Do Sun Dried Tomatoes Go Bad?

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Sun dried tomatoes are delicious! The title gives away how these tomatoes are come to be. Sun dried tomatoes are dried fully and naturally by the sun so that all the moisture in the tomatoes is gone. They are a tasty snack and can be used in any meal. But do sun dried tomatoes go bad?

In this article we will explore if sun dried tomatoes expire and what to look for to see if your sun dried tomatoes are going bad.

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sun dried tomatoes laid down

How Long Do Sun Dried Tomatoes Last

Sun dried tomatoes can last a very long time if they are stored properly.

But the answer to the question, do sun dried tomatoes go bad? Yes! They can indeed go bad. 

Once you have opened your jar or bottle of sun dried tomatoes they can last up to 5 days before turning bad and expiring. It is best to store your sun dried tomatoes in the fridge to allow them to reach the full 5 days.

Homemade sun dried tomatoes can last longer. Your store bought sun dried tomatoes can also last longer if you store them in oil and make sure to store them in the appropriate jars.

How Long Do Sun Dried Tomatoes Last After Expiration Date?

Tomatoes are a tricky one when we think about expiry dates. Most vegetables and fruit do not have specific expiring dates. It depends on how fresh the vegetables and fruit is. The expiry dates of vegetables and fruit also depend on their storage.

If you preserve the sun dried tomatoes in oil they can last up to two years if frozen. This preserving of sun dried tomatoes means that you can eat them after their expiration date. It is best to look out for signs that they are going bad if you do decide to eat them after their expiry date.

If you want to store your expired sun dried tomatoes, it is best to keep them in the fridge. There it is dark and cool and the sun dried tomatoes will not heat.

The expiration of most products depends on if the product has been opened and exposed to oxygen. Expiry dates are meant to be a guideline. But that does not mean that all foods are dangerous after their expiry date. Although sun dried tomatoes sit on the middle line of dangerous and not dangerous. Sun dried tomatoes can last a very long time if preserved in oil and stored properly. So they can be eaten after their expiry date.

Although, if they have expired and really gone bad, they can be dangerous to consume.

How Long Do Sun-Dried Tomatoes Last In Oil

If you use a vegetable oil to store your sun dried tomatoes, you can store them up to two years. Olive oil is your perfect choice. Olive oil can store your sun dried tomatoes perfectly for a very long time.

The seal to your air tight container of your sun dried tomatoes should not be broken. No air should get in. Once the airtight seal has broken, your sun dried tomatoes can only be stored for up to 6 months. This is still a very long time. The texture of your preserved tomatoes will still be intact. 

If you have made your sun dried tomatoes at home and added olive oil to them before storing, your expiry date will not be as long as shop bought ones. If you have made sun dried tomatoes in olive oil at home, you can store them for up to 4 months in the fridge.

Olive oil is a natural preservative and will help your sun dried tomatoes stay in fresh form. Olive oil is a natural preservative to sun dried tomatoes as it stops the air from reaching them, therefore stopping the sun dried tomatoes from going bad or mouldy. You can add any ingredient that is a natural preservative to your sun dried tomatoes and it will keep them protected from going bad for months on end. 

fresh tomatoes

How Do You Tell If Sun-Dried Tomatoes Are Off?

Sun dried tomatoes can expire. Luckily it’s easy to tell if they have turned bad.

There are some classic signs of expiration that can help you distinguish if your sun dried tomatoes have gone bad. Checking if your sun dried tomatoes have gone bad can save you from consuming dangerous bacteria which could cause you to have food poisoning.

If you do not store your sun dried tomatoes properly it can cause them to expire. Common signs are mold and a soft texture.

Here are the main obvious signs that you sun dried tomatoes will show when they have turned bad:

  • Mold: If you see any mold growth on your sun dried tomatoes then chuck them out immediately. This means they have definitely turned bad. Some people think they can cut the mold off the sun dried tomatoes but this is not wise. Even if your tomatoes only have a small area of visible mold, the mold can still spread across the whole of the batch. The mold that spreads across the sun dried tomatoes is not visible to us, but it does not mean it is there!
  • Change of color: Any change of color to the sun dried tomatoes is the first indication that they may have turned bad and passed their expiry date. Often the sun dried tomatoes will turn a darker color. Watch out for brown areas on them. If you see a change in color to your sun dried tomatoes, chuck them away immediately.
  • Signs of damage on the container: If the container that you are storing your sun dried tomatoes in is bulging or rusty, this is a sign that it has passed its expiry date. The container might be leaking, which could expose your sun dried tomatoes to oxygen. If so, they may start to grow dangerous bacteria. If your container that is storing your sun dried tomatoes is rusty or bulging, chuck the sun dried tomatoes away immediately.
  • Nasty smell: If your sun dried tomatoes start to smell “off” or sour, they are not salvageable. Do not ever consume your sun dried tomatoes if they start to smell off.
  • Change of texture: When your sun dried tomatoes start to change in texture, that is a clear sign that they have expired. They are not safe to eat. The texture of your sun dried tomatoes will turn soft and soggy if they have expired.

