Do Cashews Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 4th, 2022

Nuts are not only a delightful treat, but they are also high in antioxidants and minerals, making them an ideal nutritious snack. Because they are tasty and crispy, cashews are one of the most popular nuts.

People love them on their own, in cereal, salads, trail mix, and desserts. People who consume a lot of cashews may ask if they go bad.

cashew nut lot on blue ceramic bowl

What exactly are cashews?

The nuts/seeds produced by the cashew tree are known as cashews. They’re available in almost any supermarket or small store and have a creamy, somewhat sweet flavor.

Great for snacking and producing vegan or vegetarian milk, creams, and cheeses.

Cashews will always be shellless.

You’ll note that all of the cashews in the sore are shelled. This is because their outer shell contains a poisonous oil that can cause skin irritation and food poisoning if consumed.

Don’t worry; shelled cashews are usually roasted or treated in some way to burn off any remaining shell oil, making them safe to eat.

Cashews are easier to dry after being shelled, but not enough to destroy them.

Cashew Nut Facts

Before we get into the matter, let’s start with some fun facts about cashews.

Did you know, for example, that cashews do not develop inside the apple-like fruit? They grow outside of it — on the crab apple!

Cashew trees are members of the same plant family as poison ivy. This is why cashews are never sold in their shells or hulls. The United States consumes more than 90% of the world’s cashew production yearly.

Let’s look at the nutritional content of 1 ounce of raw cashews:

NutrientValueDaily value in %*
Total fat12g18%
Saturated fat2.2g11%
Total carbs9g3%
Dietary fiber0.9g3%

*based on a daily calorie intake of 2,000

Cashews are extremely healthy for humans. They’re also a fantastic choice for a snack if you’re attempting to lose weight because they’re high in protein.

A protein-rich diet can keep you fuller for longer. As a result, you will lose weight as your meals become rarer.

This variety of nut is also excellent for:

Lowering poor cholesterol levels; lowering the risk of gallstones; preventing and managing diabetes; and promoting healthy heart health

The health advantages alone are reason enough to incorporate cashews into your diet. The incredible flavor is merely a bonus!

Do Cashews Go Bad?

Cashews, like other nuts, have a finite shelf life. Fresh cashews have a lovely scent, a creamy and pleasant taste, and a terrific crunch. As a result, they make a fantastic complement to various meals and baked goods.

However, as cashews age, the wonderful aspects that we love so much about them change. Cashews lose their exquisite flavor and scent, and they become rather mushy and brittle. The good news is that if you store your cashews appropriately, you can easily extend their shelf life.

Unfortunately, as with other food goods, the quality begins to deteriorate when the box is opened, and cashews are no different. As a result, if you occasionally prefer cashew nuts but don’t consume a huge quantity, you can benefit from purchasing smaller packages of cashews rather than buying in bulk.

How Long Do Cashews Last?

Nothing is more disheartening than preparing a lovely salad only to discover that the first bite tastes sour. Then you realize your cashews have gone rancid, and you want to toss away the entire salad. To minimize disappointment, knowing how long cashews last is a good idea.

The packaging generally includes a best-by date when it comes to unopened, packaged cashews. These dates are typically true, and if you keep your cashews properly, you should be able to enjoy them up to that date and for at least a month following.

As a result, if you buy a bag of cashews, don’t open it until you’re ready to consume it.

After you open the packet, you must consume them within two weeks if stored in the pantry or within a month if stored in the refrigerator. You may extend their shelf life by keeping them in the freezer. Cashews may be stored in the freezer for up to a year.

If you purchased raw cashews, they would last approximately a month in your pantry or six months in your refrigerator.

 In the pantryIn the fridgeIn the Freezer
Raw cashews4 weeks6 months24 months
Opened cashews2 weeks4 weeks6 months
Unopened cashewsUp to best by dateUp to best by date plus 4 weeksUp to best by date plus 12 months

Cashews, uncooked

Raw cashews may be kept in a cool, dry, and dark area away from direct sunlight and heat for about 4 weeks.

As a result, raw cashews may be stored in a cold, dry area of your cupboard. It is important to note that you should never keep your cashews in a damp environment since moisture can wreak havoc on the quality of your cashews.

Raw cashews, on the other hand, may be kept in a plastic zipper bag or an airtight container in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for about 6 months.

Cashews in a bag

Unopened packaged cashews can be kept in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat for about a month past the “best by” date.

Once opened, packed cashews can be stored in a cold, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat for approximately 2 weeks or in a plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4 weeks.

Cashews may also be preserved in the freezer for about a year if carefully packed in a plastic freezer bag or vacuum sealing. When it comes to storing cashews in the fridge or freezer, caution should be given, and it is best to attempt vacuum sealing since if chilly air from the fridge or freezer makes its way to your cashews, it can ruin their quality.

