maximized by placing them in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Roasted almonds can stay good for up to a year in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Why Almonds Go Rancid

Almonds are rich in omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, which is why they're good for a heart-healthy diet. But those fats start to go rancid if the almonds are exposed to the oxygen in the air, especially at room temperature.

Rancid oil makes the stale almonds taste bad. Spoiled almonds aren't poisonous, but the fats are no longer beneficial. It is possible that rancid fat could contribute to chronic health problems if consumed often. So when the almonds taste bad, it's time to throw them out.

Almonds last longer than other nuts because they contain some phytochemical antioxidants that protect the nuts. These antioxidants might be good for people too. In fact, almonds make it to the top of many superfood lists.

Salmonella Risk From Almonds

Generally you should be safe from salmonella when it comes to almonds. Salmonella is a bacteria that causes typical food-borne illness symptoms, including an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

We usually think of salmonella with raw eggs or raw chicken. However, raw almonds were responsible for two salmonella outbreaks in the United States and Canada from 2000–2001 (which was mostly in Canada) and 2003–2004. There have also been reported salmonella outbreaks due to raw almonds in Australia (2006) and Sweden (2012).

In response to those cases, almonds now need to be roasted, blanched, or processed in some way. They may also be steamed or treated with a gas called propylene oxide. None of these treatments destroy the nutritional goodness of almonds.

A Word From Verywell

Almonds are a great part of your diet, but to get their full benefits, they do need to be stored properly. The most important thing to remember is that if an almond tastes bad, you should not eat it.

4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Almond Board of California. Shelf Stability and Shelf Life.

  2. Cleveland Clinic. Nutrition: Nuts & Heart Health.

  3. Toldra F. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research. Academic Press; 2017. doi:10.1016/bs.afnr.2016.12.005

  4. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Nuts: Safe Methods for Consumers to Handle, Store, and Enjoy. 2010.

By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a former writer for Verywell Fit and Reuters Health. She's a healthcare journalist who writes about healthy eating and offers evidence-based advice for regular people.