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Does Jello really go bad? Shouldn’t it last forever?

Does Jello really go bad? Shouldn’t it last forever?

Yes, jello can go bad! Learn how long jello lasts and how to tell if it’s not good anymore.

Flavored gelatin, sometimes known as jello, is arguably a yummy, jiggly treat that some people, including kids, love to eat. But you might wonder, “does jello go bad?” Yes, it can, whether it’s still in the box as powder, or it’s been made and is still sitting in your fridge. Let’s find out more about how long jello can last and how to tell when it’s time to throw it out.

A glass bowl filled with red strawberry Jello and mint leaves.

How Long Does Jello Last?

There are two types of jello – the kind that’s already made and jiggly, and the kind that’s still a powder in a box. They don’t last the same amount of time.

Prepared Jello (the jiggly kind): If you keep this jello in the fridge, it can be good to eat for about 7 to 10 days. You have to keep it cold so it doesn’t start to go bad.

Dry Jello (the powder): This can last a really long time if you don’t open it, like up to two years! But once you open it, you should try to use it in the next three to four months.

Why Does Jello Go Bad?

Jello can go bad for a few reasons:

  • Air: If jello gets too much air, it can start to taste and look funny.
  • Water: Water can make the dry jello powder stick together and ruin it. If prepared jello gets extra water in or on it, it might get moldy or go bad faster.
  • Germs: Germs can grow, especially in prepared jello, if it’s not kept cold. Use a clean spoon every time you serve yourself some.

Get the recipe for Jell-O Jigglers here.

How to Tell if Jello Has Gone Bad

Prepared Jello: If it looks weird, smells bad, or has mold (yucky-looking, irregular white or dark spots or fuzz), it’s time to throw it out. If it feels too watery or too rubbery or firm, that’s also a sign it’s not good anymore.

Dry Jello Powder: If the powder gets lumpy or changes color, that’s not good. Also, if it smells weird, doesn’t smell like the flavor on the label or maybe no smell AT ALL, you should throw it away.

A close-up photo of red raspberry Jello on a white plate.

Questions People Ask

Can You Freeze Jello? It will freeze, but it ruins the texture. It’s not as good after it thaws. Prepared jello breaks down in the freezing process, too.

Is Jello Okay If Left Out All Night? No, if jello stays out of the fridge too long, like overnight, it’s not safe to eat because germs and mold can grow on it. It’s best to cover it and store it in the fridge when you aren’t eating it.

What If Dry Jello Is Lumpy? You can try to break the lumps, but it might not work as well to make jello. It’s probably better to use a new, fresh packet for the best taste and texture.

The bottom line

Jello can go bad, so it’s important to store it cold and keep an eye on it. If you’re not sure if it’s good to eat, it’s safer to throw it out. That way, you can enjoy your jello snack without worrying!