Can you get sick from eating expired garlic?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired garlic” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired garlic. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of garlic.

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

Can you get sick from eating expired garlic?

When it comes to expired or bad garlic, this low acid vegetable can contain the inactive spores formed by Clostridium Botulinum who is chiefly responsible for botulism that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dizziness. 

Moreover, as it affects the nerves connected to the eyes, mouth, face, and throat, therefore it can also result in difficulty in breathing, swallowing, and double vision. It can even lead to hospitalization and severe deleterious health implications if not treated on time, so you should immediately seek medical help.

In certain conditions, these inactive spores can become active. The factors that play an important role in the activation of toxic spores are lack of oxygen, high moisture, and warm temperature (higher than 50 degrees Fahrenheit).

Certain indicators point out bad garlic. You should consider the appearance, color, smell, and texture of the garlic to reach a final verdict whether or not it has gone bad.

Appearance 

If you see some dark-colored patches or spots on your garlic then they are the signs of rot or microbes growth on your garlic and that pretty much means that your garlic has gone bad and the best thing you can do is to get rid of it.

If you see some green sprouts on the surface of your garlic it indicates that the garlic has started to lose its flavor and it won’t taste the same if you consume such garlic. 

Moreover, if you spot molds (white fuzz or dark spots) on your garlic then it means that it has gone bad and you should discard it.

Texture 

A fresh clove of garlic should be firm and solid in its texture. So, you can touch the garlic to see if it has gone bad or not. If you feel something soft or slimy then the garlic surely has gone bad.

Color 

The healthy and fresh clove of garlic is white with a hint of yellow so a different color specifically having a brownish tinge or a more yellowish touch to it points towards the fact that the garlic has gone bad.

Smell

With time the smell of the garlic begins to fade so if you notice that the aroma of the garlic has become weakened then it means that it is past its prime time.

Moreover, if you smell something funny or foul while taking a sniff test of your garlic then it means that your garlic has gone bad and it is better to discard it.

What is the shelf life of garlic?

Whole garlic

Fresh whole garlic lasts for about 3 to 6 months if it is stored properly in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Therefore you can store fresh whole unpeeled garlic in a cool and dry corner of the pantry.

It is worth mentioning that you should never store the fresh whole unpeeled garlic in a humid environment as the high moisture content can ruin the quality and freshness of garlic. Moreover, if garlic is stored in a humid environment for too long then mold or other organic growth can spread on it, thereby spoiling it.

While talking about whether or not you can store garlic in the fridge, then it is worth mentioning that as the moisture content of the fridge is high and as long as the garlic is unpeeled, its peel saves it from drying out, therefore the unpeeled garlic does not need to be refrigerated. 

It can stay fresh for a long time on a corner of your kitchen counter away from direct sunlight or a dry corner of your pantry or kitchen cabinet. 

Clove of garlic

An unpeeled clove of garlic lasts for about 1-3 weeks if it is stored in a cool, dry, dark, and well-ventilated place away from direct sunlight and heat. Thereby it can be kept in a cool and dry corner of your pantry.

Peeled garlic

When you peel a clove of garlic it significantly decreases its shelf life as there is no longer the covering present that saves the garlic from environmental conditions. 

A peeled clove of garlic lasts for about a week if it is properly stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Chopped garlic

When it comes to chopped peeled garlic, not only is it devoid of its peel, but it also has a larger surface area owing to its small size. 

Therefore chopped peeled garlic lasts for about 1-2 days if it is stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It will start to lose its flavor and aroma afterward.

It is worth mentioning that the figures mentioned above are the estimated shelf life of the garlic and is the time during which you can enjoy the best quality of the garlic provided that it is stored properly.

You can read how to make garlic bread here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating expired garlic” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired garlic. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of garlic.

Citations

https://www.streetsmartkitchen.com/how-long-does-garlic-last/#:~:text=Consuming%20bad%20garlic%20can%20cause,these%20spores%20may%20become%20active.

https://www.livestrong.com/article/458280-food-poisoning-from-garlic/

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-garlic-go-bad/

https://www.kitchensanity.com/food/does-garlic-go-bad/

https://www.canitgobad.net/can-garlic-go-bad/

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/how-long-does-garlic-last

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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.

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