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Why Does Jerky Mold?

There are a couple of possibilities.

Also, not all jerky will mold, it depends on a few things.

The number 1 reason jerky will mold is that not enough moisture has been removed from the meat during the drying process.

Jerky should have around 90 to 95% of the moisture in the meat removed during drying.

If it doesn't, the moisture still in the meat leads to the possibility of mold spores growing. If the jerky is dried almost completely, mold usually won't grow.

If you like your jerky a little moist, you could try to vacuum pack your jerky. Mold will not grow without air ( or oxygen ).

There are some decent home vacuum packers on the market now, and these might be of use.

Also, mold seems to grow or develop quicker in a moist atmosphere. So, the refrigerator is not a good place to store jerky, unless it is vacuum packed. But since jerky is dried meat, it is not necessary to store it refrigerated anyway.


According to a study published by the American Medical Association, E.Coli can survive
drying times of up to 10 hours and temperatures of up to 145 degrees F.
It is recommended that venison being dried for jerky should
 be precooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.
 Hunters and other consumers need to understand that wild game should
be handled and cooked with the same caution recommended for other meats.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 09:40 PM