OK to eat? Deep fry edition.
March 21, 2019 7:01 AM   Subscribe

I want to deep fry some stuff this weekend, and have a large unopened bottle of sunflower oil from a major UK supermarket. It expired May 2017 though. OK to use? It's been kept in a dark cupboard.
posted by derbs to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
Think you're going to have to open it up and taste it to see if it's gone rancid.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:06 AM on March 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

You'll be able to tell immediately once you open the bottle - rancid oil has a noticeable off smell. It might smell soapy, or metallic, or bit like latex paint, if it has gone off. There is some evidence that consuming rancid oil increases cancer risk, but the risk from doing so once would be pretty minimal.

That said, anything fried in rancid oil is going to smell and taste bad itself, so you definitely wouldn't want to use it if it has gone rancid.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 7:06 AM on March 21, 2019 [13 favorites]

yeah this isn't a safety issue, it's a smell-it-and-see issue. Rancid oil smells bad and of course shouldn't be used at all, so you might as well check it now. Either it's fine to use for this or you need to throw it away.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:16 AM on March 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

OK great thanks everyone. My sense of smell isn't great but I'll give it a good sniff test.
posted by derbs at 7:18 AM on March 21, 2019

If you have a terrible sense of smell, like I do (I've frequently drunk milk that was just a bit on the wrong side of going off, despite always giving milk a good sniff before pouring it), you might want to seek out a second opinion as well, just for peace of mind.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:27 AM on March 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Two years past use-by? Gonna be pretty ordinary. That's more than enough time for enough oxygen to have diffused through a plastic bottle to rancidify vegetable oil inside it.
posted by flabdablet at 7:40 AM on March 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

even slightly rancid oil smells and tastes stale, but is not going to cause food poisoning, not nice to eat, unlikely to cause anything other than bad flavor. Over time, oxygenated oil is generally bad for you.
posted by theora55 at 8:59 AM on March 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Based on nothing but my own gut, I wouldn't eat this. Expiration dates are flexible, but they're not that flexible.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 12:39 PM on March 21, 2019

Here is a website that gives a bit more info.

Our everyday life.

If stored away from heat, light and air; sunflower oil is good up to 2 years past use by date. If it was unopened, stored away from light and heat; it should be OK. But, please smell it first; or have someone else smell test it. Rancid oil has a distinct off smell. Supermarket Sunflower oil should have practically NO smell. So if you smell anything at all; it is probably bad.
posted by indianbadger1 at 1:52 PM on March 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

« Older Dyslexia, Mixed Hand Dominance, Language Delay...   |   Songs written in this century for beginner guitar Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.