When Does Beef Jerky Go Bad?

When does beef jerky go bad

Beef Jerky is trimmed, dried, salted, and seasoned meat strips. Although this tasty, nutrient-dense, high-protein snack has a long shelf life, it is not immune to spoilage. If not stored properly, it starts degrading and gradually loses its freshness in taste and texture. The good news, however, is that it is pretty straightforward to tell if and when a bag of beef jerky has gone bad.


How Long does it take for Beef Jerky to go bad?

A lot goes into preparing the beef jerky, from trimming to dehydration to seasoning and further grilling. One important reason for the process is to increase the shelf life of beef jerky. The longevity factor is what makes the beef jerky snack an absolute favorite.

Commercially made beef jerky is known to last longer than homemade ones. Often as a result of the equipment used and the packaging. There is always a best-before date and an expiration date attached to any jerky beef package.

However, your favorite beef jerky snack can go bad within a short time of wrong handling. When opened and not stored properly, beef jerky loses texture and then goes bad. It can also go bad easily when not properly dehydrated. The good thing is that beef jerky does not spoil like other perishable consumables. A commercial beef jerky goes bad within two to four weeks without refrigeration.


How to tell if beef jerky has gone bad?

It is fundamental to identify a bad beef jerky or one in the process of going bad. Consuming bad beef jerky could lead to food poisoning with symptoms like vomiting, etcetera or something worse. Here are ways to tell if beef jerky has gone bad or is going bad.

1 When you notice white or black spots or a patch of hair on any part of the beef jerky.

2. When the beef jerky becomes unnecessarily harder than usual.

3. When the beef jerky is soft with a lot of moisture.

4. Any discoloration and visible signs of mold.

5. When your beef jerky smells bad.


What can cause the Beef Jerky to go bad?

A lot of process and effort ensures the beef jerky gets a long shelf life. However, certain factors can cause your favorite beef jerky snack to go bad.


1. Moisture

The primary process when making beef jerky is dehydration. So, having moisture gain contact with an already made jerky can cause it to go bad. It is safe to say that the absence of moisture before and after is good for your beef jerky.


2. Heat

Heat limits the shelf life of beef jerky. Too much heat breaks down the meat, causing it to degenerate quickly. So the best bet is to keep your beef jerky refrigerated and in a tight container. As a traditional saying goes, "the colder, the better".


3. No proper packaging

The damage is inevitable when the beef jerky packaging is not done correctly. A punctured pack allows for heat or moisture. The same results from a twisted, squeezed or roughly handled package.


4. Oxygen

Exposing the beef jerky to oxygen reduces the shelf life. To maintain its freshness, oxygen and atmospheric temperature must be avoided.


How to Prevent Beef Jerky from going bad

Identifying the significant causes of spoilage is the first point to keeping your beef jerky in good condition. The shelf life's longevity depends on how well you preserve the beef jerky. There are several ways to prevent beef jerky from going bad.


1. Always go for Quality and top-tier Beef Jerky

Quality jerky equals minimal preservation stress. Going for quality is the first way to prevent your beef jerky from going bad. Regardless of the kind, either commercial or homemade. Ensure that the beef jerky is made from very lean meats and seasoned with the best spices. Attention should also be paid to the drying or grilling process.


2. Airtight packaging

Airtight packaging increases the shelf life of a jerky. Packaging goes a long way in preventing it from going bad. The package must prevent moisture and oxygen from gaining entrance.


3. The freezing option

Freezing is another preservative method. However, precautions must be taken when freezing the beef jerky. Examples include using aluminum foils and insulated packs as well as freezing only cooled own beef jerky.


A Holy Jerky is a Healthy Jerky

At Holy Jerky, we prepare the tastiest beef jerky with your health as a priority. All variations of our jerky are naturally prepared and preserved. Our beef jerky has no artificial sweeteners or preservatives and is easy to store and preserve. So, our beef jerky is generally healthy for consumption.



Knowing how to tell if beef jerky has gone bad for a consumer is a brilliant idea. It is simply careful and health conscious. If you store beef jerky properly, your favorite high-protein snack can serve you for an extended period.

Older Post Newer Post