Have you left your butter on the counter for hours, or overnight and wandered if it was still safe to eat? After all it IS a milk product and you would never want to drink milk if it had been left out overnight.

Growing up, my grandpa lived on a farm. They always had fresh milk and butter. He used to tell me stories of his chores and one of which was churning butter. He was a big fan of butter and aways had a fresh stick next to him at every meal. One thing I noticed was that my grandma would never put the stick of butter back in the refrigerator. She simply left it on the dish all the time.

My mom always did the same thing, but with margarine. I just though that is the what you do with any kind of butter. I didn't realize this was kind of strange until I started spending the night at other kid's houses. Everybody else put their butter away, in the fridge, after cooking or having a meal.

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So, what is the right way to store butter? Is it safe to eat if it's not refrigerated? How about margarine?

According to the Food Network, the USDA and the National Dairy Council’s Dairy Good, both say it's safe at room temperature. You should only leave it out for a couple of days though. They also say it depends on the amount of salt in the butter. The more salt, the less of a chance of spoiling. They also stay that, if you want to keep your butter at rom temperature, you should put in on a dish with a cover. If you keep your house warm, over 70 degrees, you should always refrigerate your butter.

As far as margarine, like my mom would leave out,

Margarine, especially a soft tub margarine, can separate into water and oil or water and solids if not kept refrigerated. Although it may be safe to eat, it may not have the mouthfeel you’re looking for. Both margarine and buttery spreads shouldn’t be left out, and should always be refrigerated immediately after use.

Great, maybe that's why we all have an iron stomach. LOL


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