Do Dried Tomatoes Need To Be Refrigerated?

If you want to store your sun dried tomatoes safely, then yes they do need to be stored in the fridge or freezer. Storing your tomatoes in the fridge will stop dangerous bacteria from growing at room temperature. This bacteria can cause food poisoning and other serious illnesses.

How Long Does Sun-Dried Tomatoes Last In The Fridge?

If you store your sun dried tomatoes in the fridge properly, they can last up to 4 months. If you make your sun dried tomatoes at home, they can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Shop bought, manufactured sun dried tomatoes can last longer due to the preservatives they add. 

We have some great tips on the best way to store your preserved tomatoes in the fridge. Here is a step by step simple method to safely store your sun dried tomatoes in the fridge:

  • Step 1: If you are buying your sun dried tomatoes from a store, make sure to get the best expiry date you can. If you are making your sun dried tomatoes at home, ignore this step.
  • Step 2: If you are making your sun dried tomatoes at home, make sure that the sun dried tomatoes have properly dried out before starting the storage process. If you are buying your sun dried tomatoes from a store, ignore this step. 
  • Step 3: Make sure to store your shop bought or homemade sun dried tomatoes in an airtight bag or air tight container. This is the most important step as the oxygen that reaches the tomatoes is what makes them go bad quickly.
  • Step 4: Place the air-tight container or bag into the fridge on the top shelf.
sundried tomatoes on a bowl

FAQs

Can You Freeze SunDried Tomatoes In Oil

Just like most other foods, it is very easy to freeze your sun dried tomatoes. Freezing your sun dried tomatoes will extend their life and make them safe to eat for months on end, possibly even years. 
If you have made your own sun dried tomatoes at home, freezing your leftover sun dried tomatoes ready for winter can be a great prep technique. If you are home making your sun dried tomatoes, it is likely you will have a LOT in the summer and freezing the extra sun dried tomatoes will mean that nothing goes to waste, especially your hard work growing and drying those tomatoes out.
Freezing your sun dried tomatoes stored in oil at home can be difficult. Freezing your sun dried tomatoes stored in oil can be more work as when you get to defrost them you will have to wait for all the oil to thaw too. Nevertheless, if you do decide you would like to store your sun dried tomatoes in oil in the freezer, you could add 2 years to the expiry date of your sun dried tomatoes.
It is super easy to store your sun dried tomatoes stored in oil in the freezer. It is best to choose an airtight container, air tight bag or a cellophane packet when doing so. Storing them in something that is airtight will make your sun dried tomatoes in oil last a lot longer. 
Freezing your sun dried tomatoes will not change the taste but may change the texture. The texture of your sun dried tomatoes may start to turn soggy after a long period of time when stored in a freezer. It is best to use up your freezed sun dried tomatoes in oil in the first year of freezing them.

Can You Get Botulism From Sun-Dried Tomatoes?

Botulism is a very serious illness but luckily, quite rare. Botulism is caused by a toxin which can attack the body’s nerves. This attack can then cause difficulty when breathing, muscle paralysis and can even be fatal. The toxin that causes Botulism is called Clostridium botulinum and is a certain type of bacteria.
It is possible to get botulism from sun dried tomatoes that are in oil, but only if the tomatoes and oil have not been prepared properly. The reason for this is that they fit in the low acid food group.
Botulism bacteria can grow rapidly in moist, oxygen-free environments. It is possible that botulism bacteria can grow rapidly on vegetables that have not been stored properly, as the conditions will be ideal for the bacteria to spread and produce the nasty toxin. Always make sure that your sun dried tomatoes that are in oil are stored properly, in an airtight container.

Sun Dried Tomatoes Can Be Long Lasting But With Caution

Sun dried tomatoes can last for months on end. This is provided that you properly and safely store them. You can put them in the fridge and freezer, depending on how long you would like them to last.

It is best to store your sun dried tomatoes with caution. They can be dangerous if you do not keep them properly. 

How do you store your sun dried tomatoes? What is the most obvious sign that they’ve gone bad?

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By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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