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I just prepared pesto today containing basil, pine nuts, garlic, italian cheeses, and lemon juice, pretty much in that order from largest quantity to smallest. For how long could I keep this in my freezer before the oil will go rancid or the pesto will otherwise be inedible. Seems to me that I kept some a while back for 6 months, and after eating it I got sick, though this could be coincidental.

Answer(s)

A

Pesto has approximately a 6 month shelf life in the freezer.  If you
package it to exclude as much air as possible, it may last up to 12
months.  Over time the oil will oxidize (rancidity).  Rancidity produces
off-flavors, but I am not aware of any health issue.  I do not think you
got sick from the pesto.

We do recommend that pesto be kept refrigerated for 5-7 days or frozen.
It cannot be safely left out at room temperature.

Posted on 5 Sep 2007

Brian Nummer
Food Safety Specialist

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