Do dates expire?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “do dates expire” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not dates expire. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of dates in different mediums, ways to spot bad dates, and the proper way to store dates.

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

Do dates expire?

So like every other food item dates also go bad or in other words expire after a certain time. but the good news is that dates have a very long shelf life and they last for a very long time, therefore you do not have to worry much about your dates going bad.

Moreover, if you eat a date that has gone past its prime age then it won’t cause any health implications (as long as it was not moldy) but you will feel a slight change in the taste of such a date. 

How long do dates last?

Dates last for about 1-3 months when they are stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Thus, you can store your dates easily in a cool and dry corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat. It is worth mentioning that you should store your dates in a well-ventilated place. Moreover, you should never store your dates in a humid place, or else the excessive moisture content will mess up the quality and freshness of dates.

On the other hand, dates last for about 6-12 months when stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Moreover, you should always remember that soft dates have a shorter shelf life as compared to the dried dates that have a longer shelf life and can stay good for a long time when stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of dates and dates can even last for more than this, provided that they were stored properly.

You can read about the benefits of dates here.

Can I freeze dates?

Yes, you can freeze dates easily and freezing will prolong the shelf life of dates owing to the cold temperature that will halt any bacterial or microbial growth on them. Thus, you can store your dates in a plastic freezer bag in the freezer and they will have their freshness and flavor preserved for a long time there.

How to tell if dates have gone bad?

There are a couple of indications that point out that your dates have gone bad. You should consider the appearance, color, and taste of dates to give a final verdict about whether or not your dates have gone bad.

It is worth mentioning that if you see sugar specks or some white film or powder on the surface of your dates, then you don’t need to worry as you can get rid of it by simply microwaving the dates in a resealable bag with some water added or you can simply put them it in the sun for some time. 

Appearance

If you spot a mold or some organic growth on your dates, then the best thing you can do in this scenario is to get rid of dates. If you consume such a date, it can cause many foodborne illnesses including food poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes even fever. Moreover, molds can also produce mycotoxins on a date that has gone bad and if you consume or even inhale these mycotoxins they can disturb your gut flora and can weaken your immune system.

Moreover, if you spot some uninvited guests like bugs in your dates (indications are small brown specks on the surface of dates), then it is better to discard such dates.

Color

If the color of dates has darkened then it is the indication that your date is past its prime age but that does not mean that it has gone bad.

Smell

Fresh dates generally have a mild aroma associated with them but if you feel a strong, unpleasant, or rotten smell while taking a sniff test then it is the indication of a bad date.

How to properly store dates?

  1. You can store your dates in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.
  2. To prolong the shelf life of dates they can be stored in a plastic zipper bag in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. If you want to preserve the freshness of dates for quite a long time then you can freeze them in a plastic freezer bag.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “do dates expire” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not dates expire. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of dates in different mediums, ways to spot bad dates, and the proper way to store dates.

Citations

https://www.thekitchn.com/3-signs-its-time-to-toss-your-dates-244017

https://www.doesitgobad.com/do-dates-go-bad/#:~:text=First%20and%20foremost%2C%20the%20dates,longer%20storage%2C%20freeze%20the%20fruits.

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

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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.

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