The use of butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) has been used in packaging material of consumer packaged goods for decades. Incorporating antioxidants in ready-to-eat cereal products can inhibit oxidation and extend product shelf life. Interest in natural antioxidants has developed over the past few years due to potential risks to consumer health. Despite these risks, BHT remains on the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) list for now, and is a proven way to achieve the desired quality that consumers expect. The objective of this study was to understand the shelf life reliability of BHT in in four cereal products via application of BHT in two cereal components: the canola oil and the packaging film material. Additionally, this study explored the effects of BHT in cereals prepared using different formulae as well as different processing technology. Loose sensory testing was performed on four different cereal products with a focus on descriptors that are indicative of lipid oxidation such as cereal rancidity, off flavor/aroma, and flavor intensity. Analysis of variance and t-test statistical analyses were used to determine the significance of sensory data. BHT was found to affect different cereal products differently. Overall, the use of BHT in packaging material significantly improved the shelf life of breakfast cereal, while the use of BHT in canola oil showed little benefit to product shelf life. The results of this study will provide a baseline for companies looking to reduce or remove BHT from their cereal products.