Can you eat 2-year-old Christmas pudding? (1 Unique Example)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you eat 2-year-old Christmas pudding? We will discuss if you can eat a 2-year-old Christmas pudding and the factors that make Christmas pudding have a long shelf-life and some potential health risks.

Can you eat 2-year-old Christmas pudding?

You can eat 2-year-old Christmas pudding, however, there are several reasons not to do so. You do not want to risk falling ill by eating 2-year-old Christmas pudding. Before you eat your 2-year-old Christmas pudding, check if it is safe and does not have any off-odor, unusual texture, or creatures such as maggots. 

People do eat Christmas pudding that is past its expiration date, as Christmas pudding is not susceptible to spoilage. 

Christmas pudding counts as a low moisture food with a long shelf-life. The moisture that you observe in a Christmas pudding is due to fat while the water molecules are bound to sugar.

 You do not need to worry about Christmas pudding spoiling sooner than it should. In fact, Christmas pudding has been known to last longer than its best-before date. 

On the other hand, you cannot be absolutely sure if your 2-year-old Christmas pudding is safe to eat. 2-year-old Christmas pudding can possibly be edible but you do not want to risk your health for it. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a sensitive stomach, then you should only eat food that is safe. 

If you did not open your pack of Christmas pudding, then your Christmas pudding is possibly safe. A package that is sealed ensures that microorganisms do not enter. If food such as your Christmas pudding is in its aseptic packaging from the manufacturer, then there is a high chance that your 2-year-old Christmas pudding is still fresh. 

Why does 2-year-old Christmas pudding stay edible?

The answer to the life of any food lies in its ingredients. Some foods have preservatives to make food last longer but other times the ingredients act as preservatives and give your food a longer shelf-life.

Christmas pudding is a low moisture food. The moisture is taken up by sugar, making none of it available for bacteria.

In Christmas pudding, the ingredients that act as preservatives are sugar and alcohol. Sugar and alcohol are natural preservatives. Sugar and alcohol are both dominant ingredients in Christmas pudding. A sweet dish is not complete without being loaded with sugar while the traditional Christmas pudding calls that it be drenched with brandy. 

However, the expiration date on the package is for a reason and should be adhered to. Even though it is a common practice among chefs and food experts to eat old Christmas pudding , it is best to be safe. If you suspect something is wrong, do not eat it. 

How do sugar and alcohol protect your Christmas pudding?

Sugar keeps moisture and bacterial activity at bay. Sugar reduces the water activity of the substance it is dissolved in. 

As sugar binds water to itself, there is none left for bacteria to enter and multiply. Hence, food that is heavily sweetened will take a long time to spoil. 

Sugar is why desserts and sweet food take a long time to spoil and do not need to be refrigerated. 

The other ingredient is alcohol. Alcohol is an ever-lasting chemical that does not spoil. Alcoholic beverages such as wine do not perish with age as they are immune to bacteria and contaminants. 

Alcohol is a sterilizing agent, bacteria cannot multiply where alcohol is. Hence, your Christmas pudding stays for a very long time if you put brandy in it. 

Has anyone eaten a Christmas pudding that is half a decade old?

In 2017, 48-year-old Christmas pudding was discovered. The article published in the Nottingham post stated that the dry pudding was tested in the lab for safety and then tasted as well.

The scientists at the University of Nottingham tested the Christmas pudding for Salmonella and E coil that turned out negative for both the food-borne bacteria. In addition, there was no yeast or mold observed in the Christmas pudding.

Moreover, people who tasted the 48-year-old Christmas pudding described it as more delicious than freshly-baked Christmas pudding. 

Christmas pudding was sterilized by boiling for several hours before it was tasted by the scientists. A long cooking time means that the Christmas pudding was made safe as most of the bacteria are killed during the heating process. 

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you eat 2-year-old Christmas pudding? We discussed if you can eat a 2-year-old Christmas pudding and the factors that make Christmas pudding have a long shelf-life and some potential health risks.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.