Why beef jerky can go bad?

Beef jerky, like any other food, will not last forever. It will take quite some time before it can get bad.

Away from its incredible flavor, it’s the favorite food for hikers, campers, and even survivalists because it stays edible for a long period.

The extended lifespan of the beef jerky is attributed to the following reasons:

First, beef jerky is dried to get rid of internal fluid contained in meat. This makes it hard for the bacteria and spoil-causing molds to flourish, thereby keeping the food safe for an extended period.

Secondly, only lean meat is used in a jerky. Lean meat does not contain fats, and that’s why it tends to last for long. The use of salt, which is a natural preservative, also makes beef jerky not to go bad easily.

Signs that beef jerky has gone bad

Drying as a method of food preservation is still in use up to date, regardless of the widespread availability of fresh meat. The drying process concentrates the meat flavors in various volatile ways, and the inclusion of salt and other preservation products makes the jerky meat tasty. Beef jerky can remain safe for human consumption for an extended period as long as it is dried and stored properly, although it may lose a bit of its flavor.

Take a look at the beef jerky package to find out if there are any signs of moisture. The presence of moisture is an indication that the jerky is spoilt and not safe for human consumption.

Open the jerky package and take out at least two pieces to examine. The extent of dryness in each piece should not be different and should somewhat pliable. If you notice that some spots are harder, damp or uneven, then this is an indication that the drying process was not done to completion or there has been an absorption of moisture. Such a jerky is not safe for human consumption because bacteria can flourish in the soft spots as there are bacteria that thrive with no bad smell.

Smell the jerky. If it produces awful smell, it should be immediately get rid of because it is no longer safe for human consumption and, if left unattended to for quite some time, can form a breeding ground for bacteria, which does not mean good to our health.

Get rid of any jerky that shows signs of discoloration or visible mold. A jerky that has been thoroughly dried for food safety concerns cannot facilitate mold growth or any other microorganism. A jerky beef that is discolored or moldy is spoil and not fit for consumption.

How to prevent beef jerky from getting bad?

There are several ways you can use to extend the shelf life of your beef jerky. These methods are will further increase the lifespan of the beef jerky, but you should not forget to use the smell test before consuming your jerky.

Store the beef jerky in a freezer. Freezing and absence of moisture make it difficult for the bacteria and other spoiling molds to flourish, thereby extending the shelf life of the beef jerky. The main concern is lack of adequate freezer space, but with a separate deep freeze, you can store a lot of beef jerky for quite some time.

The use of desiccants, also known as drying agents, is one of the ways to keep off moisture from your jerky. Beef jerkins feature a silica bag that is intended to absorb any moisture left out during the sealing of the bag. This bag is meant to ensure your beef jerky is dry all the time, thereby prolonging the lifespan of the beef jerky.

If your beef jerky is homemade, you can extend its shelf life by getting rid of all the fat before drying. Fat is always the first thing that gets bad before the meat. Getting rid of almost all fats means that the jerky will last for long before it gets bad.

Beef jerky can last for one to two years when properly stored. The use of food preservation methods such as drying, use of salt, and leaning of fats can further prolong the shelf life of the beef jerky.

To identify if the beef jerky has gone bad is too easy because you will need to check whether there are signs of mold growth or discoloration. There are also several ways you can use to prevent your beef jerky from getting bad such as the use of drying agents.