In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can kimchi go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not kimchi goes bad. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of kimchi, ways to spot bad kimchi, and the proper way to store kimchi.
So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.
Can kimchi go bad?
No doubt that kimchi is a fermented food item and has a long shelf life but like all other food items it goes bad after a certain time and begins to develop off-flavors and off-texture or even you can spot a mold on it if you have not stored your kimchi properly.
How long does kimchi last?
When it comes to the pasteurized kimchi it has a longer shelf life than its unpasteurized counterpart. Pasteurized unopened kimchi lasts for about 3 -6 months if it is stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry, away from direct sunlight and heat.
On the other hand, once you open the pack of your kimchi then the clock starts ticking. Thus, the opened kimchi lasts for about 1 to 3 months if it is stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, if you store your opened pasteurized kimchi at room temperature then it only lasts for about a week in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry.
While talking about the unpasteurized kimchi, then it lasts for about 1 month in the fridge but sometimes it may even last for more than this.
It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of the kimchi and it is the time during which you can enjoy its peak quality. Kimchi can even last for more than this, provided that they are stored properly.
You can read how to make kimchi at home here.
Is kimchi safe to use after the best-before date?
The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the bottle of kimchi refers to the quality rather than safety so kimchi doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. It is the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of kimchi but you can still use kimchi that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.
How to tell if kimchi has gone bad?
So when it comes to kimchi, if you spot a mold in your kimchi bottle (that can be seen only if some of the vegetables were not completely submerged in the brine) then it is recommended to discard such kimchi as it is an indication of bad kimchi. If you consume such kimchi, it can cause many foodborne illnesses including food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes even fever.
Moreover, if you spot a mold in your bottle of kimchi then you should refrain from smelling it, as the mold could have produced the mycotoxins in it and if you even inhale these mycotoxins they can mess up your gut flora and can weaken your immune system.
It is worth mentioning that the process of fermentation is still going on in the kimchi owing to which kimchi becomes sour with time, so if kimchi becomes too sour for you to eat then you can get rid of it but that depends upon your personal taste preference.
Moreover, if your kimchi smells too sour or even alcoholic then it is better to discard it.
With time the cabbage used in kimchi will lose its crunch and will become mushy and limp but that does not mean that kimchi has gone bad and it is still up to you whether or not you want to eat such kimchi. But we recommend you to buy yourself new kimchi or make fresh kimchi for yourself rather than eating this mushy kimchi.
How to properly store kimchi?
- When it comes to the pasteurized unopened kimchi you can easily store it in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.
- But once you open the jar of your kimchi then it is recommended to store it with its lid tightly closed in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In the case of the unpasteurized kimchi, it is recommended to store it in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “can kimchi go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not kimchi goes bad. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of kimchi, ways to spot bad kimchi, and the proper way to store kimchi.