How Long Can Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich Sit Out? | Different Varieties & Proper Way To Store Them

PB&J’s are a staple in our house and my kids really enjoy eating them. The reason we fell in love with them is because of how convenient they are and the amount of time they can sit out without going bad or being harmful.

If life gets in the way and you accidentally leave your peanut butter and jelly out, you don’t necessarily have to toss it out. 

Peanut butter and jelly do not need to be refrigerated. Opened peanut butter can be stored in a pantry for 2-3 months and opened jelly will stay good for up to 2 months in a pantry. Peanut butter sandwiches are generally good unrefrigerated for 24 hours.

There isn’t a specific time when peanut butter and jelly sandwiches will spoil or a maximum amount of hours they shouldn’t be left out. Leaving them out all day will dry the bread out and take away the freshness- it doesn’t cause any harm.

These sandwiches are one of the least likely foods to be harmful if left out longer than allowed. Although you shouldn’t just leave them lying around, they shouldn’t cause food poisoning or be harmful in any way if accidentally left out during your chaotic day.

Does Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwiches Spoil?

As a mom, it can be challenging to keep up with how long food items have been sitting out as we have enough chaos during the day.

Thankfully many types of sandwiches can be left out safely at room temperature for approximately two hours.

The United States Department Of Agriculture says it isn’t good to eat sandwiches left out longer than this time period, especially if the sandwich contains cold cut meats, deli meats or vegetables. 

If left out longer than two hours it becomes dangerous as bacteria begins to grow rapidly.

If sandwiches contain these ingredients and you don’t expect to eat it within 2 hours, it is best to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. 

Sandwiches made with shelf ingredients such as peanut butter, jam, and jelly can be left out much longer without being harmful.

The rule of thumb is to only be left out for 2 hours or less. But as busy moms, we all know that sometimes we forget things, and it may end up on the counter longer than we anticipated.

Considering peanut butter and jelly sandwiches contain shelf ingredients if they were to be left out all day they won’t be harmful.

The worst part about them sitting out is that the bread no longer is moist, it becomes dry and more firm, and the freshness will no longer be there when taking a bite. 

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Since these items don’t contain perishable ingredients which means the amount of time they can be left out is more about the food’s quality rather than the safety.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are usually kept well for 24 hours at room temperature, preferably temperatures under 90 degrees before even having to worry about harming the quality of the product.

Different Brands Of Peanut Butter

As we all know from spending way too much time at the grocery store, there are tons of different brands of peanut butter available to purchase. Some of the most popular ones are:

  • Jif’s
  • Skippy
  • Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Peanut Butter
  • Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter

All of these are great options to choose from depending on the flavor or texture your family enjoys most.

I’ve found myself buying Justin’s Classic most often because of how easy it is to store. I always get carried away doing many different things in the house and I don’t always store things properly.

Justin’s peanut butter is at its best quality when left out unrefrigerated.

Most peanut butters say to refrigerate once they are opened but they definitely will not spoil if you forget- they will still last up to 6 months. 

Pre-Packaged Uncrustables

As moms, we love simple and easy! Uncrustables are just that- they make life so much easier if your kids love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Uncrustables are sealed around the edges with just the right amount of peanut butter and jelly-filled inside.

You can keep these in the freezer for up to 30 days without them going bad and drying out.

I know for me, these are always something on my shopping list because we go through them like crazy. 

How Long Does Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwiches Last Unrefrigerated?

Luckily, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are an easy snack or meal that can quickly be made.

If you are in a hurry or you’re a mom to smaller children, this may be an easy meal to make or prepare ahead of time for your kids. 

These sandwiches are a hit and have been around for a long time. They are safe to eat on the go since they only contain non-perishable ingredients.

Considering they only consist of bread, peanut butter, and jelly, if they are left out longer than two hours they will not harm you. 

The only downside to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches being left out  is it can affect the quality of the food.

It can become dried out or the bread can become hard, instead of being moist, tasteful and ready to eat. 

Sandwich with Peanut Butter and Jelly

Peanut butter is mostly “good fat” and the jelly brings sweetness to the sandwich. The combination is amazing and definitely satisfying.

How Long Do Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwiches Last In The Fridge?

Whether you prepare a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or buy it prepackaged, the amount of time it can last in the refrigerator is about the same.

They can usually last around seven days easily when stored properly. 

This will help keep them fresh and tasty for when you are ready to eat. 

The optimal temperature for you to store peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the fridge is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is advised to store them around this temperature to ensure the quality and preserve the freshness of the sandwich.

If you want your sandwiches to last even longer while staying really fresh you can pop them in the freezer after making them.

Freezing them in an airtight zip lock baggie will make them taste like you just made them when you are ready to eat one and all you have to do is leave it sitting out for a few minutes before taking a bite. 

Does Peanut Butter Go Bad?

Peanut butter is an extremely popular ingredient used when making sandwiches all over the world.

Peanut butter can go bad and spoil although it hardly ever happens as it does have a good shelf life.

If it becomes contaminated then it’s possible for it to spoil. Oddly enough, after too long peanut butter can lose its taste which is an indicator it has gone bad. 

Peanut butter has low amounts of moisture but high oil content. This helps it to keep a longer shelf life in your pantry or in the store. 

The time frame that it has its best quality all depends on how it is stored.

If you store your peanut butter properly then there is no reason you can not eat it before it goes bad or loses its flavor. The best way to store the peanut butter is fairly easy and simple. 

Basically, you should just be sure to keep the lid closed at all times when it is not being used.

Peanuts typically contain lots of oils and fats so if the lid isn’t secured properly and too much oxygen gets in it can alter the taste.

When buying store-bought peanut butter if you keep it in a dark and cool place such as your pantry it will increase the shelf life. 

Does Jelly Go Bad?

The guidelines provided by the USDA says that unopened jelly can be stored in a pantry for as long as twelve months. 

Once the jelly is open however it generally lasts approximately six months in the refrigerator.

Essentially this means that jelly isn’t good for a lifetime but it does last a great amount of time.

Luckily if jelly goes bad you can just toss it out and it isn’t harmful nor should it cause any illnesses. 

If A Sandwich Gets Left Out Will It Be Safe To Eat?

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches don’t typically “go bad” they just become dried out or lose the freshness.

Luckily they are not harmful in any way if they are left out and they can still be consumed, although they may not be near as tasty.

Neither peanut butter nor jelly technically has to be refrigerated before putting it on bread.

Therefore, if the sandwich is left out and it still tastes okay then it is safe for you to eat.

What usually spoils the fastest in these sandwiches is the bread. Bread molds pretty quickly or if it is left out it will dry out after a bit.

The fact that these sandwiches last a decent amount of time makes them easy to make ahead of time without them being harmful to consume. 

Final Verdict

As a mom myself peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a go-to meal around here. I have small children that seem to always want a snack, and as a mom life can be busy which means I don’t always have time to prepare an entire meal.

That’s why we resort to cold peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They are easy to make ahead of time so the kids can help themselves. 

Having the convenience of not having to worry about them grabbing something from the fridge that could possibly be spoiled or make them sick is one of the biggest advantages.

There are no worries about food poisoning or harmful bacteria being present in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Like we talked about in this blog, peanut butter, and jelly sandwiches are good for 2 hours unrefrigerated. 

Did you make one of these sandwiches and leave it on the counter by mistake or forget to refrigerate it?

No big deal! It’s still okay to eat even though it was left out. The biggest factor here is the freshness of the sandwich and the moistness of the bread.

If it tastes fine, then it is considered safe to eat. 

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