Can Beef Jerky Mold? (And Is It Safe to Eat Moldy Jerky?)

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It is common knowledge that jerky can be kept for a very long period without losing its ability to be eaten, and this fact is one of the things that makes jerky so popular. In point of fact, this is the most significant characteristic of jerky, as well as the rationale behind why people first began preparing this delectable food. Because of this, it is logical to conclude that jerky is resistant to the growth of mold, right? Nevertheless, this is not the case.

So Can Beef Jerky Mold? Believe it or not, beef jerky can mold and it can happen pretty quickly, too. There are numerous ways to prevent that, though, and if you do what you should, you don’t need to worry. 

Thus, what steps precisely should you take? And what causes jerky to get moldy in the first place? And is it dangerous to consume jerky that has mold on it if it already has mold on it? The purpose of this post is to provide answers to queries such as these, in addition to others, so let’s get started.

Can jerky get moldy?

Jerky is a kind of processed beef that is distinguished by the removal of the vast majority of the meat’s moisture. This endows jerky with the exceptional quality of being edible for an exceptionally extended period of time without becoming rancid. Jerky, in addition to many other items, may even get moldy; this does not in any way negate the possibility that it might become spoiled.

Even while this isn’t something that happens very often, it doesn’t happen as seldom as you would believe it does. What steps should you take to ensure that occurrence doesn’t take place? Have some patience, because we’re almost there.

Can you eat jerky with mold?

But before we get into it, let’s talk about what to do if the mold has already started growing on your jerky. It is quite likely that you are already aware of this, but as soon as you see mold growing on your jerky, you should throw it out completely.

In spite of the fact that there are many who would tell you that it is OK to consume moldy beef jerky or that it is sufficient to clip the moldy pieces off, doing so poses a significant risk to one’s health.

I ate jerky with mold – what should I do?

But what if you’ve already done that, maybe because you didn’t even realize it was moldy in the first place? What then? To tell you the truth, there is no need for you to be concerned about anything negative transpiring since it is most probable that nothing at all will take place.

Yet, it is possible to have some of the more common signs and symptoms of food poisoning, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Do not delay in calling your physician if you feel that the situation has become intolerable.

What does mold on jerky look like?

Mold on jerky appears quite similar to mold on any other food; this means that you should check for discolored spots, mainly white and green in color, to determine whether or not the jerky has mold. While we’re on the subject of jerky, though, it’s important to note that it’s very uncommon for there to be white spots on it that aren’t caused by mold; these stains may also have an unpleasant appearance. But, we have not yet begun discussing that topic.

How do you keep beef jerky from getting moldy?

Before we get into that, however, let’s discuss how to keep your jerky from becoming moldy in the first place, so that you won’t have to worry about whether or not that stain is really mold at all. So what can you do?

Since wetness encourages the growth of mold on beef jerky, you should prepare moist jerky. But, if you want your jerky to be wet, you don’t have to be disappointed since there are various choices available. The simplest solution is to not make any purchases.

This is due to the fact that mold cannot develop in an environment where there is no oxygen, which means that even damp jerky will not get moldy if oxygen is not allowed to react with it. Hence, you should vacuum bag your jerky (you can even place it in a refrigerator for even better results), and then you should be set to go.

Green mold on beef jerky – is that okay?

And while we’re at it, let’s take a brief look at the green mold before we start talking about the white stuff, shall we? In the event that your beef jerky has green spots on it, you can be certain that it contains mold. Because of this, you should avoid eating any of the jerky since it has the potential to make you ill.

Why is there white stuff on my beef jerky?

Nevertheless, things become more difficult when white stains are involved, and we have already touched on that a little bit. What on earth might the white stuff be that’s on your beef jerky? There are fundamentally three possibilities: in addition to the mold, it might also be the salt or the fat.

Differentiating between these three may be difficult, but it is not impossible. Mold is present when the stains have the appearance of spider webs. On the other hand, the fat streaks provide the impression of being substantial and complete. And last, if the stains have a powdered consistency, the culprit is probably salt.

