Does Granola Go Bad

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Granola is one of the healthiest options you can choose to eat as part of your morning meal. Granola is nutritious and full of vitamins and minerals that can keep you healthy if eaten regularly. As part of keeping ourselves in better health, we always check to see if the food we are consuming is within the sell by and expiry date. So, does granola go bad? 

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Granola seems like it is full of long lasting ingredients that do not spoil easily. But this may not be the case. In this article we will explore how long you can keep granola for, if granola does go bad and what can happen if you eat granola past it’s sell by date.

brown wooden spoon with brown and white seeds

Is It Ok To Eat Expired Granola?

The quick answer is yes as granola does not expire easily.

Granola is made up from oats and a mixture of dried berries and nuts which do not spoil easily. If water comes into contact with the granola, this may spoil the ingredients, making it unsafe to consume. The same rule applies to if pests – such as bugs, mice or rats – come into contact with the granola. If any of these creatures come into contact with the granola, do not eat it. 

It can be assumed that granola will not spoil quickly and can even last up to three months after its expiration date. This applies to granola that is manufactured and store bought. Granola that is shop bought should be in a vacuum sealed bag, meaning it will be okay to consume for up to three months after its expiry date stated on the packet. 

If your granola smells or looks a different color, it is best to discard it as it has expired.

How Do You Know When Granola Goes Bad?

There are some clear signs that will indicate if your granola has gone bad and when you should not consume your granola. 

Here is a quick list of key indicators that your granola has turned bad meaning you should not consume:

  • Mold: If any part of the granola in the packet is starting to turn moldy then this is a clear sign that the granola has expired. Some people remove the moldy part of the food and think it is safe to consume the rest, that shows no sign of mold. This is not true, if you find any mold on your granola you should chuck the whole packet away. This is due to the mold bacteria spreading beyond the visibly affected area. Even though we can’t see the mold bacteria spreading, it does not mean it has not spread.
  • Growth: If the nuts or any other ingredient starts to look like they are growing or changing visibly, this is a clear sign that the granola has expired. Discard the packet of granola.
  • Smell: If there is an off smell to your granola or it has started to smell quite strong this is another sign that the granola has expired. This may be due to the oils that are in the buts turning rancid and the granola will turn stale.

How Long Can You Keep Granola?

Granola will commonly stay safe to eat and fresh in taste for 6-12 month of being made. This date will always be available either on the side or bottom of the packaging. Once you open the granola packet the granola will remain the same quality for 1-4 months. This time frame can vary on storage and the conditions the granola is placed in.

Can Stale Granola Make You Sick?

As a rule – granola is very unlikely to make you sick or experience any ill symptoms. You may even find that your loose granola or granola bar will still taste good months after the expiration date. Unlike other food groups, eating granola or cereal after the best sell by date will not cause any damage to safety. You will not get food poisoning from expired granola as long as it is not covered in mold or been touched by pests, such as insects or mice. 

The worst case scenario from eating stale granola is that it won’t taste very nice. But, if you are reading this article you may probably have already come to this conclusion yourself.

How Long Does Granola Last After Expiration Date

Granola commonly has a shelf life date from around 6 – 12 months from when the granola was made and baked. If the packet of granola remains unopened, granola can last another 6 months after the original expiration date. Once you open the granola this time frame does decrease to 3 months.

red strawberries on black ceramic bowl

How Long Does Granola Last In The Fridge

It is not the best idea to store your granola in the fridge. The moisture that is in the fridge can cause the granola to become wet and soggy. If your granola starts to turn wet and soggy, it may affect when the granola will go bad and decrease the amount of time you can consume it for. Storing your granola in the fridge also runs the risk of the granola growing mold more easily. 

If you do decide to store your granola in the fridge, if it does not get wet, soggy or grow mold it can last up to 6 months. Best to store the granola in a tightly sealed or airtight bag if you want to store it in the fridge. If you want to store your granola in the freezer, it can last another 3 months from the original expiration date.

How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Granola Last

As granola is packed full of long lasting ingredients – such as oats, nuts, dried fruits and sugar – it can have a long shelf life. After the expiry date on the granola packet, the nuts can start to turn rancid. The texture of the baked granola will also go stale. 

If your granola packet has been unopened and has remained in a vacuum sealed packet then it can last up to 6 months after the expiry date on the outside of the granola packaging. 

How Long Does Homemade Granola Last At Room Temperature?

Homemade granola can last at room temperature for a maximum of two week. This can very much vary on how hot the room is and if you store the granola in an airtight container.

Does Homemade Granola Go Bad

Manufactured baked granola does not expire quickly but it is a different story for homemade granola. Even though you can use the exact same recipe and ingredients that naturally have a long shelf life, storage is trickier. If you do not store your homemade granola it will not last as long as manufactured, shop bought granola packets. 

If you make homemade granola it’s average time before it will expire is two weeks. The granola can last longer if stored properly or frozen. It is best to check for signs of expiration after two weeks.

How To Tell If Granola Is Bad

There are some clear signs that can show if the granola has turned bad after being stored for a few weeks or months. These signs tend to show after 6 months if stored in cooler areas like a fridge and can be discrete.

Here is a list of signs that your granola has turned bad:

  • Tastes stale: The granola may turn stale when the oils inside the nuts lose their flavor and become firmer in texture. You can rectify this by storing in a warmer location but it may be best to discard the packet.
  • Moldy: If the granola has turned moldy, this is a sign that it has had contact with water. Discard the granola packet immediately if you find mold present on the granola.
  • Insects: Insects are commonly drawn to dry fruit. This is why it is best to make sure you store your granola in a vacuum sealed bag. If you find an infestation of insects in your granola, discard the granola packet immediately.
  • Signs of the package being damaged: If you notice that the package has been damaged or chewed, this is a sign that pests have been near your granola. Discard the granola packet immediately if you suspect that any pests have been close to the food you would like to consume.
  • Change of smell: This is one of the first and most obvious signs that the granola has turned bad. If the granola turned to an “off” or bad smell, discard the granola packet immediately.

Can You Eat Expired Granola

Yes you can! It may not be the most tasty if the granola has expired or turned stale. But it will not make you sick. 

If water touches the granola or the granola is not stored properly and you can see mold has started to grow, do not consume it. If you can visibly see mold growing you should not eat the expired granola as it can make you unwell.

Granola Is Long Lasting And Safe To Eat!

Want a healthy staple food that will last you months on end? Granola is a fantastic product to purchase or even make at home. It has a very long shelf life and can even taste nice 6 months after its expiry date.

It is always best to look out for signs or unsafe expiration after the 6 months stage.

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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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