Can You Eat Expired Bread? – Safety and Health

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If you’ve ever had a loaf of bread expire, you likely have pondered whether or not you can still eat it. So, can you eat expired bread? Yes, but as you will see, that comes with a few caveats. Come along as we explore the science behind eating bad bread and explore the questions of if it is ever okay to consume it.

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breads on shelves

How Long Is Bread Good For After the Expiration Date?

Generally, bread is good for 5-7 days after expiry.

But be careful.

The environment in which the bread is stored matters, so avoid damp and moist environments. Instead, store your bread in a dry, cool place or in a bread box to keep it fresher for longer.

Moreover, you should avoid placing your bread in the fridge, as this could cause your bread to become stale even faster than letting it sit at room temperature. 

What Will Happen If I Eat Expired Bread?

Can Expired Bread Make You Sick?

You can technically eat expired bread, especially if it has only been expired one or two days, but always do so with caution. 

If you choose to eat bread that is growing mold, is stale, or has an unsightly appearance or taste, you may be setting yourself up for food poisoning

Symptoms of food poisoning include: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Nausea

What Happens If You Eat Expired Bread?

If you decide to eat expired bread much past its expiration date, you could end up with a foodborne illness

Still, if your bread has no visible signs of mold, then it is likely perfectly fine to eat, although it may taste a little funny and may be firmer than what you are used to.

Those who are sensitive to mold or who have respiratory illnesses should never consume old bread, especially bread with mold on it, as doing so may cause symptoms such as vomiting, difficulty breathing, or diarrhea. 

Can You Eat Expired Bread If It Looks Fine?

Eating expired bread that does not have visible signs of mold probably won’t hurt you, but we still don’t advise you do it. Eat fresh bread when you can, and don’t eat any bread that has surpassed a week past its expiry date. 

And though you may be tempted to throw your fresh bread in the fridge to cause it to last longer, doing so may actually have the opposite effect. Instead, consider placing your bread in the freezer and simply thawing slices as you need them. 

Sourdough bread

Is It OK to Eat Expired Bread If It’s Not Moldy?

As long as your bread doesn’t appear to have mold, it may be safe to eat. Still, you likely won’t enjoy it.

Moreover, you are almost always putting yourself at an increased risk for food poisoning when you choose to eat any expired food.

Can You Eat Expired Bread Without Mold?

If there is no mold present on the bread, you can go ahead and chow down– but you may not like the taste and texture. Additionally, if you do find that your bread has a little mold on it, it may surprise you to know that mold isn’t likely to make you very sick. Still, if you start to experience symptoms of mold exposure, be sure to contact your doctor right away. 

How Much Past Can You Eat Expired Bread?

Expired bread can be safely eaten up to 5-7 days past its expiration date. If you choose to continue to eat stale bread past this marker, you may do so, though those with sensitivities may find their digestive systems affected. 

Can You Eat Bread a Month After Expiration Date?

It isn’t recommended that you eat bread a month after expiry. Because bread that has been sitting at room temperature this long is likely to have grown mold on it, you’ll want to pitch the bread and buy a new loaf.

If, however, the bread was properly stored and frozen for a month after expiry, take heart: you can safely eat the bread and it will likely taste just as fresh as the day you bought it. 

Can You Eat Bread 2 Weeks Out of Date?

If your bread is two weeks out of date and it wasn’t frozen, you may be able to still consume the bread but watch for signs of mold. 

You should also note that bread this old won’t likely taste very good and you may find it to have a firm and unappealing texture. 

Can You Eat Bread 10 Days After Expiration Date?

In general, we only recommend consuming bread that is 5-7 days past its expiration date. Consuming bread outside of this time frame may mean consuming moldy, hard, and unpleasant tasting bread. 

Can You Eat Expired Bread If It Was Refrigerated?

Believe it or not, refrigerating bread can expedite the expiration process making your bread become stale more quickly than if you would have left it at room temperature! Rather than refrigerating your bread, we recommend you simply pop it in the freezer, then thaw – or gently toast – your slices of bread when you need them. 

brown bread

How to Use Expired Bread?

There are plenty of ways to get more life out of your stale bread. Consider using your old bread to make your own breadcrumbs for a French onion soup, like below.

You can also make bread pudding! If you’re wondering how to store your creation afterwards, you can read our blog on how to store bread pudding.

Dishes involving stale bread takes little to no effort and is remarkably easy!

Can You Eat Expired Bread Crumbs?

You can, but like with anything else you’ll want to exercise caution. Be sure to look the breadcrumbs over to ensure they have not acquired mold. Also, be sure to take a whiff to ensure they don’t have an “off” smell.

If you find that your breadcrumbs aren’t up to par, use stale bread to make your own. And if you’re wondering how to make breadcrumbs without a food processor because you don’t have one on hand, just know that there are more ways than one to make easy D.I.Y breadcrumbs.

FAQs

How do you know if bread is bad?

The best way to tell if bread is bad is by observing the texture and appearance. If you notice mold on your bread or that it is hard and crunchy, the bread has likely gone bad. Moreover, your bread may have an off-putting taste.

Does bread last longer in the fridge?

Not really. Refrigerating bread actually can cause it to grow hard and stale faster due to its molecular structure combined with cooler temperatures. If you want to keep your bread for longer, consider wrapping your leftover loaf in freezer paper or freezer bags, then placing it in the freezer. 

Can You Eat Expired Bread? Yes, But Only For About a Week…

Though eating stale or expired bread isn’t always pleasant, the truth is you can usually safely consume the bread for up to 5-7 weeks after the printed use-by date. Still, you won’t want to eat any bread that has visible mold on it.

To keep your bread fresh, we’d recommend wrapping your loaf and throwing it in the freezer where it can stay fresh for up to 6 months. 

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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