Can you get sick from eating expired nuts?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can you get sick from eating expired nuts?” and the information on storing nuts.

Can you get sick from eating expired nuts?

No! You can not get sick from eating expired nuts until they have some signs of spoilage. However, while ingesting little amounts of rancid or rotten nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or cashews may not cause you to become sick right away, it is generally not a good idea because it may block digestion or have other long-term harmful effects on your body. 

These nuts are not recommended for baking because they will turn your cookies, cakes, and brownies bitter and sour if used in the process. Because of this, you’ll need a good nose to detect rotten or stale nuts, and there are two simple techniques to determine whether or not your nuts are useless.

What to Do When Nuts Start to Go Bad?

Whenever they come into contact with heat, light, or air, unsaturated fats in nuts begin to oxidize, causing double bonds to be broken in the fat molecules. Nuts get rancid as a result of the short-chain fatty acids that are left behind. 

Walnuts, pine nuts, and pecans, for example, have a higher risk of rancidity than other nuts due to the larger concentration of these lipids in their composition. Infected nuts have an unpleasant grassy or paint-like smell, and they are yellow, black, or greasy in appearance, indicating that they are rotten. The simplest way to find out is to sample the nut and determine if it has an “off” flavor.

What happens on eating rotten nuts?

Even if you consume rotten nuts, you are unlikely to have any ill consequences other than an unpleasant aftertaste on your tongue. Nuts that have gone bad can irritate the lining of your stomach and intestines, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in some people. In part, this is since rancid oils in nuts contain potentially toxic compounds that promote inflammation and are carcinogenic, making the long-term consequences even more worrying.

When Is It Necessary to See a Doctor?

Consuming rancid or infected nuts may, in rare cases, result in an abrupt deterioration of symptoms after consumption. You should seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing severe bloody vomiting or diarrhea, acute pain or stomach cramps, fever greater than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, difficulty speaking or swallowing, double vision, or muscle weakness that extends from the top to the bottom of your body. If you’re dehydrated, drink plenty of water or sports drinks to help you rehydrate and stay healthy.

How to store nuts?

Roasted, chopped, and groundnuts, both shelled and unshelled, go rancid much more quickly than whole raw nuts because they are exposed to higher levels of oxygen. Purchase little quantities of nuts rather than massive economy-size bags of nuts to reduce the risk of nuts getting rancid while in storage. 

Maintain a cold, dry environment of about 35 degrees Fahrenheit by storing nuts in an airtight glass or plastic container away from direct sunlight. In this case, a refrigerator is a great option. In the refrigerator, shelled nuts will last up to six months and in the freezer, they will last up to one year. Nuts that have not been shelled can be stored for up to two years without losing their nutritional value.

Do nuts go bad if they haven’t been opened yet?

Even though nuts that have not been opened can still go bad, those that have not been opened will last significantly longer than those that have been opened. For nuts that have not been opened, the table above may be of use in determining whether or not they are safe to consume.

If you have nuts that have already been opened, the information in the table above does not apply. You’ll have to examine them for yourself before deciding on whether to purchase them.

What is the shelf life of nuts when kept at room temperature?

The length of time that nuts can be held at room temperature varies depending on the type of nut that is being stored. After the best before date on the box has passed, you can normally continue to consume them for another 6 months.

If you have nuts that are somewhat warmer than normal room temperatures, you can minimize the time required to roast them. Increased temperatures cause the oils in the nuts to go rancid considerably more quickly if they are stored at higher temperatures.

Maintaining the nuts at temperatures on the colder side of room temperature will allow them to last longer than the time indicated in the preceding table. Just make sure you check them to see whether they’re still in good shape before using them.

Is it Possible for Nuts to Keep Fresh in the Refrigerator?

Most nuts will last for about a year in the refrigerator after they have passed their best before date. In part because of the lack of sunlight and the cooler temperatures, the nuts retain their freshness for a significantly longer time than if they were left at room temperature.

When keeping shelled nuts in the refrigerator, take special steps to avoid contamination. These things absorb the moisture from the inside of the refrigerator, in addition to the flavor and aroma of the other foods in the proximity.

If the box has been opened, store the nuts in an airtight container to maintain their freshness and prevent them from absorbing the flavor and odor of other foods while still in the package.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “Can you get sick from eating expired nuts?” and the information on storing nuts.


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