Can kimchi go bad in the fridge?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “Can kimchi go bad in the fridge?”.

Can kimchi go bad in the fridge?

Yes, kimchi can go bad in the fridge. Refrigerated kimchi should be consumed within three months. It may still be edible after that, but the fermentation process may make it too sour to enjoy.

Leaving opened kimchi out of the fridge reduces its shelf life. Once opened, kimchi will only last three days if not refrigerated.

When you open your kimchi, the quality inevitably degrades. So, once opened, store your kimchi in the fridge to extend its shelf life.

If you like your kimchi sour, you may eat it for up to six months after opening it, but be sure it hasn’t gone bad.

If kept properly, the microorganisms in your kimchi will keep it fresh for a long period.

What is the best way to store kimchi?

Kimchi is a spicy fermented cabbage from Korea. Instead of enormous earthenware vats buried in dirt, kimchi is now commonly produced in mason jars at room temperature or slightly below.

Most kimchi is unpasteurized. Because the beneficial bacteria are still active, the fermentation process continues.

So, the fridge is the ideal storage area, where fermentation is substantially slowed. The resultant kimchi will be exceedingly sour, and the jar may erupt like champagne when opened.

Remember to keep the jar securely closed while not in use. Second, just like with pickles, make sure that all of the vegetables are completely submerged in liquid to prevent them from drying out and going bad. 

If you can’t use the original jar, any airtight container should do. Assemble the liquid and immerse the vegetables.

If you have unpasteurized kimchi and it isn’t sour enough for you, you can simply improve it by letting the sealed jar rest in the sink overnight and then refrigerate. The jar’s contents should taste better in the afternoon.

If the bacteria go berserk overnight and leak some liquid, we throw the container in the sink just in case.

Pasteurized or heat-treated kimchi may be stored in the pantry or kitchen. Just keep it cold and away from sunshine and heat sources.

Heat eliminates all germs in kimchi, so it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. After opening the container, refrigerate it securely sealed.

Finally, always use clean tools to scoop vegetables from the container. While the acidic atmosphere inside certainly kills most germs, there’s little purpose in investigating whether it works.

What is the shelf life of kimchi?

Seasoned kimchi is normally placed into an airtight container and brined before fermentation. Some folks use rice or apple cider vinegar.

Sterilization prevents E. coli, Salmonella, and other germs from growing and causing food poisoning.

If you leave it out at ambient temperature for 3–4 days, or in the fridge for 2–3 weeks, it will ferment. It produces lactic acid bacteria and other helpful microorganisms.

Kimchi lasts about a week at room temperature.

It keeps for 3–6 months in the fridge and ferments, giving it a mellower flavor. Keep kimchi at or below 4°C to avoid spoiling.

When it comes to taste and texture, discarding after 3 months is a good rule of thumb. After this, it may taste different and become mushy.

However, kimchi may be eaten for up to 3 months longer if there is no mold. If you don’t want to throw it out but don’t like the sour taste, incorporate it into fried rice or stew.

How to Spot Bad Kimchi?

If preserved in an airtight container in the fridge, kimchi may be enjoyed for months. While not all kimchi recipes are created equal, determining whether your kimchi is terrible is simple.

Kimchi seems to be different

The spices and veggies used to produce Kimchi give it a vibrant hue. Your kimchi isn’t fresh if it’s bland. Likewise, kimchi with too much moisture in the jar is beyond its prime.

Of course, do not consume kimchi if it has mold on it. Similarly, any black staining means your kimchi is no longer edible.

It Smells Odd

The fermenting process gives Kimchi a pleasant scent. It has a sour fragrance that becomes stronger. So it’s entirely OK if your kimchi smells sour or vinegary.

If your kimchi smells bad, don’t eat it.

It has a distinct flavor

Kimchi has a strong sour taste over time. So, it’s normal if your kimchi tastes a little odd. If your kimchi tastes bad, don’t eat it. You won’t like it.

Also, your kimchi may grow overly fermented over time. If you take a mouthful of your kimchi and detest the sourness, don’t eat it.

The pastes and sauces used to produce non-vegan kimchi might be dangerous if they have gone bad.

The risks of eating bad kimchi?

Spoilt kimchi may cause foodborne diseases.

Mold mycotoxins may induce nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Immunocompromised people are particularly vulnerable.

In addition, rotting pickled seafood may induce botulism, paralytic shellfish poisoning, or anisakis infections. Nausea, vomiting, respiratory discomfort, intestinal obstruction, and bleeding are symptoms.

Notably, foods like cabbage and shellfish are commonly linked to food sickness. Rice and sprouts, for example, are typical causes.

If you create your own kimchi, you must always clean your components well and prepare your dish properly. If you want it prefabricated, make sure you acquire it from a reputable supplier.


In this brief article, we answered the question “Can kimchi go bad in the fridge?”.