Can You Eat Expired Bread

In this article, we will answer the question “can you eat expired bread” and discuss related topics.

Can You Eat Expired Bread?

Yes, you still can eat expired bread until 2-3 days after expiration date. You may also choose to toss it out, but it is usually safe to consume unless it has visible signs of spoilage or tastes bad.

Many people are afraid of eating expired foods, but some types of foods are still safe to be consumed even though they have expired. Especially if it has only been expired one or two days. But, be careful some molds have a similar color like your bread’s color. If your bread is stale, has a bad odor or has an unsightly appearance, you better throw them away! 

As an alternative, after you cut the moldy part, you can toast the clean parts, and grind them into breadcrumbs to be stored in the freezer for crumb toppings for chicken coating mix. Another alternative is, spreading it on sheet pans and either air-drying or a quick oven toast to crunchy dry. For those who love stuffing mix, this is a less costly unsalted bread casserole for breakfast!

How Long Does Bread Last?

It can be 3-7 days if you keep them at room temperature. 

When you buy bread, the first thing you will notice is the expiration date. This is very important so that you avoid consuming expired moldy bread or wasting foods. 

The shelf life of bread varies depending on the ingredients, types of bread, and storage method. Without using preservatives, bread lasts for only 3-4 days at room temperature and will last up to 7 days if bought in store. But, gluten free bread is more susceptible to mold because of its high moisture content and limited use of preservatives. 

Some bakeries also avoid using preservatives. You can check the ingredients list or ask the baker directly if you are not sure.

The shelf life also depends on the storage method. To prevent mold, bread should be kept sealed at room temperature or colder. For frozen bread, it will last up to 6 months. While they keep freezing, they will last longer because freezing can stop mold from growing but can not kill all harmful compounds. 

If you keep your bread at room temperature, the plastic wrap should be replaced with food paper or aluminum foil. It will be different if you keep it wrapped in paper or aluminum foil, because the surface of the bread tends to be dry so it is more durable. Then, just put them on the dining table or kitchen. 

How To Know If Your Bread Is Not Fresh?

Your bread will become hard and not crunchy anymore. This happens because the moisture in the bread moves from the center to the atmosphere through the edges, due to moisture transfer they become dry. 

Check your bread, if there are color spots on the surface, it is a sign of mold growth. This mold absorbs the nutrients in the bread and grows spores which produce fuzzy green, white or even pink spots. In addition, the center of the bread becomes hard due to changes in the starch. Moreover, the taste in the bread is lost because the compounds that give flavor are lost in the air. 

The taste of the bread returns when it is heated, it is indicating that the compounds were present in the starch and released when heated. And the last, the center of the bread becomes whiter/opaque and stiff due to retrogradation of the starch. 

Why Is Bread Easy To Mold? 

Bread is easy to mold because it provides a food source for many types of mold. Since mold can not produce its own starch, it draws its nutrients from bread. 

The growth of molds on bread is also influenced by several factors such as acidity (pH), light, oxygen, temperature, humidity, and other nutrients or food ingredients contained in the bread. 

Your bread will be moldy faster if there is no air circulation. This can happen if the bread is stored in a sealed plastic bag or if it is stored in a warm room temperature. In the plastic bag, there is no air circulation, so the bread remains moist. This moisture accelerates the growth of microorganisms. 

What Are Types of Bread Mold?

The most common bread molds are Rhizopus, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Mucor, and Fusarium. 

Some mold in your bread may produce mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are toxic to ingest or inhale. Mycotoxins can spread throughout the bread, which is why you better throw the whole part of bread if you see mold. 

Those molds can irritate your stomach and cause digestive problems. It can even interfere with your gut bacteria, which can lead to a weakened immune system and increase the risk of other diseases. 

Other FAQs about Bread that you may be interested in.

How to make bread not stale?

How to make bread last longer?

How to keep cornbread moist?


In this article we have answered the question “can you eat expired bread” and discussed related topics.

Hope this article helps you to find new information. If you have any questions, please let us know!


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.