How Long Does Beef Jerky Last?

how long does beef jerky last


The meat snack market is growing, and it’s no surprise. Beef jerky is a convenient, healthy, delicious food to enjoy on the go. If you love beef jerky, or you’re new to the world of buying beef jerky, you may be wondering how long it keeps. In this handy guide, we’ll talk about how long beef jerky lasts, offer advice to help you make the most of your products and share tips to help you spot signs that your snacks may be past their best. 

how long does beef jerky last

How long does beef jerky last?

High-quality, commercial beef jerky doesn’t have an expiry date as such. The drying processes that are used to produce the best quality beef jerky are designed to enhance shelf-life and improve quality. Unlike many other foods, such as dairy products, there isn’t a specific expiry date for beef jerky products. Instead, providers offer a best before date, which encourages customers to consume the product within a time frame to ensure they enjoy optimum taste and freshness. 

Typically, if you buy products such as Nive Beef Jerky, you will find a best before date on the pack, which will give you an idea of how long the product will last. After this date, the goods won’t spoil, but they may not be as fresh, which could impact the taste.

It’s important to note that if you are making your own beef jerky at home, it will not last as long as products you buy from producers that use tried and tested methods to create the finest quality jerky. Homemade products will usually last a maximum of around 2 months. Most sealed, unopened commercial products should still taste good if they are consumed within 12 months. It is essential to make sure that you store the product in the refrigerator if you have opened the bag and you don’t want to eat it all in one go. If you’re keen to build up a store at home, you can freeze beef jerky for up to 12 months. 

How can I tell if beef jerky is still fresh and safe to eat?

There are a number of steps you can take to check if your beef jerky is still fresh and safe to eat. These include:

  1. Check the best before date on the product packaging
  2. Inspect the beef jerky and check the colour and texture. If the colour has changed or the beef jerky is hard, it may be past its best.
  3. Smell the product: beef jerky that is past the best before date may have a slightly unpleasant odour.
  4. Check the bag for tears and holes: there is a risk that products can lose freshness if the packaging is damaged. Check the bag or box for holes or tears before you start eating. If there are signs of damage, it’s possible that moisture might have got into the bag, which can shorten the lifespan of the product. 

In most cases, if you have bought a good quality product, the best before date is an indicator of freshness. If you consume beef jerky before the date specified on the label, you’re getting it at its best. If you open a bag of beef jerky after the best before date, it probably won’t have spoiled, but it might not be as fresh and tasty. It’s always a good idea to check dates before you buy and to ensure that you consume the products in date order to make the most of your purchases. 

If you have bought beef jerky from Nive Beef and you have any questions about best before or expiry dates or increasing and preserving freshness, don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Tips to make beef jerky last longer

When you buy beef jerky, check the best before dates before adding products to your basket and try to avoid storing bags of beef jerky in direct sunlight. Finding a cool, shady spot in your kitchen or pantry will help you to preserve the product for longer and enhance freshness. You can also freeze beef jerky to keep it for up to 12 months. 

If you plan to make your own beef jerky, you can make it last longer by trimming the fat, curing the meat and leaving it to dry for the required time. Store it in a cool, dry place. 


Beef jerky is a very popular snack. Part of its appeal is the fact that it has a long lifespan. Unlike many foods, beef jerky doesn’t have an expiry date as such. Instead, manufacturers and producers add a best before date, which encourages customers to enjoy the product while it is at its freshest and most delicious.