How Long Can You Leave Butter Out on the Counter For in Montana?

Uh oh, some may like this answer and some may not like this answer.  Depends on if you leave your butter out on the table or if you keep your butter in the fridge.

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First, let's classify butter.  Is butter considered to be a dairy product?  We don't leave dairy products out on the counter, we keep them refrigerated.  But the FDA, has butter listed with "fats & oils".

According to the USDA, butter is safe to consume at room temperature.  Both the USDA and FDA state:

"Butter and margarine are safe at room temperature. However, if butter is left out at room temperature for several days, the flavor can turn rancid so it's best to leave out whatever you can use within a day or two. Margarine, especially soft tub margarines, can separate into oil or water and solids when not kept refrigerated although it will be safe. The Meat and Poultry Hotline can be reached at 888-MPHotline or 888-674-6854."

Before we make any drastic changes on how we store our butter we need to know what butter experts say about this.  Butter experts at Land O' Lakes say this:

“Do not leave butter at room temperature for more than 4 hours,” says Land O’Lakes culinary team. “Always return any unused butter to the refrigerator and be aware that butter left outside refrigeration may become darker in color and have the flavor affected.”

There you go.  Does that help?  For me, not really.  I leave my butter out on the counter, in a tray, but it is at room temperature.  Besides, butter doesn't last very long in my house.

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