How Long Do Pickles Remain Safe For Consumption?

Given its consistency and nature, many people expect pickles to never go bad but the sad news is that they do. Keep reading to understand how it happens.

By Cookist

Pickles make great snacks on their own and can also be a nice accompaniment to a good sandwich but how long do they really last?

Sometimes it seems like they can remain forever healthy sitting in the back of the fridge and still tasting great. However, like all jarred items, there are a few rules that can help you ensure they remain fresh in storage for as long as possible.

Do Pickles Get Spoilt?


Pickled and fermented foods, like pickles, usually have a much longer shelf life because of the acid in the brine.

Food only becomes bad after harmful bacteria multiply and eventually spoil it but fortunately, the bacteria behind the phenomenon hate acid, like the vinegar in pickle brine.

It slows down their growth and even kills some other unwelcome contaminants. However despite all that acid, pickles can still reach a point where they're no longer suitable for consumption.

So the answer is yes, pickles do go bad, but it can take some time for that to happen.

How to Store Pickles


The more properly you store your pickles the longer they will stay safe to eat.

Like other perishable foods, they should be stored in the refrigerator once they're opened. If nothing has gotten into the jar to make your pickles go bad, they should last up to three months in the coldest part of your fridge which is towards the back.

The canning and sealing process involves considerable measures to keep bacteria out, however once that jar is opened, bacteria flood in.

As such  it is advised that you always use a clean utensil to grab your pickle.

How Can You Know If Pickles Have Gone Bad?

  • Look at the container, if it has a distended lid, that's a clear sign of bacterial activity and that jar should be thrown out.
  • Look at the product, once opened, if you notice mold or odd looking things floating on the bride's surface or if the brine is cloudy, it means something is wrong.
  • Smell the product, and if you notice any funky scent or rotten one, throw the jar out.
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