Can I eat bread past its expiration date?

In this article we are going to answer: can you eat bread past its expiration date, what the expiration date is, what is the best by date, how long does bread last, what happens if you eat expired bread and how to correctly store bread.

Can you eat bread past its expiration date?

Bread does not include an expiration date but they do have a best-by date or sell-by date depending on how you are buying your bread. You can eat bread after the best-by date but if it looks moldy or anything weird, it should not be eaten even if the best-by date hasn’t passed. 

How long bread lasts depends on how you store it. 

What is the expiration date?

The expiration date in the product tells the consumer the last day a product is safe to consume. The expiration date is not in all products. It is required on certain products that have a specific nutritional composition that could change after the expiration date. 

The expiration date is required in some products such as

  • Liquid diets
  • Foods sold by a pharmacist
  • Meal replacements
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Infant formula 

If a product has passed the expiration date, it should not be consumed. 

What is the best date?

Best by date or best before date tells the consumer that food is no longer fresh or in the same shape such as texture and taste as when you bought it. It might lose some freshness, taste, aroma, or nutrients but it doesn’t mean that the product has gone bad and is no longer safe to eat. 

The safety, freshness, and taste of the products depend on how it has been stored. So, if the product has not been handled correctly, it can lose all its qualities long before the best by date. 

How long does bread last?

Generally, bread can last up to 5 to 7 days but it depends on how you are buying your bread. If it is fresh bread from the bakery it usually lasts less than bread that is sold in the supermarket because supermarket bread has more additives to last longer. 

How long your bread lasts depends directly on how you store your bread. 

What happens if you eat expired bread?

It depends on when you eat it but there is a high risk of food-borne illnesses if you eat bread that is not in a good condition. If not stored correctly, bread is a perishable food. Especially if you eat bread that has some mold in it, you can for sure contract foodborne illness. 

Food poisoning or also called foodborne illness is caused when you eat something that is contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Sometimes you don’t have to ingest the virus or bacteria, it is enough by eating their toxins to have symptoms of food poisoning. 

Symptoms might start within an hour of eating contaminated food. Symptoms include

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

The whole sickness caused by food poisoning can last one day to several days. Food poisoning is life-threatening to immune-suppressed patients, the elderly, pregnant women, and young children. 

The most common contaminants that can cause food poisoning are

  • Campylobacter: symptoms start from 2 to 5 days
  • Clostridium perfringens: symptoms start from 8 to 16 hours
  • E.coli: symptoms start from 1 to 8 days
  • Listeria: symptoms start from 9 to 48 hours 
  • Salmonella: symptoms start from 1 to 3 days

How to correctly store bread?

Bread from the grocery store should be stored at room temperature, try to avoid the fridge because it has a lot of humidity. According to the best by date, they can be eaten 5 days after opening it but they can last for longer. 

Bread bought from your local bakery should be stored in an airtight container or wrapped with plastic at room temperature. If you are not going to eat it right away, you can wrap it in plastic and freeze it for about 6 months. 

Follow this link for more information on how to store bread correctly to last longer. 

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat bread past its expiration date, what the expiration date is, what is the best by date, how long does bread last, what happens if you eat expired bread and how to correctly store bread.

Citation

https://www.thedailymeal.com/expiration-date-bread-good

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.