When commercial beef jerky has actually been effectively cooked, dehydrated, packaged, and also stored, an unopened bag will not go bad. That will, however, gradually lose fresh in texture and flavor. The best-by day on the package suggests the home window of top freshness. As long as it has been stored properly, unopened jerky is for sure to consume after ~ the best-by date. Yet it won’t taste as great as new jerky.

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As a general rule of thumb, advertising beef jerky is ideal enjoyed in ~ 1 year.

Does beef jerky spoil?

Beef jerky does no spoil (become not suitable to eat) prefer eggs, milk, cheese, and bread. Uneven perishable foods, beef jerky comes with a "best-by" day versus an expiration date.

It’s the reason civilization have love beef jerky because that centuries. That a nutrient-dense, high protein snack that can last a long time and does not spoil like other perishable foods. 

As lengthy as beef jerky has actually been produced, packaged, and also stored properly, it can be took pleasure in indefinitely. That’s not to to speak it’s immune indigenous mishandling. 

If jerky has actually not been correctly dehydrated or packaged, it can lead to concerns such together mold and going rancid. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to phone call if a bag that beef jerky is still good and as soon as it’s gone bad.

How to tell if beef jerky is quiet good?

There are four easy steps to determine if beef jerky is still safe to eat.

Check for the best-by date.Check for any damage in the packaging.Inspect the jerky.Consult a professional.

It’s necessary to usage all her senses—sight, smell, and touch—when assessing a bag of jerky. Your eyes and also nose will certainly be your ideal guide. Usual sense is the name of the game.

When in doubt, don"t be afraid to contact our customer service team who is always happy come help. Doesn"t issue if it"s ours jerky or who else"s!

1. Examine for the best-by date.


All beef jerky do in the USA must have actually a best-by date printed on the package. It’s usually located close to the bottom seal of the bag. This is a good place to begin to determine if beef jerky is still at top freshness. Remember, just because jerky is previous the best-by day does not median it’s unsafe come eat.

2. Examine for any rips or feet in the packaging.


If the package has actually been compromised in any kind of way—rips, tears, pinholes, an untrue seal—it have the right to be one indicator that oxygen and moisture has gotten in the bag, potentially bring about issues. It’s no a guarantee that the jerky has actually spoiled, yet it’s a warning flag to note.

3. Examine the jerky.


Here’s where your senses come into play.

How does that look? notification the color. Pay attention to any imperfections. Go it have actually white spots? What around the smell? it should have a clean, savory meat aroma. Exactly how does it feel? It must be firm and pliable but not too soft or mushy.

There are two clear signs that the jerky has spoiled and also is no safe to eat—mold and also rancidity.

Does the jerky have signs of mold? The clear indicators of mold space furry, powdery, or fuzzy foreign substances that space white, green, or grey in color. Mold generally has a spider-web pattern. If it looks favor cobwebs, the mold. There’s a possibility the white material could be fat or salt surfacing. Not sure what the white stuff on her jerky is? read our overview for identifying mold on beef jerky.

Does the jerky smell? In rarely occasions, as soon as there is slightly an ext fat in beef jerky, it deserve to lead come the fat going rancid. The telltale authorize that beef jerky has actually gone rancid is the smell. It will regularly have a spoiled, off smell. 

If you encounter beef jerky that has actually either mold or shows indicators of rancidity, discard and also do no eat.

4. Above a professional.


If the beef jerky passes these three steps and also shows no indicators of mold or rancidity, it need to be for sure to eat. As always, however, if friend have any concerns or doubts, top a professional.

You can call our customer company team with any questions.

Why does beef jerky critical so long?


The magic that beef jerky lies in the dehydration process. 

By removing every one of the moisture, beef jerky is a shelf-stable product. It can be stored without refrigeration. Combine the lack of moisture through air-sealed packaging and you have a cooking recipes for long-term shelf life. Yes sir a reason that beef jerky machines stamp their product with a best-by date and not one expiration date. When jerky is appropriately made, packaged, and also stored, it does no expire.

How to store beef jerky to prolong the shelf life?


There are six key steps to maintaining your beef jerky together fresh as feasible for as lengthy as possible.

Maintain a stable temperature.Avoid any type of moisture.Keep the end of the sun.Keep in the original packaging.Freeze only if girlfriend must.Buy from the best.

These measures will assist you preserve your jerky in optimal condition.

1. Store it cool, but not cold.

Beef jerky does finest in ambient, room temperatures—not too hot, not also cold. Friend could contact it the goldilocks that snacks. The earlier of the pantry or in a cupboard are good locations. Keep it away from the cooktop or various other appliances.

2. The drier the better.

Even though beef jerky is fully packaged and sealed, there is quiet a microtransfer that oxygen with the barrier. It’s essential to store the jerky in a dry location as well. Areas with solid humidity can cause the bag come sweat, which have the right to lead to issues. 

3. Sunlight is her enemy.

Keep her jerky far from the sunlight or bright light. Sun have the right to accelerate the deterioration process.

4. Minimize the exposure come oxygen.

The best means to store beef jerky is in its initial packaging.

5. If friend must, freeze it.

For also longer storage, you can freeze her beef jerky until prepared to use. We perform not recommend freeze beef jerky as it significantly diminishes the flavor, texture, and also nutritional properties. 

6. Buy native the best.

Buying indigenous trusted sources is the most vital factor. You want to start with a jerky that you have the right to trust. 

How long does beef jerky last once opened?


Depending ~ above the style of beef jerky, moist versus dry, the jerky will certainly either critical up to 3 days as soon as opened without refrigeration OR unlimited if it is a drier style jerky.

There space two important components that add to the long shelf life that beef jerky. Moisture and oxygen. By remove the humidity in the jerky (through the drying process) and also reducing the exposure come oxygen (by packaging in a sealed package), beef jerky deserve to last for a long time.

Once a package is opened, however, you present beef jerky come both moisture and also oxygen. That’s why it’s vital to reseal any type of remaining jerky in one airtight container to minimize the exposure to moisture and air. As lengthy as you deserve to seal beef jerky in an airtight plastic bag or container and also keep that in a cool, dried place, it have to last indefinitely.

Is beef jerky an excellent for survival?

Beef jerky is great for survive needs due to the fact that it does no spoil, lasts because that a lengthy time, offers great nutritional value, and also does not require any kind of cooking. A serious emergency survival kit should attribute beef jerky. It"s a high protein snack you can count on as soon as you require it.

How lengthy does homemade beef jerky last? 

Homemade jerky will certainly last from 1 come 2 months.

Homemade jerky walk not store as lengthy as commercial jerky because the the handling techniques. Advertisement jerky must accomplish rigorous cooking and drying standards, as well as packaging. Homemade jerky is perfectly for sure to make and also eat, but it won’t last as long as advertisement jerky.

Bottom Line


Beef jerky has actually been a go-to snack because that centuries. It’s beloved by pioneers and also backpackers alike. The secret is the shelf life. It will certainly last because that a lengthy time.

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It’s vital to buy native a trusted source. We have been handcrafting beef jerky for over 90 years and also four generations. You could say we know a thing or two around jerky.