Do Raisins Go Bad? Here’s What You Need to Know About the Shelf-life of This Versatile Dried Fruit
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Not only are raisins a healthy snack we can put away by the handful, but we also love adding them to baked goods, salads and even pasta recipes. Yep, raisins are quite a versatile dried fruit, which is why it doesn’t seem unreasonable to buy them in bulk. But that box of shriveled grapes has been sitting in the back of the pantry for a while and now you’re wondering, do raisins go bad? Read on to find out how long you can keep these sweet gems hanging around, plus the best way to store them.

Do raisins go bad?

Yes and no. Raisins are unlikely to spoil because (like most dried fruits) they have quite a long shelf-life, which proper storage methods can extend even further. That said, any food item can go bad under the right (or wrong, as it were) conditions, so definitely steer clear of raisins that smell weird or show visible signs of mold. The main issue, however, is that the quality of raisins does decline over time, and the fruits are liable to dry out as well. So how long do raisins actually last? Unopened raisins stay fresh for up to three months after the printed “best by” date, if not longer. (Fun fact: ‘Best by’ dates are actually just an arbitrary measure of quality assigned by the manufacturer and not an indicator of food safety.) Opened packages of raisins, on the other hand, can be enjoyed for up to six months after you first break the seal. 

What happens if you eat expired raisins?

Provided the raisins in question have not been exposed to too much moisture and started growing mold, it is unlikely that anything will happen from eating slightly expired raisins. As previously mentioned, raisins are reliably good to eat for months past the date on the package and are unlikely to spoil. In all likelihood, the worst thing that will happen to you by eating expired, non-moldy raisins is that your jaw will get sore from trying to chew fruit that is unpleasantly dry and tough. 

How to properly store raisins

Unopened raisins do best when stored in a cool, dark place like the pantry. Once opened, raisins can remain in the pantry, but should be tightly sealed in a plastic bag or airtight container to prevent them from drying out. According to the shelf-life experts at StillTasty, refrigeration is also an option for opened packages of raisins and can extend their shelf-life to 12 months. The fridge is also the best place to keep raisins if you live in a hot and humid climate, as it will help prevent mold from developing on the dried fruit. Finally, if you have more raisins than you can reasonably consume in six months, you can store them in an airtight container in the freezer where they will stay tasty for up to 18 months and safe to eat indefinitely.

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