Check Your Fridge: Even Costco Dates Can Contain Mold

We get it. Sometimes the deals just look so good you have to break the "don't buy produce at Costco" rule. Unfortunately, beyond the fact that you probably won't be able to eat all that produce before it goes bad, some of it might even be bad before you leave the store.

This was recently the case for one TikTok user who purchased dates at Costco. They noted in the caption of their post that they had thought the dates "[looked] fresh"; but, upon further inspection at home, they realized the dates were actually full of mold. As they squeezed one of the dates, clouds of mold spores came out. Naturally, this prompted viewers to comment, "Are they out of date?" and, "The mold gives it that smoky flavor."

For the record, dates should not taste smoky; nor should they spray clouds of mold everywhere when you squeeze them. Actually, let's just go through some good ways to avoid smoky, moldy dates altogether.

How to minimize your risk of eating moldy dates

The unfortunate reality is that dates grow best in dry climates; so, if a date crop gets too much rain, that moisture provides a great environment for mold to grow. As such, to keep from eating mold by accident, you can cut your dates open and make sure they don't contain mold.

To keep dates fresh, put them in an airtight container and then store them somewhere cool, dry, and away from sunlight — ideally in your fridge. In other words, you don't want to let in any moisture or warmth, which can help mold growth along. If stored correctly, some varieties of fresh dates can be kept in the fridge for up to 18 months, according to Very Well Fit.

Like other kinds of produce, one of your first signs that dates have gone bad is a change in color, smell, and/or texture, per Cully's Kitchen, so if you notice any of these things, toss those dates. By the same token, if you see insects crawling around on your dates, toss them. You don't want to get sick from eating bad dates.