Shelf Life of
Beef Jerky

How Long Does Beef Jerky Last?

How Long Does Beef Jerky Last?

Shelf Life of Beef Jerky

Jerky – Does beef jerky go bad? The shelf life of beef jerky depends on the best before date and how the jerky is stored. Jerky is dried, removing most of the moisture where bacteria likes to grow and is also usually salted in the process, which adds another layer of preservation. Beef jerky and turkey jerky are both popular with survivalists because of it’s high protein and longevity qualities.

Does beef jerky go bad? Eventually, yes – but when properly stored jerky lasts a pretty long time.

So, just how long does beef jerky last past its best by date?

(Unopened) Pantry
Beef jerky lasts for 1-2 Years
Turkey jerky lasts for 1-2 Years
Homemade jerky lasts for 2-3 Months




But remember, beef jerky, like a lot of other meats, usually has a best before date and not a use by date or an expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use jerky after the best before date has lapsed.

How to tell if beef jerky is bad, rotten or spoiled?

It is the color and texture of the jerky that will change, it will become darker and harder. The smell will also be slightly different. Once these changes happen, the taste is also off and not recommended. The leaner the meat, the longer it will keep because it is the fat that starts to break down and go rancid first. Practicing proper hygiene and food safety discipline will help prevent food borne illness.

How to store beef jerky to extend its shelf life?

The best way to store beef jerky is in its original commercially vacuum sealed packaging in a cool dark place like the pantry, away from the stove or other appliances and sunlight.
For even longer storage, you can freeze your beef, turkey or pork jerky until ready to use.
Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of food.




How long is beef jerky good for when prepared in a dish?

That depends. How long do eggs last? In general, foods will only last as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the dish. To find out how long other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

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What are our shelf life resources?

In answering the question does beef jerky go bad, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and shelf life.

*An important note about expiration dates …

Although the beef jerky shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion, and should not replace the advice of your health care provider. Please eat responsibly!