Does Canola Oil Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on September 29th, 2023

Wondering if that bottle of canola oil sitting in your pantry is still good to use? You’re not alone. With canola oil being one of the most commonly used oils for cooking and baking, it’s crucial to know when it goes bad and how to store it properly. This article offers an authoritative guide on everything you need to know about the shelf life, storage, and signs of spoilage for canola oil.

What Is Canola Oil?

Canola oil is a versatile cooking oil made by crushing Canola seeds at a processing plant and then subjecting the extracted oil to methods like steam distillation. It’s popular for its low saturated fat content (7%) and high monounsaturated fat content (63%). These qualities make it a heart-friendly choice, suitable for a variety of cooking methods like sautéing, stir-frying, grilling, and even for salad dressings.

Bottle of rapeseed oil (canola) and repe flowers on table outdoors

Nutritional Profile of Canola Oil


Canola oil is a good source of both Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting your cells from damage by free radicals. Vitamin K, on the other hand, is essential for blood clotting and bone health. Both these vitamins are fat-soluble and can be stored in the body, meaning regular consumption can build up reserves.

Fatty Acids

The oil also contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and promote HDL (good) cholesterol.

Is Canola Oil Prone to Spoilage?

Yes, like any other oil, canola oil has a shelf life and can go rancid over time. The primary issue with canola oil is its tendency to oxidize when exposed to air, heat, or light. Consumption of oxidized oil is not recommended as it poses health risks and tastes bad.

How Long Does Canola Oil Last?

Storage LocationUnopenedOpened
PantryBest-by + 6 mo6-12 months
FridgeBest-by + 12 mo12 months

Tips for Storing Canola Oil

In the Pantry

Keep the oil in a cool and dark place, away from heat sources. Consider transferring the oil into a dark or amber-colored bottle to slow down oxidation.

In the Fridge

If you’re living in a hot or humid area, refrigerating the oil is a good idea. Make sure to place it back in the fridge after use to maintain its quality.

Signs Your Canola Oil Has Gone Bad

  • Color Changes: If the oil turns a darker shade, it’s time to replace it.
  • Off Smell: A strong, unpleasant odor indicates spoilage.
  • Change in Consistency: If the oil becomes thick or hard to pour, it’s likely gone bad.
  • Taste: A rancid or off-taste is a clear sign the oil is no longer good.

Health Risks of Using Expired Canola Oil

While using rancid canola oil won’t make you sick immediately, long-term consumption can lead to health problems like inflammation and heart disease.

Can You Freeze Canola Oil?

Freezing canola oil is not recommended. While it’s technically possible, freezing can alter the oil’s structure, affecting its quality once thawed.


Understanding the shelf life and proper storage of canola oil can save you from potential health risks and culinary disasters. With the right storage conditions, canola oil can last a long time, making it a versatile and economical option for your kitchen needs.

Whether you’re a casual cook or a culinary expert, keeping this guide handy will ensure that you’re always cooking with fresh, high-quality canola oil.


Editorial Staff

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