How can you tell if beef jerky has gone bad?

Because there are a lot of things on beef jerky that can be mistaken for mold (as we’ve explained in the paragraph above), and more importantly, because beef jerky usually starts to go bad before it actually starts to grow mold, you can’t tell whether it has gone bad just by looking at it. This is because beef jerky usually goes bad before it actually starts to grow mold.

Because of this, relying on your sense of smell is the better strategy; in fact, the simplest method to determine whether or not your jerky is still edible is to just give it a good whiff.


Mold can grow on beef jerky, as strange as it may seem. In addition to that, it isn’t occurring all that seldom either. The reason for this is because a lot of people either don’t realize how much moisture has to be removed from the meat before it can be dried, or they don’t know how to properly preserve wet jerky that they’ve bought from the shop.

Since mold cannot develop in the presence of oxygen, it is essential that your jerky be kept in an airtight container and subjected to regular vacuum sealing.

Don’t take any chances; if the mold has already started growing on your jerky, you should toss it away. It is usually preferable to avoid health issues rather than squander a little amount of food that could still be edible.

  • Does Beef Jerky Need to Be Refrigerated?
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What does moldy jerky look like?

These white spots, which are really salt deposits, appear on the jerky as it dries, and their presence is completely natural and won’t hurt you in any way. The sight of fuzzy white, green, or gray patches is a definite indicator that the jerky has been spoiled by mold.

What is the white fuzzy mold on beef jerky?

Crystals of tyrosine — The amino acid tyrosine might be the cause of the issue. It is possible for tyrosine crystals to develop on the surface of meat in the same way as they form on the surface of dried cheese. In most cases, this condition manifests itself more on the sliced surfaces of country-style hams, and it is accompanied with a solid white coating that may be mistaken for slime or mold but is in fact tyrosine.

How long does it take beef jerky to mold?

Everything is determined by the manner in which the jerky is packaged. The jerky may be kept in the pantry for about one to two months if the packaging is vacuum-sealed, but it will keep for a longer period of time in the refrigerator. If you do not vacuum-seal the jerky, then it will only survive around one to two weeks in the pantry and approximately one month in the refrigerator if stored in either of those locations.

What causes beef jerky to mold?

Mold may form on beef jerky while it is being cured, when it is being transported, and even at home if it is not kept correctly. Mold is easily identifiable by its characteristic spider web-like development, which may be white, green, or black. If mold is discovered, the jerky should not be ingested.

What do I do if I accidentally ate mold?

Very likely, you’ll be alright.” If you suddenly acquire symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, an increased fever, or diarrhea, you should seek emergency medical attention since the mold that may be discovered on rotten food might be harmful in some circumstances.

How can you tell if beef jerky is safe to eat?

The stench is the most obvious indicator that beef jerky has become rotten over time. It will typically smell rancid and unpleasant most of the time. If you come across beef jerky that smells bad or has mold on it, you should throw it away and not consume it.

Can you get sick from dehydrated beef jerky?

Consequently, by the time the temperature of the dried meat eventually starts to increase, the bacteria will have grown more heat resistant, and they will have a greater chance of surviving. In the event that these bacteria are pathogenic, they have the potential to make anyone who consume the jerky sick with a foodborne disease.

Is white fuzz on food mold?

Mold is a common factor in the deterioration of food. Moldy food has an unpleasant flavor and texture, and it may have fuzzy patches that are either green or white in color.

What does beef mold look like?

Make sure there is no development of mold.

Mold may often be identified by the presence of green patches on the surface of the meat. Mold may also appear as blue or gray patches on meat. These should be avoided.

How do you keep beef jerky from molding?

Refrigeration is the key to successful storage of beef jerky after it has been opened. When the seal has been broken, the beef jerky must be stored in a cool environment in order to keep its consistency, taste, and freshness. A helpful hint to maintain the quality of your jerky for up to a week longer is to store it in a zip lock bag, remove all of the air from the bag, and then put the bag in the refrigerator.