Can pickles go bad if left out? 

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question” can pickles go bad if left out” with an in-depth analysis of signs if pickles go bad. Moreover, we are going to highlight the shelf life of opened or unopened pickles.

Can pickles go bad if left out?

No, pickles don’t go bad if left out. Pickles don’t spoil and don’t cause any health problems. Open pickles without a fridge can last for 1 year. 

Pickles can sometimes ferment. The juice will turn cloudy and will darken and become soft. If it happens, the flavor and texture of pickles will be lost.

The pickles which have been cooked in brine briefly, then you should place them in the fridge after opening the jar. The salt and vinegar should keep them safe for a while. They will go bad at room temperature before you finish eating a whole jar of pickles.

What happens if you don’t refrigerate after opening?

Refrigeration slows down the process of metabolism, they can’t reach dangerous numbers within recommended storage time after opening. Pickles  need to be warm enough to get fermented. After 1 or 2 weeks, pickles will need to be refrigerated. They should be kept in cold places to slow down the process of fermentation. 

Can old pickles make you sick?

No, old pickles can’t make you sick. Don’t eat moldy pickles. Your pickles get moldy when veggies are open to the air. When the veggies are underwater, they won’t grow any mold and will be safe to eat.  

Do unopened pickles go bad?

Unopened pickles have the best by date on the package label. But pickles will not go bad after passing their expiration date. As pickles are in an acidic environment. An acidic environment inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Open pickles also last a very long time for the same reason. If you see any sign of mold in your pickle then discard it.

What happens if you put cucumbers in pickles?

If you want to make quick pickles from pre-existing brine, cut slices of cucumber and toss them in a colander with salt ( if there are 1 pound of cucumbers, then put 1 ½ tablespoon of salt). After this let them sit for 1 hour and transfer the cucumber slices into a jar. Now boil the brine and pour it over the pickles. Seal the jar and place it in the fridge for 24 hours before eating.

How long do pickles last?

  • It does not matter which variety of pickles you are using, the shelf life will be similar.
  • The jar in which you put pickles usually comes with a best by date and it is a good starting point.
  • If the jar remains unopened, then pickles will easily last for months past that date in great quality.
  • Pickles are tightly sealed veggies in a solution loaded with preservatives such as vinegar. So nothing can happen.
  • As time passes, unpasteurized pickles become a bit sour.
  • If you open the jar, the strips and slices submerged in brine will retain quality for a few months.
  • The pieces which are not submerged in brine will deteriorate quickly in a few weeks. But the rest of the pickles will be perfectly fine.

Pickles shelf life:

      Pickles                 Pantry Shelf life in fridge
Pickles (Pasteurized, unopened)Best by +3 months
Pickles (Pasteurized, opened)3+ months
Pickles (Unpasteurized, unopened)Best by +3 months
Pickles (unpasteurized, opened)3+ months 

These are only estimates.

How to tell if pickles have gone bad?

  • If veggies are in pickles, they don’t last for a long time
  • If you put the jar containing veggies in the fridge for a month. The veggies will start spoiling while the rest of the pickles will be fine.
  • If the brine is intact and veggies are submerged in it, then pickles don’t spoil for a long time.
  • Pickle’s aroma is acidic and pleasant and the pickling brine is pale amber. The presence of white sediment at the bottom of the jar indicates that it is natural.
  • If the aroma of pickles or the color of brine changes, it means it is spoiled. Throw it out.
  • The occurrence of any organic growth or signs of any mold represents that pickles are spoiled. But it is rare.
  • If everything is okay like the smell is good, the last thing is that you can check pickled veggies by tasting them. If they have lost their crunch, then feel free to throw them to maintain quality purposes.

Here, you can find how to store pickles.


In this brief guide, we answered the question” can pickles go bad if left out” with an in-depth analysis of signs if pickles go bad. Moreover, we discussed  the shelf life of opened or unopened pickles.


Leave a Comment