Jar of small pickled cucumbers on a white background
Unfortunately, Pickles Can Actually Go Bad. Here's How Long It Takes
By Andra Picincu
Pickles come in handy when you’re in need of a salty snack, but they also have an expiration date. Even though an unopened jar of pickles can be refrigerated for up to 12 months, once it has been opened, it’s always best to consume them within three months.
The shelf life for a jar of pickles can vary depending on the pickling method, the quality and freshness of the ingredients used, and the type of packaging they come in. The pickles may still be good past their expiration date if stored properly, but if you notice a rotten smell, discoloration, mold, a change in texture, or dark spots, it’s time to toss them out.
Soft or slimy pickles are no longer safe for consumption, and mold on the pickles, yeast at the bottom of the jar, or whitish spots can signal they are no longer good. Even though the brine can become cloudy, it shouldn’t pose an issue, but if the brine is more watery than usual or has tiny bubbles, it’s best to throw the jar away — especially if the lid is bulging.