Do Raisins Go Bad?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Do raisins go bad?” We will also talk about different methods to store and handle raisins. 

Do Raisins Go Bad?

Yes, raisins do go bad despite being dried fruit. Raisins have a long shelf life but you can not store them forever. They degrade in quality on storing beyond their shelf life and if handled improperly.  

Raisins are made from grapes that have been dried about 60% of their water content [1]. Due to this moisture reduction, sugars are also concentrated in the final product. In addition, raisins have low pH (4.0). 

All of these characteristics make it hard for microorganisms to grow because most of them cannot multiply in such a hostile environment [2].

However, if stored in high-humidity surroundings, raisins can absorb moisture, which can encourage the growth of microorganisms, such as fungi and bacteria [2].    

On the other hand, in low-humidity environments, raisins can lose water to their surrounding, decreasing their moisture content by half as shown in research [3]. 

That´s why when you get that old raisins they may seem dry and tough. Therefore, storing raisins properly is essential to keep their quality over the whole shelf life.

How Long Do Raisins Last?

Unopened, the shelf life of raisins is about 1 year, provided that they are stored properly. After being opened, the shelf life of raisins depends on the storage conditions. 

If they are left in direct contact with ambient conditions, for example, unwrapped, it is possible that it loses quality faster due to moisture loss or moisture gain. 

Opened and well-handled, the shelf life of raisins is of 6 months if kept in the pantry or up to 1 year in the refrigerator [4].

 What Are The Signs Of Expired Raisins?

You can tell the raisins have gone bad by following the below points

– Smelling the raisins: off-odors and off-flavors in raisins may be the result of microorganisms development, such as yeasts adapted to low-moisture and high-sugar food products that produce fermentation. 

– Mold: due to the characteristics of raisins (high sugar, low moisture and pH), molds are the most likely type of microorganisms developing in raisins. 

However, they will multiply as a result of an increase in the moisture value, such as when the raisins are stored incorrectly.

Molds are perceived as bluish-green spots on the surface of raisins, sometimes with a cotton-like appearance. Moldy products are preferentially discarded because certain species of mold can produce toxic compounds.

– Hardness: sometimes you can feel your raisins hard to chew. It simply means that they were dehydrated. They are still safe, but not to their finest taste. 

How To Store Raisins? 

Raisins should be stored in a dry, cool, dark place, in an airtight container, particularly after opening, when it is recommended to store them in tightly sealed flasks to keep freshness [4]. 

Your pantry or a kitchen cabinet are good places for it.

You can also store raisins in the refrigerator to prolong their freshness, as long as you keep them in airtight conditions to control moisture exchange [4]. 

Freezing is also an alternative. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, raisins can be stored in the freezer for 1 month [4]. 

To keep raisins from forming huge clusters, put them evenly on a baking sheet in a single layer. These products may prevent them from forming a cluster and make them simpler to utilize. 

Transfer the frozen raisins to an airtight container, then freeze the tray for one hour. Another reason is that if you’re planning to cook or bake with them, you don’t have to defrost the raisins.

In case you need to thaw them, do it by moving the frozen raisins from the freezer to the refrigerator overnight or until you notice it is defrosted. 


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Do raisins go bad?” We also talked about different methods to store and handle raisins. 



2. Alp D, Bulantekin Ö. The microbiological quality of various foods dried by applying different drying methods: a review. Eur Food Res Technol. 2021;247(6):1333-1343.