General Question

syz's avatar

How quickly does butter go bad at room temperature?

Asked by syz (35649points) November 21st, 2011

I accidentally left an entire block of butter sitting out in the warm house for almost 30 hours – is it safe to use?

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40 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

I don’t think it does, we just leave ours out all the time. Might not be pure butter though, but ours has never messed up.

Aethelflaed's avatar

You’re fine. It takes butter (especially of the salted variety) a really, really long time to go rancid, even being left out of the fridge. Like, longer than the time it takes most people to go through an entire stick.

MilkyWay's avatar

LOL! Almost 30 hours?
Ours is out of our fridge all the time. Don’t worry about it :)

deni's avatar

Never? Unless you never use butter.

HungryGuy's avatar

I don’t know. My mum leaves her butter out constantly; never puts it in the fridge. So I think it’s probably okay if you left it out overnight.

But, personally, I bring my own butter when I visit my mum.

marinelife's avatar

Oh, yes. I leave mine out all the time.

YARNLADY's avatar

What? Many people never put butter in the refrigerator. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt.

CWOTUS's avatar

I leave butter (covered) on the counter for weeks at a time when I use it. Perhaps someone with a far more acute sense of taste than I could tell that its taste has changed, but I’ve never had it go bad except in hot weather, when it can actually melt in the dish. That’s not so cool.

Seek's avatar

Butter is over 80% fat, much the same as olive oil. It doesn’t go rancid easily. If you keep it in a butter dish with a lid, you can leave it out all the time. Makes it easier to spread on your toast.

thorninmud's avatar

Rancidity is an oxidation reaction. It affects flavor, but isn’t a health hazard (it’s not a matter of pathogens growing in the butter). The reaction goes faster at higher temperatures, but if the butter is well wrapped, then there’s not much oxygen available for the reaction.

tedibear's avatar

I work in a bakery part-time. We leave the butter out overnight if we know that we’ll need softened butter in the morning.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’ve never seen it go bad. Eat up!

laureth's avatar

You’ll be fine.

Read this Fluther question for more info, too. :)

cazzie's avatar

I am sure we covered this already.

FutureMemory's avatar

Nothing to worry about, go ahead and eat it.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Butter? I wouldn’t worry about it. Go ahead and have some.

Brian1946's avatar

I’ve actually eaten slightly rancid butter before with no ill effects. The butter was unsalted, and it took about 1 week of exposure to about 80ยบ F temp’s before it started to taste slightly piquant.

If yours is salted, then it’s probably still edible.

Ayesha's avatar

Don’t worry, go ahead and eat it.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Blackberry's avatar

I think you’ll be fine. I’ve also left butter out for days because I hate how the hard butter just rolls around on the bread. I didn’t get sick.

IPutOnMyRobeAndWizardHat's avatar

It should be safe. Bon apetit!

AshLeigh's avatar

Umm… People melt butter, don’t they? I don’t think it can get at “a bad temperature” :P

sevenfourteen's avatar

some people leave butter at room temp. I’m pretty sure it’s so full of crap it’s like a twinkie – never goes bad :)

KatawaGrey's avatar

Room-temp butter equals soft butter. It’s fine to eat. Enjoy!

TexasDude's avatar

It’s fine. Just eat it.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard: That’s what she said.

Sorry mods. It had to be said.

SpatzieLover's avatar

On the dairy farm, it was never put away into cold storage.

The only issue my family has ever had with butter left out was when there was an unexpected visitor in the kitchen…the farm cats all lived outside at the time, so a warm little mouse decided the butter was a fantastic dessert.

FutureMemory's avatar

So, did you eat it?

syz's avatar

@FutureMemory I’ll be using it tomorrow to cook Thanksgiving dinner for all of my employees who have to work on the holiday. That’s why I wanted to make sure it was safe – I’d hate to wipe out my entire staff of 30 or so with food poisoning!

KateTheGreat's avatar

Of course it’s safe! Eat it!

XOIIO's avatar

@AshLeigh There is a diffrerence between melting something consumeable and ingesting it, and leaving it out and comsuming it. Milk can be drunk warm but if you leave it out for a while it gets moldy, same with cheese.

MilkyWay's avatar

Go on, eat it ;)

Berserker's avatar

Everything is a okay, feast away!

chyna's avatar

I leave my butter out so it’s soft. Eat it!

plethora's avatar

Soft soft butter is the only way to go. What happens when you heat it in a pan. It’s still edible butter.

AshLeigh's avatar

@XOIIO, yes, but this isn’t milk. It’s butter. So shh. :P

FutureMemory's avatar

@syz So, did any of your staff get sick after all from your eating your old butter?

syz's avatar

Nope, all is well. They seemed to appreciate the food, and they got white chilli and mulled cider for Christmas.

FutureMemory's avatar

Can I come to the New Years party?

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