How Long Does Jello Last?

Jello - How long does Jello Last? An unopened box of Jello gelatin can last indefinitely, whereas prepared Jello will only last about a week. The shelf life of jello can vary due to the type, packaging, storage method, and thickening agent used. Jello is typically created by adding boiling water to a powdered mix or purchased in ready made serving containers.

Jello or Jell-o, a sweet wiggly desert, is the only chewable food allowed on a liquid diet. It is a highly processed food made from gelatin and sugar. In North America, most consumers get their jello from Kraft Foods. No-matter the form, it can be found in regular or sugar-free versions. Does jello go bad? That depends on the type to which you are referring.

So, just how long does jello last? Properly stored Jello lasts for the times indicated in the chart below beyond their best by date:

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Jello Expiration Date

(Unopened) Pantry Refrigerator
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Jello (dry powder mix) lasts for Indefinite --
Unflavored Gelatin lasts for Indefinite --
Sealed Pre-packaged Prepared Jello lasts for 3-4 Months 12-18 Months
(Opened) Pantry Refrigerator
Dry Jello lasts for 3-4 Months --
Prepared Jello lasts for -- 7-10 Days

Of course, jello (Jell-o) will last for a shorter period of time if it is not stored properly. But, like many other products, it usually has a best before date which is simply the last date by which a manufacturer will vouch for a product's flavor and quality, not its safety. In the case of gelatin, this date has more to do with the packaging starting to break down than the actual product. Because of this distinction, you may safely eat your jello after the printed date has expired, according to the above tables - that is, if it has been stored properly.

How to tell if Jello is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

The first sign of caution is when you see pockets of watery liquid (the liquid has separated from the other ingredients) and the sweet taste is replaced with a sharp, bitter flavor. You can tell if prepared jello has gone bad if you see bright bacterial marks or dark mold on its surface. Always toss any food with mold.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Jello to extend its shelf life?

For the prepared and packaged jello and the boxed dry mix jello, it should be stored in a cool dry environment not susceptible to temperature change. When food and drink go through temperature changes of cool to warm and vice versa, the moisture in the air tends to condensate inside the packages. This moisture allows mold to grow and your jello to go bad. Thus, while a refrigerator is recommended for packaged prepared jello, it is not required... but, if you bought the prepared product in the refrigerator section then it should also be kept in the refrigerator and if you bought your product on the shelf then it can remain on the shelf until opened.

Freezing jello is not recommended since it changes the consistency drastically. Unless, you have jello pudding pops which come frozen and can remain frozen for 8-12 Months. If you'd like to hear a catchy tune, check out the video jello pudding pop rap by Bill Cosby.

For homemade jello, you can keep it fresh longer by storing it in your refrigerator below 40°F immediately after use. You should store it in air-tight containers that help keep out moisture and other contaminants. In addition, you should always make sure to use clean utensils when serving in order to avoid cross-contamination.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting facts about Jello:

  • Most jello containers are made of colored plastic which reduces its exposure to light, air and fluctuating temperatures.
  • All flavors of jello (jell-o) typically have the same shelf life.
  • How long is Jello good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does jello last? That depends. How long does fruit last? In general, all foods last only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient that they are mixed with.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Jello lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Jello.

    *An important note about expiration dates...

    Although the Jello shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!

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    With oven-safe glass and water-tight lids, these food storage containers are ready for action! Not a Prime Member? Try a 30-day free trial today!


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