Can Dehydrated Food Go Bad?


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Food. We eat it every day. It comes in all shapes and sizes, flavors and tastes. Some food is healthy, some is not. 

Depending on our personal preferences, some food is good, some is not. Food not only satisfies our taste buds but it is needed for us to live. The fact is, we need food to survive. 

Humans have always needed food and there was a  time when food wasn’t always so easy to come by. Centuries ago, they came up with a process to preserve food so they could save it for later. This process was called dehydration. 

Dehydration was remarkable because over time bacteria would form on food from its moisture and cause it to go bad. To  stop this from happening and prolong how long the food would last, they dried it out. 

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Taking certain foods and laying them out in the sun to dry would allow the food to last much longer and could sustain them on long journeys. 

Now, dehydration is still a thing. Commercial equipment and home appliances can remove moisture from foods, preserving it for longer than its normal shelf life. But, can dehydrated food go bad?

Dehydrated food can go bad. The loss of its moisture helps preserve it for longer than regular food but over time it will lose quality and go bad as well. 

Can Dehydrated Food Go Bad?

Keep in mind that it is important to eat dehydrated food in moderation because when the food is dried, it shrinks in size since it loses its water content and has more calories by weight. 

So, keep those portions of dried foods small and you are all set.  They are perfect for taking on-the-go or for those outdoor adventures. 

When hiking or backpacking in the great outdoors, you can get hungry and dehydrated food can give you nutrients and fill your stomach so you can keep on exploring. A bag of dehydrated food is lightweight and easy to take anywhere as well. 

Any food can be dehydrated from fruits and vegetables to herbs and meat. And if you store the dried food in the freezer they will last for months to years. 

But over time, dehydrated food will go bad and you can do certain things to help prolong its shelf-life.We will discuss how to properly store the dehydrated food to keep it good for longer as well as signs that can tell you if the food is bad or not as we go on this article.

To see the most popular dehydrated snacks just click here. 

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How Long Does Dehydrated Food Last If Sealed?

Dehydrated food can last for longer because it is dried. It is also a healthier alternative to other snacks and you can add them to other foods. 

Dehydration locks the food’s nutrition into place so the dehydrated food will have the same nutrients as the fresh fruit or meat would. All the calories, protein, fat. carbohydrates, fiber, and sugar are all in the little dehydrated food making them a healthy snack.

If you just dehydrated some food (or bought some) you might be wondering how long it will last. 

Dehydrated food can last for 4 months to a year if sealed and properly stored. Follow some important tips on how to store your dried food correctly to keep it good for longer.

Since dehydrated food can go bad, make sure you are storing it properly to prevent this. Over time it will lose quality and go bad unless it is stored in a freezer to preserve it longer. 

To help keep it a little longer there are some important tips to follow. 

Store dehydrated foods in clean and dry containers. Airtight containers with tight fitting lids, plastic freezer bags, or canning jars are a great option to seal the dried foods. 

Vacuum packaging works great, too. 

Portion out the food so that when you open a package you will use it all at once. Things like air and moisture will affect the quality of the food. So, once opened the dehydrated food will go bad faster. 

So you can help it stay good for longer when you pack the food in small amounts. 

As a side note, dehydrated fruit that has been sulfured should not touch metal because it can react with it and cause color changes. If you are storing it in a metal can, place the fruit in a plastic bag first and then place it in the metal can to keep it from spoiling. 

Always store dehydrated food in a cool, dry, and dark place. By keeping the dried food away from heat, moisture, and light, you will help to preserve it for longer. 

It is recommended only to keep the dried food in storage for 4 months to a year if in the right environment. If stored in a place where the temperature is higher, the time the food will last will be shorter.

How Can You Tell If Dehydrated Food Is Bad?

It’s important to note that vegetables will have about half the shelf life as fruit when it comes to dehydrated food. Glass containers are great for storing dehydrated foods because if there is any moisture you will be able to see it. 

Some dried food can seem dry but may have possibly absorbed moisture over its time in storage. So, how can you tell if dehydrated food is bad?

Dehydrated foods will expire and it is a good idea to check its expiration date along with other signs of spoilage to see if the food is still good.

Even though dehydrated food lasts for a long time, they can go bad. Dehydrated food usually lasts for about 4 months to a year in storage. If kept in a freezer dehydrated foods can last for much longer and almost indefinitely.

It is important to check for moisture because if any moisture is absorbed by the food it will spoil faster. Dehydrated food does go bad eventually, so be aware of best by dates and check the food for any sign that it has gone bad. 

There will be visible signs of the dehydrated food going bad such as mold growth, liquid, changes in color as well as a bad odor. If the dehydrated food is bad it will smell bad, too. 

Another thing to check is the texture. Dehydrated food should be crisp and if it is anything else like chewy for instance then it is probably bad. 

Lastly, the taste will tell you a lot about if the dehydrated food is bad or not. You shouldn’t eat food that has other signs of being spoiled because obviously it is bad but if it looks fine and has bad taste, then it should be thrown away. 

As we mentioned before, check the food before eating it to see if any moisture has been absorbed. So, dehydrated foods can go bad. It’s just what happens to food over time. 

Start with checking the expiration date and then look for signs of spoilage  to see if the dehydrated food has gone bad.

Final Thoughts

Dehydrated food is healthy and easy to take on-the-go. But, over time it will go bad and there are certain things you can do to help preserve it for longer. 

By storing it properly you can keep the dried food for longer. Freezing will keep the dehydrated food good the longest and almost indefinitely. 

The expiration date will give you a good idea of how long the food will last. Along with this, check for the signs of spoilage and if you notice any, toss it. 

Dehydrated food has a long shelf life but over time, it will go bad.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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