Does Sauerkraut Go Bad?

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In a nutshell, it does not.

It’s true that the bacteria in sauerkraut will eventually die off.

But this happens over time, not immediately after you buy your jar.

In fact, there are actually two types of sauerkraut on the market.

One type goes bad quickly because it has been exposed to air.

This kind of sauerkraut should be consumed within three months of purchase.

The other type of sauerkraut is kept under refrigeration until it is ready to eat.

This type of sauerkraut can last up to one year without going bad.

So if you have bought some sauerkraut, what do you need to know about how long it lasts?


How long does sauerkraut last?

The shelf life of sauerkraut depends on several factors, including temperature and the amount of salt used.

Once you open the jar, though, there’s no going back.

If you buy your sauerkraut in a can, you can usually keep it up to one year from opening.

If you purchase it in bulk from a store, however, the expiration date will depend on the brand.

Some brands have a shelf life of six months, while others may only last three months.

This is because different companies use different methods for making their sauerkraut.

When choosing a brand of sauerkraut, look for “best before” dates.

These refer to the first day after which the product should not be consumed.

A good rule of thumb is to consume sauerkraut within two weeks of opening.

After this point, the flavor begins to deteriorate, so you should discard it as soon as possible.

You can also choose between refrigerated and nonrefrigerated sauerkraut.

Refrigerated varieties will typically last longer than those that are not kept cold.

If you plan to eat your sauerkraut right away, refrigerating will ensure that it lasts for at least a few days.

But if you want to save it for later, it’s best to skip the fridge.

Here are some tips for storing your sauerkraut:

  • Store it in a cool, dry place. Don’t try to make sauerkraut in hot weather. You don’t want to lose any of the bacteria during the fermentation process.
  • Keep an eye out for mold growth. Moldy kraut is dangerous and should be thrown out immediately.
  • Don’t let your sauerkraut sit around too long. The longer it sits, the more likely it is to spoil.
  • Avoid using plastic containers for your sauerkraut. Plastic can leech into the food and cause harmful chemicals like BPA to form. Instead, stick with glass jars.
  • To prevent condensation from forming inside the container, leave a small hole in the lid. This allows oxygen to enter the jar and keeps moisture from building up.

What are the signs that sauerkraut has gone bad?

If you have bought an open jar of sauerkraut, then chances are good that it’s been sitting around in your fridge for quite some time now.

That’s why you should keep an eye on it from time to time.

If you think that the sauerkraut has gone bad, then there are several signs that may indicate this.

  • The smell – if the sauerkraut smells like something else (such as vinegar), then it likely has gone bad. You may also notice mold forming on top of the sauerkraut. This is not necessarily a sign of spoilage, but rather an indication that the sauerkraut has lost most of its acidity. In other words, the sauerkraut will no longer be able to keep out harmful bacteria.
  • The texture – the texture of sauerkraut changes over time. When it was first opened, the sauerkraut will feel soft and mushy. As it sits, the sauerkraut will become firmer, which indicates that it’s losing moisture. Once it goes bad, the sauerkraut will lose all of its moisture. This means that you cannot eat it anymore.
  • The color – the color of the sauerkraut will change over time. When it was first opened, the sauerkraut will look bright green. Over time, the color will fade, and the sauerkraut will turn brown. The color change is not necessarily a sign of spoilage, but it is a sign that the sauerkraut has lost much of its nutrients.
  • The taste – the taste of sauerkraut can change over time. When it was first opened, the sauerkraut will taste sweet. However, as it ages, the sauerkraut will start tasting more sour. This is because the lactic acid produced during fermentation has begun to break down the sugar in the cabbage. If you do not consume the sauerkraut within a few days, then it is likely that it has gone bad.
  • The temperature – the temperature of the room where you store your sauerkraut will affect how quickly it goes bad. If you store your sauerkraut in a warm environment, then it will stay fresh for a shorter amount of time than if you stored it in a cold environment. This is because the lactic acid in the sauerkraut will begin breaking down faster in a warmer environment.
  • The packaging – the packaging used to store your sauerkraut will affect how long it lasts. For example, glass containers are better at keeping out oxygen than plastic containers. Plastic containers allow oxygen into the container, which means that the sauerkraut will spoil quicker. On the other hand, glass containers will help prevent the sauerkraut from spoiling.

