What Happens If You Eat Bad Sauerkraut?

Fermented vegetables are one of the few nutrients that have remarkable advantages for our gut health. Due to this, sauerkraut is currently one of the most widely consumed side dishes. However, the sour and flavorful fermented cabbage is both tasty and healthy. It is possible to make or purchase sauerkraut as a side dish. Given that it is a beneficial treat, it makes sense to keep some on hand at all times. But first, we could be curious as to whether sauerkraut spoils.

What Happens If You Eat Bad Sauerkraut?

What exactly is Sauerkraut?

Foods that have been pickled include sauerkraut, which is essentially pickled cabbage that has been fermented to give it its distinct flavor. A tasty side dish that complements a variety of meals, sauerkraut is high in nutritious fiber and essential elements. Furthermore, since sauerkraut is a fermented food, it has microorganisms that can aid in digestion. Digestion is also aided by fermentation. In other terms, “kraut” is just brined, fermented shreds of cabbage.

The brine required to manufacture fermented sauerkraut is a component of the fermentation process, much like all other fermented vegetables. Unpasteurized sauerkraut is eatable thanks to the fermentation. One technique to help boost beneficial bacteria and decrease dangerous bacteria is to ferment food. A wonderful veggie that may be made at home is homemade sauerkraut. The helpful microorganisms aid in digestion.

What is the shelf life of sauerkraut?

Temperature and salt content are two variables that affect how long sauerkraut will keep. However, once the jar is opened, there is no turning back. You may typically store canned sauerkraut for up to a year after opening. However, if you buy it in bulk from a retailer, the brand will determine when it expires.

While some brands last for six months, others might only be good for three. This is because different businesses produce their sauerkraut in various ways. Look for “best before” dates when selecting a sauerkraut brand.

These refer to the first day after production that the product shouldn’t be consumed. Within two weeks of opening, sauerkraut should typically be consumed. After this, the flavor starts to decay, so you must get rid of it as soon as you can.

Sauerkraut comes in both chilled and non-chilled varieties. Generally speaking, refrigerated varieties will outlast those that are not. Sauerkraut will keep for at least a few days in the refrigerator if you intend to consume it right away.  However, it’s advisable to skip the refrigerator if you want to save it for later.

Here are some suggestions for keeping sauerkraut fresh:

  • Keep it in a dry, cool environment. Avoid trying to make sauerkraut when it’s hot outside. During the fermentation process, you don’t want any of the bacteria to be lost.
  • Watch for the growth of mold. Immediately discard any moldy kraut since it is hazardous.
  • Sauerkraut shouldn’t be left sitting around for too long. The likelihood of spoilage increases with time spent sitting.
  • Avoid storing your sauerkraut in plastic containers. Plastic can contaminate food and create dangerous substances like BPA. Stick to glass jars instead.
  • Leave a tiny hole on the lid to stop moisture from developing within the container. This lets oxygen into the jar and prevents moisture buildup.

How to tell if sauerkraut has gone bad?

What Happens If You Eat Bad Sauerkraut?

Since sauerkraut is a fermented food, it technically has gone bad. The product can, however, infrequently get overripe. One of the early signs that the sauerkraut has gone bad is an awful smell. If there is a detectable decaying stench, the sauerkraut is no longer good.

Check to see if the fermented cabbage has taken on an unusual texture or color. Throw the product aside if the texture or color has changed noticeably. Consuming pickled veggies with moldy green or blue spots on the top is not a good idea.

How do you stop the spoilage of sauerkraut?

It’s common to believe that something will always be bad once it starts.

The opposite is true, as you can see. We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s gone bad” at some point or another, but what does that truly mean?

While these things do occur, they aren’t the main reason why food spoils.

When we refer to food as having gone bad, we frequently infer that there was some type of accident, such as bacteria or possibly an animal getting into our food.

So, can you freeze sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut can be frozen, just like any other food. But there is no need to freeze. For starters, cooling is sufficient to increase the product’s shelf life. Furthermore, freezing could change the taste and texture of sauerkraut.

It won’t taste as good as sauerkraut that has been chilled after being frozen and defrosted. But if you still decide to freeze this product, for example, be sure to move the sauerkraut into a freezer-safe container.

How should you store sauerkraut?

What Happens If You Eat Bad Sauerkraut?

One of the best methods to preserve sauerkraut is in the refrigerator, which will assist to reduce the growth of germs and lower the likelihood that it will go bad. It is crucial to keep this product stored cool because it won’t stay long in a warm or muggy environment.

The product’s shelf life will be considerably increased as a result. Try to preserve the product in its original packing if possible, or if it can’t be refrigerated, put it in an airtight container.

When kept in the refrigerator, sauerkraut can remain fresh for around 6 months, though it may last longer in stable temperatures. If you want to prevent air from getting to your sauerkraut and causing it to spoil more quickly after opening it, store it in an airtight container.

What happens if you consume bad sauerkraut?

Unfortunately, eating spoiled sauerkraut can make you quite ill. Similar to sauerkraut, mold contamination renders it dangerous for ingestion. It is crucial to carefully examine whether your sauerkraut is still safe to eat because of this.

If you consume sauerkraut that is past its prime, you may have symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping in the abdomen, a low-grade fever, and headaches. It is essential to consult a doctor if, after 24 hours, you are still experiencing these symptoms. If you are recuperating from food poisoning brought on by outdated sauerkraut, staying hydrated is also crucial.


On dishes throughout the world, sauerkraut is now a welcome addition. The fermented treat is healthful, adaptable, and affordable. If sauerkraut is something you enjoy, you might want to think about keeping some on hand at all times so you can take advantage of its health advantages. Furthermore, you may enjoy fresh, flavorful sauerkraut without worrying that it has gone bad by properly storing your sauerkraut.

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