Can you get sick from eating expired jello?

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

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

Can you get sick from eating expired jello?

When it comes to jello, you do not necessarily get sick from using expired jello provided that it is stored properly and there are no signs of spoilage associated with it.

No doubt that the expired jello would face some textural changes but eating such jello won’t make you sick.

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

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the package of jello refers to the quality rather than safety so the jello doesn’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 jello but you can still use jello that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

Therefore, you should do a sensory evaluation to reach a final verdict on whether or not jello is still suitable to consume.

There are a couple of indications that point out that your jello has gone bad. You should consider the appearance and texture of jello to give a final verdict about whether or not jello has gone bad.

Appearance

If you see some mold or some yeast growth on your jello (this can only happen if water somehow found its way to your stored jello and stayed there for quite some time) then the best thing you can do is to get rid of it because it is an indication that your jello has gone bad.

If you notice that the gelatin present in the formulation of jello has lost some of its potency (it is not turning the water in gel properly), then it is the indication that it is past its prime time and it is better to buy yourself a new packet of jello.

Texture

In the case of the prepared jello, it begins to become rubbery with time, so if your prepared jello has turned rubbery, it is totally up to you whether you want to eat it or if you discard it.

Thus, you should consider the points mentioned above while deciding whether or not your jello is still suitable to use.

When it comes to the dry jello gelatin mix then it lasts for about a month or more past the “best by” date written on the package, if it is stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

On the other hand, in the case of the store-bought jello dessert, it lasts for about 3-5 days past the “use by” date written on it, if it is stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have already prepared the jello, then it lasts for about 2-3 days when stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is worth mentioning that these are the estimated shelf lives of the jello and it is the time during which you can enjoy its peak quality. Jello can last for even longer than this provided that it is stored properly.

Tips to properly store jello

  1. Moisture is an enemy of the freshness and quality of the jello therefore jello should be kept in air-tight containers or air-tight jars to reduce its exposure to air
  1. You can store an unopened pack of powdered jello in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. You can store it in the cool and dry corner of your pantry.
  1. Make sure that you are not storing dry powdered jello in a humid environment because if humidity somehow finds its way to your powdered jello, it can mess up the texture and quality of your jello.
  1. Once you have opened the packet of powdered jello, it is recommended to transfer the remaining powdered jello to an air-tight container to minimize its air and moisture exposure.
  1. Do not unnecessarily open the lid of the jello jar or container and seal it again as soon as possible after scooping out the jello that you need.
  1. You should never use a wet spoon to scoop out the powdered jello.
  1. Always use a dry clean spoon to scoop out jello from its container.
  1. In the case of ready-to-eat gelatin snacks, it is recommended to keep them refrigerated at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Once you have prepared the jello, it is recommended to always keep it refrigerated at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. If you have a strong-smelling food item present in your fridge like garlic, onion, fish, etc. then it is recommended to store your prepared jello in an air-tight container so that it won’t pick up the strong smell of other foods.
  1. It is not recommended to freeze jello as freezing the jello can mess up its texture and quality and you will notice a significant texture change once the frozen jello is thawed.

You can read how to make jello pudding here.

Conclusion

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

Citations

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-jello-go-bad/
https://www.bigroom.org/wordpress/?p=63

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.