Can sauerkraut be eaten after it has gone bad?

When sauerkraut goes bad, it loses some of its flavor and becomes less appetizing.

However, there are ways to salvage sauerkraut that have gone bad.

How can you tell if sauerkraut has gone bad?

Sauerkraut, also known as kraut, is a type of fermented cabbage.

It is made by shredding cabbage and adding salt.

The shredded cabbage is then left to ferment for a period of time.

The fermentation process gives sauerkraut its distinctive sour taste.

The fermentation process is what makes sauerkraut so good for your health.

Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, which help maintain healthy digestive tract bacteria.

Probiotics have been shown to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers and help prevent diarrhea.

They also boost immunity and help fight off harmful pathogens like E. coli and salmonella.

While there are no specific guidelines on how long sauerkraut should be stored before it goes bad, experts recommend that food with high levels of acidity (like sauerkraut) be consumed within two weeks.

Once this time passes, the acidity level will decrease and the food will begin to lose its freshness.

Here are some tips to help you determine whether sauerkraut has gone bad:

  • Check the label: If the packaging doesn’t specify an expiration date, look at the ingredients list. If the first few ingredients are not listed, then the product may be expired. Check the expiration date on the package if you’re unsure about the contents’ shelf life.
  • Smell: If the smell is strong or overwhelming, the product could be old. You might want to avoid eating sauerkraut that smells strongly of vinegar or brine.
  • Color: A dark green color indicates that the sauerkraut is still good. However, if the color is yellowish or brownish, it’s probably past its prime. This is because these colors indicate that the lactic acid bacteria responsible for making sauerkraut has died out.
  • Texture: When the texture becomes soft and mushy, the sauerkraut is likely overripe. You’ll know that it’s done by looking at the consistency of the product. If the sauerkraut is too soft, it won’t hold its shape, and it will fall apart easily.
  • Appearance: The appearance is another way to tell if the sauerkraut is ready to eat. If the sauerkraut looks cloudy, moldy, slimy, or sticky, it’s definitely spoiled. On the other hand, a clear, translucent liquid is a sign that it’s safe to consume. If the sauerkraut is very thick, it means that it has been sitting around for a while and might need to be refrigerated to make sure it stays fresh.

What causes sauerkraut to go bad?

The bacteria that cause sauerkraut to go bad are the same as those that cause other fermented foods like yogurt, wine, and beer to go bad.

In fact, some scientists believe that sauerkraut goes bad because of the same microorganisms that cause food spoilage.

When you buy sauerkraut, you will see a warning label on the package that states “Use within six months” or “Best used by date.”

This means that the product is good for six months after opening but beyond that point it may have lost its flavor.

Sauerkraut contains lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that help create this distinctive taste.

However, these LAB only survive in an acidic environment.

When you open your jar of sauerkraut, you are creating this acidic environment which helps keep the LAB alive.

As long as there is enough moisture in the jar, the LAB will continue to live.

However, once the moisture level drops below 50 percent, the LAB begin to die off.

At this point, the LAB will start producing more acetic acid, which is what turns spoiled food into vinegar.

Once the LAB die off, they leave behind their own waste products, including ethyl alcohol, propionic acid, and acetaldehyde.

These compounds make sauerkraut smell and taste sour, and can also give the food a moldy appearance.

If you do not consume the sauerkraut before it reaches this point, it should still taste fine.

But if you let it sit too long, it could become very unpalatable.

If you suspect that your sauerkraut has gone bad, discard it immediately.

How can you prevent sauerkraut from going bad?

It’s not uncommon to think that once something goes bad, it will never get better.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, we’ve all been told at one point or another that “it’s gone bad,” but what does that really mean?