It is important to note that these values are only the projected shelf life of cashews; cashews can stay much longer if properly preserved.

Is it okay to eat cashews after the “best by” date?

The “best by” or “best before” date printed on the package of cashews relates to the quality rather than the safety of the cashews. Therefore cashews do not always go bad immediately after the best before date.

The date relates to the period when cashews are at their greatest quality and taste, but you may still utilize cashews that are past this date if they were stored correctly.

How to Tell if your cashews are bad

Cashews have many health advantages, making them an even more appealing snack.

However, if you enjoy including cashews in your meals, you must understand how to detect whether your cashews have gone rancid. Knowing when your cashews are beyond their prime allows you to avoid using them in your meals, which might lead to dissatisfaction later.

Look at it

Examine the cashews carefully before eating them. Do not consume them if they have gotten deformed. Furthermore, if your cashews have changed color or exhibit mildew symptoms, do not eat them.

Finally, if your cashews have begun to fade and turn dark brown, they are past their prime and should be discarded. Cashews with organic growth, mold, or odd spotting should never be consumed.

Smell it

The scent of cashews is pleasant. However, after a while, your cashews may lose their wonderful aroma. However, if your cashews begin to smell bad, they are no longer fit for food. Similarly, nuts with a rotting or foul odor have passed their prime and should not be consumed.

Touch it

Cashews are crunchy and firm to the touch when they are fresh. If you are chopping up cashews and feel the knife sliding through or the nut lightly flaking, the cashews have gone rancid. Furthermore, if the nuts are sweaty or oily, they should not be consumed.

Taste test 

Cashews have that wonderfully buttery flavor that most of us adore. However, if you consume cashews that taste bland or disagreeable, they are no longer fresh.

The Dangers of Consuming Old Cashews

Don’t worry if your cashews went bad and you took a mouthful or two by accident; you’ll be OK. Consuming modest amounts of spoiled cashews is not dangerous and will not make you sick.

However, if you know your cashews are no longer fresh, it is recommended not to eat them. Although eating rotten cashews is not dangerous, it might cause constipation or stomach pain. Unfortunately, many individuals are unaware that cashews should be eaten in moderation.

This is due to a toxin known as urushiol in these wonderful nuts. It is a toxin that is not hazardous in tiny doses, but if you consume cashews regularly, you may develop hives.

Furthermore, excessive urushiol ingestion can cause skin rashes, acute skin burning, and swelling around the jaw. So, enjoy your fresh cashews in moderation, and if you feel uneasy after eating them, skip them next time.

How to Store Cashews

  • If you buy cashews in bulk or lesser quantities and they arrive in a brown bag or plastic packaging, put them in a freezer bag or an airtight container to help reduce exposure to air.
  • If they come in a resealable container or jar, you may store the cashews in them even after they’ve been opened.
  • Ensure you keep them in the dark cabinet away from any heat sources.
  • If you intend to retain them for an extended period, put them in the freezer; if you intend to keep them for a short period, store them at room temperature.
  • Cashews are susceptible to direct heat and sunlight, so never keep them in. If exposed to direct sunlight, they may experience a greenhouse effect when the container creates moisture. As a result, mold grows. The heat will accelerate the oxidation process.
  • Keep them in a container that keeps moisture out, so they stay crunchy and crisp.
  • You should consume them within 30 days for the greatest flavor. However, they can be stored longer.
  • If you want to have some cashews on hand to munch on throughout the day, keep a couple of days’ worth in a bowl on the counter but store the remainder in the cupboard or fridge.
  • They will grow stale faster if you live in a hot area, so keep them in the fridge.


When storing them in the refrigerator, ensure sure they are firmly sealed. They are hygroscopic, which means they may absorb moisture quickly. They may also detect strong scents from meals stored in the refrigerator.


When freezing cashews, ensure they are securely secured using freezer bags or airtight containers. Squeeze as much air as you can out of the bags before sealing them. The original container can also be used, but it must be freezer-friendly and well packed.

Can Cashews Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze cashews, and you’ll be pleased to know that they freeze well. You can extend their freshness and quality by storing cashews in the freezer rather than in the cupboard or fridge.

Frozen cashews retain their delicious crunch and buttery flavor. However, it would be preferable to store them in the freezer properly.

Cashews are often packaged in well-designed packaging that keeps moisture out, so if your nuts are still sealed in their original packing, freeze them as is.

If the package is destroyed, store the cashews in an airtight container. You may also use a ziplock bag. Before using cashew nuts, store them in the freezer for up to a year.


Cashews are delicious, but they may also be used to season curries, salads, desserts, and home-baked goods. Keep these nuts fresh by storing them properly and keeping a look out for spoiled cashews.


Editorial Staff

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