This article will answer the question “How long can you eat spinach after the expiration date?”, and how to tell if the spinach is bad?
How long can you eat spinach after the expiration date?
Spinach usually comes with a best-by date instead of an expiry. An unopened package of spinach can be consumed for upto 7 days past the printed date.
An opened package remains safe to eat for p to 5 days past this date. Unopened canned spinach can be eaten within 2-3 years past the printed date.
Can spinach go bad?
Yes, spinach, like any other vegetable, goes bad. Extended storage reduces the rich nutritional profile of spinach. Therefore, It is best eaten while It is fresh. Read on If you want to know how to identify bad spinach and how to prevent It from going bad fast.
How to tell If the spinach is bad?
- If the spinach is slimy to touch and appears moldy, discard it.
- The spinach that has just started to turn yellow can be used, preferably in a cooked dish. However, If the whole thing has turned yellowish and wilted, get rid of it.
How long does spinach last?
Fresh spinach bought off of the farmer’s market will last about 2 weeks under the best storage practices. The store-bought spinach has a printed date on the label which is a very close estimate of its shelf-life under refrigeration.
However, It can also be decayed 3-5 days earlier or last 3-5 days extra past the printed date. To real all the nutrients of the spinach, make sure the spinach is as fresh as possible.
|Spinach (fresh)||Up to 2 weeks or 2-5 days past the printed date|
|Spinach (cooked)||3-5 days|
How to store spinach to extend its shelf life?
Generally, spinach must be kept in a plastic bag, unwashed, in the crisper drawer section of the fridge. Never wash the spinach before use as the water residue on the spinach leaves supports the growth of mold and promotes wilting leading to a shorter shelf-life of the spinach.
However, refrigerated spinach is pre-washed and is best kept in the fridge. Do not open the pre-packed spinach until you are ready to use it. This helps make sure you preserve the gases inside that are working to keep the spinach as fresh as possible.
Keeping the spinach leaves all wrapped up inside the plastic wrap hinders the ethylene gas produced by other food commodities in the crisper drawer from spoiling the spinach. The bottom line is that the spinach should always be kept in the fridge, whether cooked, uncooked, pre-washed, or fresh.
How to buy spinach?
When you are on the hunt for spinach, make sure you have an eye for the spinach leaves with vivid green color and a crispy texture. The brighter the green and the crispier the texture, the fresher the spinach is.
The fresh the spinach, the longer It will last in your fridge. Therefore, invest wisely. The stems, however, should also be paid attention to. They should be completely dry. Reject the spinach with discolored stems.
When purchasing pre-packed spinach in bags or clamshells, reject the container with loads of condensation droplets on the inside. This residual water will promote spillage of the leaves.
How to freeze spinach?
- Choose the freshest leaves of spinach for freezing. Blanch them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes to lock the nutrients and preserve the color and taste. Dunk the blanched spinach leaves in ice-cold water to halt the cooking process. Leave it there for 2 minutes.
- Use a colander or the back of the spoon to drain out as much water from the spinach as possible.
- Make a ball out of these softened spinach leaves in serving portions or portion them in an ice-cube tray, whatever works for you.
- After pre-freezing the spinach in the ice-cube tray, transfer it to a high-quality plastic bag and squeeze out as much air as possible.
- Label and chuck it in the freezer.
Washing spinach prior to use
It is not recommended to wash the spinach before storage as It can bruise the spinach and the residual water will contribute to spoilage, both ultimately reducing the shelflife of spinach. However, It is okay to wash pre-packed bagged spinach before use.
Fresh, bunched spinach bought off of the farmer’s market or grocery store should be washed thoroughly before use as It is loaded with soil and hence a lot of pathogenic and spoilage microbes.
Does cooking spinach kill bacteria?
If the spinach is heated at 170℉ for about 15 seconds, you can actually kill E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. However, the toxins produced by some pathogenic bacteria can not be destroyed by heating and can be problematic.
This article answered the question “How long can you eat spinach after the expiration date?”, and how to tell if the spinach is bad?