How Long Will Almonds Last in the Pantry or Freezer?

Store almonds at a cool temperature for a year or more. Ann Cutting/Getty Images

Here's what the California Almond Board says about storing almonds:

Natural Almonds: Natural almonds may be stored for up to two years. For optimal freshness, place almonds in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer. 

Roasted Almonds: Roasted almonds may be stored for up to one year if stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator or freezer.

So it's all about where you keep them.

Rather than rotating from the freezer to the pantry, how about keeping them in the refrigerator? If your son doesn't like to eat cold almonds, you can take out what you'd need for a day or two and keep the rest in the fridge.

It's the Fats That Matter

Almonds are rich in omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, which is why they're good for a heart-healthy diet. But those fats start to go rancid if the almonds are exposed to the oxygen in the air, especially at room temperature.

Rancid oil makes the stale almonds taste bad. Spoiled almonds aren't poisonous, but the fats are no longer beneficial, and it's possible the rancid fat could contribute to chronic health problems if often consumed. So when the almonds taste bad, it's time to throw them out.

Almonds last longer than other nuts because they contain some phytochemical antioxidants that protect the nuts -- the antioxidants might be good for people too.

In fact, almonds make it to the top of many superfoods lists.

So that answers your question, but while we're at it, let me talk about a couple of other almond issues.

What About Salmonella -- Could That Happen?

You should be safe from that too. Salmonella is a bacteria that causes the typical foodborne illness symptoms -- tummy ache, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

We usually think of salmonella with raw eggs or raw chicken.

But raw almonds were responsible for two salmonella outbreaks in the United States, back in 2000 and 2004. There was also an outbreak due to raw almonds in Australia and one in Sweden.

So, now almonds need to be roasted, blanched or processed in some way, such as being steamed or treated with a gas called propylene oxide. None of these treatments destroy the nutritional goodness of almonds.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Facts About Cyanide."

Harris, L. J., M. Palumbo, L. R. Beuchat, and M. D. Danyluk. 2014. Outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with the consumption of tree nuts, peanuts, and sesame seeds [Table and references]. In Outbreaks from tree nuts, peanuts, and sesame seeds.

University of California Davis. "Nuts: Safe Methods for Consumers to Handle, Store and Enjoy Almonds, Chestnuts, Pecans, Pistachios, and Walnuts."