You've been storing maple syrup wrong your entire life

Use it to glaze bacon, pour it over IHOP's famous pancakes, or use it as a sugar substitute — no matter what, everyone should have maple syrup in their pantry at all times. Or is is the fridge? It turns out, you've been storing maple syrup wrong your whole life. 

Many super-sweet foods, like plain white sugar and honey (via Smithsonian), can be safely kept at room temperature in an airtight container without growing mold or bacteria. But the same isn't true for maple syrup, and it turns out that if you've been keeping it in your cupboard all this time, you might have been making a big mistake. A big, potentially moldy mistake. 

Why does maple syrup go bad?

The culprit? Water. Unlike sugar and honey, maple syrup has a slightly higher water content, which makes it more susceptible to growing mold. It's still less likely to grow mold than other wet foods, thanks to its high sugar content, but there are a couple of types of mold and fungi that can grow in it (via Cornell Mushroom Blog). 

In order to prevent mold from growing in your maple syrup, open bottles should be kept in the fridge for up to a year, or in the freezer indefinitely. Unopened bottles, however, can be kept in the pantry for up to a year.

The good news is that the mold that grows in maple syrup is non-toxic (via Epler's Maple Syrup). That means that if you splurged on a pricey bottle of the stuff and it got moldy, you don't have to throw it out. 

Instead, remove the mold from the surface of the maple syrup, then heat it to boiling. Let the syrup cool, skim off any remaining floaties, and add it to a clean container. Your maple syrup is safe to eat again! Keep that maple syrup in the fridge, and you shouldn't have to deal with mold growth again.