In this brief guide, we will address the query, “do olives need to be refrigerated?” We will also discuss what is the best way to store olives and other FAQs about their shelf life.

Do olives need to be refrigerated?

Yes, olives need to be refrigerated. Even though you can safely leave them in a sealed bottle in the pantry, storing olives in the refrigerator will help you extend their shelf life, even more after being opened.

It is recommended to not leave olives outside the fridge for several hours because they can easily spoil. 

Whatever you do, the only factors you need to take care of are avoiding storing them in a place where they are exposed to direct sunlight and being in contact with humidity sources.

How long can olives last?

Olives can be bought in the supermarket and they usually come submerged in a brine solution. Thanks to this solution, the shelf life of olives is not so short, due to their acidic components.

Although bought olives come with a best-by date, this does not mean that they will immediately spoil when the date has arrived. However, indeed, past this date, the quality of the product will not be the same.

It has not been set a unique shelf life as many olive manufacturers report different estimates. Some say that olives need to be consumed within 14 days after opening the jar, some others suggest that 10 days is the maximum length of the shelf life. While Mezzetta declares that they can remain fresh after 12 months!

But what causes such confusion? As we have already said, olives are submerged in a brine solution that was prepared with vinegar or salt, sugar, and some other natural preservatives. Brine food works to delay spoilage thanks to its pH levels, lethal for most microorganisms.

How to store olives?

Proper storage will help you to enjoy the taste of the product for longer, and will also prevent you from wasting money and food. The recommendations you need to attend to ensure a long shelf life for olives are

  • Before opening the jar, keep them at room temperature. The pantry is the best place to store unopened jars of olives, remember you need to store them in a dark, dry, and cool place. Once opened, it is a must to transfer them to the fridge.
  • Once olives are opened, move them to the fridge. Also, keep the original brine solution, this will help enlarge their shelf life. 
  • If you get your olives from the counter, also refrigerate them. Try to choose the olives that look the freshest.

As you can tell, storing olives is not rocket science, all you need to do is to take some minutes of your day to do so!

How long can you leave olives unrefrigerated?

When you have not opened the jar of olives, it does not matter if you keep them in the pantry, it is actually the best option! However, everything changes once you have opened the jar.

The good thing about olives is that as long as they are submerged in the brine solution, they can be left out overnight without any problem. If you purchase dry olives, then they cannot be left out for more than a couple of hours or they will spoil.

If you want to get a cool sensation from your olives, you can store them for a few hours before consuming them, this will change your whole olive experience!

Can you freeze olives?

Yes, olives can also be frozen to enlarge their shelf life. You only need to follow several steps to guarantee a safe freezing

  • You cannot freeze olives in the brine solution. You need to drain it and then rinse the olives under running water.
  • Dry before freezing. After rinsing the olives, you need to dry them as much as you can, this will help you prevent mold growth.
  • Use a container with enough space for expansion. Whenever anything is frozen, it is normal they expand and take much more place than dried. Make sure your olives are not that tight.

Finally, you need to consume frozen olives for no more than 6 months, this will keep them fresh and tasty.

How to tell when olives have gone bad?

You can notice spoilage signs by only looking at the container, if you detect that it is leaky, bulging, or exhibiting rusty signs, your olives need to be discarded. If the container is in good condition, then check for these signs in the olives

  • Rancid smell. A quick sniff taste will let you know how fresh your olives are, if you detect a rancid odor, throw them out.
  • Mold growth. Mold can appear at the top of the brine layer, it is better to discard those olives to prevent food poisoning.
  • It is normal to detect some discoloration as brine solution causes it.

Are olives healthy?

Olives have been associated with different health benefits, and they are known for their heavy charge of antioxidants and healthy fats. Do you remember olive oil, right?

To read more about what olives offer to your health, click here.

Other FAQs about Olives  that you may be interested in.

Do green olives go bad

What is the shelf life of olive oil?

Can you eat expired olive oil?


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “do olives need to be refrigerated?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.