When we say that food has gone bad, we tend to assume that there was some sort of accident, like bacteria getting into our food, or perhaps an animal got into our food.

While these things certainly happen, they aren’t the only cause of spoiled food.

Food can also become spoiled due to poor handling, storage conditions, or even improper cooking methods.

For example, if your home isn’t properly ventilated, mold spores could grow in your sauerkraut.

If you have a water leak, mold could grow on your food as well.

So, what exactly happens when food goes bad?

Let’s take a look at this in more detail.

What are the consequences of eating bad sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is a type of fermented cabbage.

It is made by shredding cabbage and adding salt.

The cabbage is then left to ferment for a period of time.

The fermentation process gives sauerkraut its distinctive sour taste.

The fermentation process also makes it safe to eat.

However, there are some things that make sauerkraut unsuitable for consumption.

One of these things is an overabundance of bacteria.

When this occurs, the fermentation process stops and the sauerkraut goes bad.

As a result, it will have a foul odor and may even start rotting.

There are several ways to tell whether your sauerkraut has gone bad.

If you don’t want to throw out perfectly good food, here are some tips on how to keep it fresh.

What should you do if you think your sauerkraut has gone bad?

If you suspect that your sauerkraut has gone off, there are some things you can do about it.

First, try to determine whether the problem is with your recipe or the way you have prepared the sauerkraut.

If there was something wrong in the preparation, then you may need to start over.

If it’s just the recipe, then you will still want to make sure that the ingredients are fresh and that the process was followed correctly.

If you notice any signs of spoilage, such as mold, smell, or discoloration, then you should discard it immediately.

You don’t want to let your sauerkraut sit around long enough to get moldy or rotten.

Not only does this ruin the flavor, but it also makes it unsafe to consume.

Make Ribs and Sauerkraut in an easy way

Make Ribs and Sauerkraut in an easy way

This recipe calls for country-style ribs that are a cut of chicken from the pork butt and pork shoulder.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 2181 kcal


  • 1 Slow Cooker


  • 3 pound pork rib
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Pepper and salt
  • 9 red potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 caraway seeds
  • 32 Oz Sauerkraut
  • 12 Oz water
  • ½ cup Sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


  • Sear meat: In a skillet, melt the lard or heat the oil on medium-high heat. Now at the pork ribs and season them with pepper and salt on both sides. After that, sear the meat on all four sides and remove it from the pan, and put it on the paper towel-covered paper plate to help eliminate some grease. Set it to the side and spoon out the fond (Fond is the brown bits in the bottom of the pan). It is important to sear the pork; if you’re not searing the pork, it will lose a lot of flavors.
  • Layer the slow cooker: Put the potatoes in the slow cooker and add onions, garlic cloves, and sliced apple. Combine the beer and water with brown sugar in the medium bowl until the sugar has melted, and pour it into the slow cooker. After that, add drained Sauerkraut, fond, and caraway seeds. Then place the ribs on top of the Sauerkraut and pour the half cup of Sauerkraut juice over the chicken and cover it properly. Now cook it on high heat for 5 to 6 hours.
  • How to serve the Ribs and Sauerkraut: Utilise the tongs and remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place it on the serving tray. After that, utilize a serrated spoon and remove the Sauerkraut, allow a few of the juice to drain, and put it on a serving tray with pork. Remove the potatoes and apples with this similar method and place them on the serving tray. Moreover, every person makes their own dishes from the serving tray. For every person, dish smashed potatoes, top it with butter and a healthy helping of Sauerkraut and add a fork and serve with condiments. I always serve my dish with mustard; however, ketchup is the other option if you want.



Calories: 2181kcalCarbohydrates: 198gProtein: 97gFat: 114gSaturated Fat: 36gPolyunsaturated Fat: 20gMonounsaturated Fat: 41gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 381mgSodium: 3805mgPotassium: 6550mgFiber: 34gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 207IUVitamin C: 164mgCalcium: 351mgIron: 19mg
Keyword Make Ribs and Sauerkraut in an easy way
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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