Like any other fruits dates can also go bad. But unlike many fruits like apple or orange, dates last for a much longer time.
“BUT NOT FOREVER”
If you keep them appropriately you can use them for a couple of months. But still after a specific period of time the color and smell can change and it’s time to through the dates out.
The very first thing you need to know is that dates are divided in 3 main categories:
Fresh wet dates
How long can you store each type?
It totally depend on the variety of the dates. Usually dates can last up to a month in room temperature, but if the dates is semi-dry or dry then it can last up to 3 months in room temperature.
If kept in fridge, all types of dates can last up to 12 months and even more.
How to store dates?
If you want to keep dates for a month or less, then room temperature is OK. Just make sure the dates are in a cool and dry place away from heat and direct sunlight.
If the box or pack can be sealed that is great. Just make sure you seal it tightly once you opened it. But if the box or pack cannot be sealed, then we recommend to transfer it to a container which can be sealed tightly or you can use a freezer bag.
If you want to keep dates for a longer time, then fridge is your primary choice. But if you are intended to keep dates for a very long time then you’d better freeze the dates in refrigerator. Due to high sugar content dates are fine with freezing and it won’t damage the quality.
If the box or pack is unopened, then just put it in the refrigerator. Otherwise you’d better put the dates in a sealed container or a freezer bag and then freeze it.
You may also be interested in reading the article on storing dates.
Signs that tell if dates have gone bad:
Discolored or moldy dates
You need to know that white films on dates are not molds. They are just crystalized sugar that will appear when dates are in fridge. But if you are sure what you see is mold or the color of dates is changed then it’s time to through it away.
The smell is the main sign to know if it is already time to through the dates out or not. Any kind of strong bad smell or rotten odor means you need to toss your dates.
Any trace of insects or animals inside dates
Since most dates are organic and are not treated with pesticides, it is normal that they attract insects or animals. If there is any sign of insects or animals then it’s time to through the dates out.