Can you get sick from eating expired almonds?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired almonds” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired almonds. Moreover, we are going to discuss tips to properly store almonds.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating expired almonds?

When it comes to rancid or expired almonds, no doubt that they will have off-smell and off-flavors but eating expired almonds won’t necessarily make you sick.

Short-term usage of rancid almonds won’t cause any significant health issues but if you consume rancid almonds over a long time then it can increase the number of free radicals in the body that can in turn damage the cells of the body, proteins, and DNA. Moreover, long term usage of rancid almonds can also result in gastrointestinal problems

Almonds have high-fat content and with time the fat present in the almonds can go rancid. Moreover, under the influence of light, heat, and oxygen, the fats present in the almonds get broken down and the products that are formed often smell and taste bad.

It is worth mentioning that it is the “best by” or “ best before” date that is written on the package of almonds instead of the expiration date. 

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the can of almonds refers to the quality rather than safety so the almonds don’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date.

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality of almonds but you can still use almonds that are past this date as long as they were stored properly.

Therefore you should do the sensory evaluation of the almonds to reach a final verdict if they are still suitable to consume or not.

Certain indicators point out bad almonds. So you can tell whether or not your almonds have gone bad by considering their appearance, color, texture, smell, and taste.

Appearance

If you spot a mold or organic growth on your almonds then the best thing you can do is to toss out such almonds. It is worth mentioning that molds can grow on the almonds that are improperly stored in a warm and humid environment for too long.

Moreover, if you see the mold, it is recommended never to smell the almonds as molds can produce mycotoxins in them and if you smell such almonds the mycotoxins can enter your body via inhalation where they can disrupt your natural microflora and can weaken your immune system.

Smell

The absence of the characteristic nutty aroma or the presence of rancid smell is the indication that almonds have gone rancid.

Texture

If you notice that your almonds have become brittle, or they are wrinkled or shriveled then it is the indication that they are past their prime age.

Color

If you notice that the color of your almonds has darkened or if you spot dark specks on your almonds then it means that your almonds are past their prime time and it is better to toss them out.

Taste

Last but not least, if the almonds pass the visual and sniff test, you can go ahead and taste your almonds, and if they taste bitter then it is an indication of bad almonds.

Thus, you should consider the points mentioned above while deciding whether or not your almonds are still suitable to consume.

Raw almonds last for about 1-2 years or more when stored properly in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag in the fridge ( 9-12 months past the date printed on the packet if stored in the pantry). It is worth mentioning that refrigeration is the best way to store almonds. 

On the other hand, when it comes to commercially processed almond snacks, unopened almond snacks last for about 2-4 weeks past the printed date on them when stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

While once opened, almond sacks last for about 2 weeks when stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat while they last for about 4 weeks when stored properly in the fridge.

It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of almonds and almonds can last even longer than this provided that they are stored properly.

Tips to properly store almonds

  1. Moisture is an enemy of the freshness and flavor of the almonds therefore almonds should be kept in air-tight containers or air-tight jars to reduce their exposure to air.
  1. If you want to store almonds in the refrigerator, then it is recommended to keep them in vacuum-sealed containers.
  1. Do not unnecessarily open the lid of the almond jar or container and seal it again as soon as possible after scooping out the almonds that you need.
  1. You can also keep your almonds in the freezer if stored properly in a plastic freezer bag or if you have stored them after vacuum sealing them.
  1. Moreover, if you are planning to store your almonds in the freezer then it is better to remove their shell before storing them in plastic freezer bags. 

You can read how to make almond bars here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating expired almonds” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired almonds. Moreover, we discussed tips to properly store almonds.

Citations

https://www.doesitgobad.com/do-almonds-go-bad/
https://www.verywellfit.com/how-long-will-almonds-last-in-the-pantry-or-freezer-2507120#:~:text=Rancid%20oil%20makes%20the%20stale,time%20to%20throw%20them%20out.
https://www.verywellfit.com/how-long-will-almonds-last-in-the-pantry-or-freezer-2507120#:~:text=Rancid%20oil%20makes%20the%20stale,time%20to%20throw%20them%20out.
https://findanyanswer.com/how-do-you-know-if-almonds-have-gone-bad
https://www.treehugger.com/how-long-are-nuts-safe-to-eat-4868780

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.