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How Long Does Jam Last? Does Jam Go Bad?

While cleaning your fridge, you found a long-stored jam jar?

Now you are thinking whether it is fine or do jam go bad over time.

Some people consider these jars good until their best-by dates last.

But that is only a myth because this fruit mix can be used beyond that date; however, one just has to compromise its taste.

Over time, its taste begins to deplete as it comes in contact with other elements.

There is no doubt that jam does go bad, but without checking the bad signs, one should not discard it.

What is Jam?

This is a spread that is added to food items to enhance their flavor.

These are made up of fruit pieces and sugar.

They are cooked together and mixed well until they become thick and get the texture of a spread.

This is used in cakes, pastries, pancakes, and other baking products.

They are high in calories and include a lot of nutritional value.

A compound called pectin is added to extract the fresh flavor of fruits more commonly found in apples, berries, and citrus fruits.

This compound also has tremendous health benefits as it promotes the health of hair, skin, and fingernails.

One can reduce the risk of cancer and prevent constipation.

These are also effective in increasing the formation of red blood cells in the body.

How Long Does Jam Last? Does Jam Go Bad?

The jam goes bad, but it is not when they’re best before the date passes.

Best-before dates are just estimations; specify the date until this offers its best service.

However, the freshness of the fruit mix depends on how you store and use it.

The sugar content in this can also affect its shelf life because more sugar keeps it safe for extended periods.

The average shelf life of jam ranges between 6 to 12 months before the best-before date.

If you have a low-sugar jam, then its unopened jar can serve for 12 months in the pantry, and for more extended storage, you can keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy it for 6 to 9 months.

Homemade jams are more likely to serve a longer in a pantry.

They can be used for 1 to 2 years, and in the refrigerator, it lasts only up to 1 year.

Another sugar-free variation in a jam can be preserved for up to 9 months when closed.

When this fruit mix is opened, it will only be used for 6 to 9 months.

But irrespective of the date labeled on the jar, you should look for signs if one has found a long-stored jam.

How to Tell if Jam Has Gone Bad?

  • Growth of Yeast or Mold

To check bad signs, you to look for the changes your jam has taken till now.

One can look for the growth of mold as it is highly visible.

Molds generally take place with a different color than that of your fruit mix.

Therefore it becomes easier to see that it is not good anymore.

The same goes for yeast growth, as once the jar develop, they can be found out quickly, and one should avoid eating them as they contain harmful substances.

  • Changes in Smell

The spoilage can also be felt by the smell of the fruit mix.

At first, the jar will offer you a fruitful and pleasing fragrance.

But if you prolong its storage, it will smell like fermented yeast or alcohol.

Keeping an open jar in the fridge can increase the chances of getting a bad odor as their smell will absorb the other strong smells around it.

  • Discoloration

Another change that one can note is discoloration.

You just have to see that the color of the fruit mix is similar to when brought it first.

Your jam is no longer edible if the color has changed to a darker shade.

Color change can also happen if there is less sugar in a jam.

So you can try tasting; if the taste is also bad, it indicates that you must throw the jar out.

How to Store Jam?

  • Keep Away From Heat and Light

When trying to preserve the taste of the fruit mix, keep it away from heat and light.

You can try storing it at room temperature when your jar is unopened, which can significantly increase its shelf life.

Some kitchen shelves are prone to direct sunlight; therefore, these are not good for storage.

Thus, you can place them anywhere where the temperature does not exceed, and no light can be exposed to the jar.

  • Pest Free Pantry

People expecting to preserve their jam in the pantry must understand that they can spoil their jar if their pantry is infested with pests.

Most pantries attract bugs and pests, and keeping your jar there will not increase its life but can make it go bad earlier.

Therefore you should store it in a pest or bug-free pantry.

  • Use Campden Tablets

This might be an old trick, but it works like magic and keeps your jar away from spoilage.

These tablets are made of sodium metabisulphite, which kills bacteria and does not let the yeast ferment.

That is why it is best to store your jam.


As the ingredients included in jam expire early, thus you can freeze it to increase its shelf life.

Fruit mix is a lasting product; you can further enhance its life through good storage.

The pantry should be used for unopened jars; when they are opened, you should store them at a cooler temperature.

You can save your jam for quite an extended period using the above-provided information.

How Long Does Jam Last? Does Jam Go Bad?

Wondering about the shelf life of your favorite jam? Learn how long jam lasts and whether it goes bad with our comprehensive guide.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Jam
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  • If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  • Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
Keyword How Long Does Jam Last
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