Can Jerky Mold?


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Jerky is a good snack that can satisfy your hunger and provide nutrition. The dried meat contains protein, and iron as well as a lot of flavor. 

You can use jerky in so many ways, the most common being to eat as a snack or meal when exploring the great outdoors or whenever you are on-the-go. Jerky can be store-bought or homemade. 

This snack is made by marinating meat slices and then drying them out to make the jerky pieces. This snack has been around for centuries. It can be made with all different types of meat, the most popular being beef. 

Jerky can last for a while but eventually it will go bad. Can jerky go bad and mold?

Jerky can mold if it is not entirely dehydrated. Keep the jerky away from moisture, oxygen and light so mold doesn’t grow.  If you see signs of mold on jerky, you shouldn’t eat it and instead throw it away to avoid getting sick.

Can Jerky Mold?

You were out on a hike exploring the great outdoors. Minutes turned to hours and your stomach started to rumble. Luckily you brought along a couple packages of jerky. 

You retrieved one of the packages and opened it up. Reaching into the bag you pulled out one of the pieces of dried meat. Before you took a bite, white spots caught your eye. Glancing at the jerky you notice that there is something all over it. 

Having eaten a lot of jerky in your lifetime, you know that it can come in all variations of colors but this is different. As you looked closer, you saw green, fuzzy spots as well. 

You knew that you wouldn’t be eating this jerky. It was molded. 

Discarding the moldy jerky you grab the other bad you bought with you. Thankfully this jerky did not have mold on it and was safe to eat to satisfy your hungry tummy as you finished your adventure. 

Mold will be visible when present on jerky and can appear in green or white spots. It can be fuzzy, dusty, or furry and typically has a spider-web pattern. Mold is disgusting and should not be eaten. 

Jerky can mold so if you think that it is molded, then it probably is and should be tossed.

To see the most popular jerky flavors just click here. 

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How Can You Tell If Beef Jerky Has Gone Bad?

Jerky can go bad especially if it is stored incorrectly. You should always store jerky in a cool, dry and dark place to prevent mold. When jerky is not dried all the way the moisture causes mold to grow. 

That is why it is so important to store jerky properly. If you have a package of jerky that has been sitting for a while, you may be wondering if there are signs to tell you that it is spoiled. 

How can you tell if jerky has gone bad?

You will notice if jerky has gone bad by its smell, or appearance. If spoiled, jerky will have a strong and rancid smell or be moldy. Expired or spoiled jerky should be thrown away and not consumed.

If you are unsure if jerky has gone bad, start by checking the best by date. If it is far past its expiration date it may be bad. However, unopened jerky that is past the expiration date may not be bad and should be inspected further. 

Then check for any rips or holes in the package. If there are some, this could let in moisture and oxygen and ruin the jerky. 

Then, check the jerky. If you notice a bad smell, it is bad and should be tossed. If it looks strange featuring white or green spots that may appear fuzzy, then it should be tossed. 

Mold and rancity are the two clear signs that jerky has gone bad. If you still aren’t sure if the jerky is bad, it’s better to err on the side of tossing it then to risk getting sick. 

How Do You Keep Jerky From Molding?

So, jerky can mold. But, when stored in the right conditions, you can prevent this from happening. Jerky usually lasts for a long time with a shelf life of 1 to 2 years if the package is unopened. 

Already opened jerky will last for a couple weeks. As we already said, jerky can mold if it isn’t stored correctly. So, how do you keep jerky from molding?

To prevent jerky from molding, avoid moisture and light and keep it at a steady temperature and in the original packaging. Also, buy the best jerky and only freeze it when you have to.

By reducing the amount of oxygen or moisture that your jerky comes into contact with, you can reduce the chances of growing mold. To do this, keep the package sealed tightly in a cool, dry, and dark place. 

If the bag is opened and you are worried about mold, you can always transfer it to an airtight bag or container so less air affects it. 

Warmth, moisture and light should all be avoided when storing jerky because they will all cause mold growth. As long as you follow these simple steps you will keep your jerky in good condition. 

Storing jerky isn’t difficult, but the less elements the jerky has to encounter, the less chance it has of growing mold and the longer it will last.

Final Thoughts

Jerky can mold if it isn’t stored properly. If you notice that there is mold on jerky do not eat it because it will make you sick. 

Discard the moldy jerky and buy a new package to consume. 

You can tell by the way the jerky smells and looks if it has gone bad. It will smell bad and you will be able to see the mold. 

To keep jerky good, follow some of the important tips mentored in this article. Keep the jerky away from oxygen, moisture and light and it will stay good for longer. 

Mold can grow on jerky so be aware and take precautions so you can avoid this.

Hannah R.

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

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