How Long Do Dates Last? Can You Refrigerate Them?

Why do so many people enjoy dates? Is it probable that it has something to do with their naturally occurring sugar, their filling capabilities, or because they take longer to spoil? Yes, to all three!

To optimally enjoy these, among other benefits of dates, you must ensure they are always in top-notch condition.

In this article, we’ll focus on adequately storing them and how to tell if they are spoiled.

A Few Things You Can Do to Keep Dates Safe

It is critical to store dates properly to guarantee that they’re safe to eat. We will discuss the three main ways you can store your dates and be assured they will not go bad.

1. Storing them in the pantry

If you take or consume dates regularly, storing them in the pantry may be the best option. If you’re going to keep them in the pantry, make sure they’re in an airtight container, a cool place, and away from moisture.

2. Putting the dates in the refrigerator

When you put dates in the fridge, you manage to save part of their moisture, even though dates don’t have a lot of it. Ensure they’re in a well-sealed bag or an airtight container before storing them in the fridge.

3. Storing them in the freezer

The most effective method for storing dates is to freeze them because it extends their shelf life. To keep the dates from contracting cold air, seal them in a bag and layer them with additional plastic wrap. Dates freeze well due to their high sugar content compared to other fruits, and they don’t need to be prepared ahead of time.

Duration of Dates

The shelf life of dates will depend on the type of dates and the method of storage. If dried grapes are stored in the pantry, they can last for about 3 months, away from any moisture. If properly preserved, they can last 6–12 months in the fridge. If they are well stored, following all the procedures for proper storage in the freezer, they can last up to 3 years.

When buying dried dates, ensure that you consider the manufacturing date before storing them since you have no idea how long they have been in the supermarket before you purchased them. This is especially important if you intend to keep them for a long time.

Fresh grapes, also known as semi-dried grapes, last up to 6 weeks in the pantry. You should not hold them for longer than this; otherwise, they will spoil. Fresh dates last a shorter time in the fridge compared to dried dates. If you’re freezing, 12-14 months of storage is ideal.

How to Spot Dates’ Spoilage

First, you need to know that dates do not spoil as quickly as other fruits. That being said, it doesn’t mean they won’t spoil if not properly handled. If you spot the following signs in your dates, just know they are long overdue and should be disposed of with immediate effect.

  • Change in color – Dates’ color changes are very common, and this is most especially due to their high sugar content. They will, in turn, change to white. This, however, is not a red flag. Usually, spoiled dates become darker than their usual color.
  • Change in smell – If you’ve never encountered dates before, you should start by knowing the scent of dates first so that you can tell the difference between the before and after smell. Usually, dates do not have a noticeable or strong smell. If you happen to notice a different kind of smell, mostly that of a rotten item, then the chances are that your dates are due, and they should be discarded.
    Presence of mold – Since naturally, dates have very low water content, they will require very extreme conditions to get moldy. Hence, if you spot any dark-green growing substance on the dates, that’s mold.
    Change in taste – If you have not spotted mold, the smell is still the same and there is no visible color change, and you are still in doubt, consider tasting them. The dates are already spoiled if the taste is off (not as the usual dates’ taste).

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