Do beans go bad

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “do beans go bad?” We will also discuss what is the shelf life of beans and how you can preserve them better.

Do beans go bad?

Yes, beans do go bad. Beans can be found in different ways and their shelf lives also vary depending on the type of beans we are talking about. Fortunately, you can easily spot when this ingredient has spoiled.

If you attend to the several guidelines that dictate how beans need to be stored, the shelf life can be drastically enlarged. Stick around if you want to find out how long beans last and how to tell when they have gone bad.

How long do beans last?

This economical and versatile ingredient can provide you with different nutrients while also being delicious. Beans can be found in different presentations, and all of their shelf lives will exhibit different lengths.

Beans can be found as

  • Canned beans. Can be stored in the pantry for up to a year.
  • Dried beans. If properly stored, the shelf life of dried beans is indefinite. 
  • Fresh Green beans. This type of bean can also be stored in the fridge and freezer. In the pantry they last for up to 2 days; in the fridge for about 10 days; and to freeze them, they need to be cooked first.
  • Lentils. Just like dried beans, when stored properly, their shelf life can be indefinite.
  • Cooked beans. They forcefully need to be stored in the fridge, where they can last for up to 5 days.
  • Bean sprouts. Bean sprouts can be kept in the fridge or the pantry, however, their shelf life is short. At room temperature, they last 1 day, and in the fridge, they can last about 4 days.
  • Hummus. Beans can be used to prepare hummus, perfect for when you are in a rush. It needs to be kept under constant refrigeration, its shelf life is up to 4 to 5 days.

How to store beans?

The periods described above are only estimates, if proper storage guidelines are not attended to, they can spoil faster. Depending on the type of beans you have bought, the recommendations for their storage will vary

  • For dried and canned beans, the pantry is the best place to store them. However, they need to be placed in a cool, dark place, and at a temperature under 75°F.
  • Fresh beans should be refrigerated. Whenever we talk about fresh ingredients, they need to be kept in the fridge inside an airtight container. They can also be placed in the freezer.
  • Cooked beans cannot be left unrefrigerated. Cooked beans need to be placed inside an airtight container inside the refrigerator, only like this, they will be protected from agents responsible for spoilage.
  • After opening, canned beans should be stored in an airtight container. The leftover canned beans should not be stored half-open in the fridge, use a sealable container instead.
  • Freezing beans can also work. However, they need to be stored inside a freezer-appropriate container.

What signs let you know when beans have gone bad?

Your senses are all you need to spot when beans have gone bad. The signs that will let you know when your beans are no longer suitable for your consumption are

  • Presence of pantry bugs. For dried beans, when they exhibit the presence of any type of pantry bugs, it means they have gone bad and should be discarded.
  • Off smell. If you notice a rancid or sour smell, it is better to throw them away. Avoid eating beans with an off smell.
  • Mold growth. For dried beans, mold rarely grows in the container, but it is not impossible. For fresh and cooked beans, it is more common to happen.
  • Changes in texture.  When dried beans have gone bad, they can look discolored or shriveled. These pieces should be discarded.

Do dried beans ever go bad?

Dried beans are known for their large shelf life, it is said that it might even be indefinite when proper storage is met. The guidelines for storing dried beans are

  • Storing them in a cool, dark, and dry place.
  • Place them in an airtight container to avoid the presence of pantry insects or humidity.

But why do dried beans last that much? Well, they have been submitted to a drying process, when most of their textures were removed. So, if moisture is a factor that causes spoilage, when completely dried, they will last much longer. It is the same thing for dry lentils.

If you want to read more about beans, you can click here.

Other FAQs about Beans that you may be interested in.

Do dried beans expire

Why are beans bad for you?

How to store dried beans


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “do beans go bad?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.