Can you get sick from eating expired bread?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Can you get sick from eating expired bread” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired bread. Moreover, we are going to discuss ways to spot bad bread and the shelf life of bread.

Can you get sick from eating expired bread?

So whether or not you will get sick after eating the expired bread depends on several factors like if or not some mold is present on it, if it has off-flavors or if only it has developed a hardened texture. 

For instance, if the bread is just past the “best before” or “ best by” date then you may still be able to consume it without getting sick if it was stored properly because “best by” or “best before’ date is more of a representative of quality rather than safety.

But if you see some organic growth or mold on your bread, then the best thing you can do is to get rid of such bread as it can cause health problems if consumed. 

The mold present on the bread can produce mycotoxins in it; they can cause severe health implications if swallowed or even inhaled. 

Therefore if you spot a mold on your loaf of bread you should get rid of the whole bread immediately as mycotoxins can spread throughout the bread and if you consume such bread, it can cause a lot of health problems including disrupting your gut bacteria food poisoning. 

Moreover, it can also weaken the immune system that will make you more prone to different diseases and attacks of pathogenic microbes.

The molds that can be present on the expired or stale bread are

  1. Rhizopus
  2. Aspergillus
  3. Mucor
  4. Fusarium
  5. Penicillium 

If you eat bread with mold on them, you can get food poisoning from them that is characterized by diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. So it is better to discard such bread to save yourself from such a situation.

  1. Diarrhea is an indication of the body that a certain obnoxious agent has entered it. So consumption of moldy bread often causes diarrhea.
  1. Food poisoning after consuming moldy bread is characterized by abdominal pain. Abdominal pain and cramps may likewise take place in the wake of devouring bad bread. 
  1. If you have consumed moldy bread then you will experience nausea and vomiting which is the natural defense of the body to get rid of the unwanted harmful substance that has entered the body. Moreover, persistent vomiting can result in electrolyte imbalance in the body as well as it can lead to severe dehydration, dizziness, flushed skin, and weakness. It is advised to drink plenty of water to save the body from dehydration as severe dehydration can even lead to shock.
  1. Consuming moldy bread will also raise your body temperature and you can experience fever which is the natural defense mechanism of your body and is the indicator that something is off with your body.
  1. Moreover consuming moldy bread can also give you headaches.

So if you have accidentally eaten bread with mold and now are suffering from vomiting or diarrhea, you should immediately look for medical help, moreover, you should drink a lot of water to compensate for the water loss that you are facing owing to vomiting and diarrhea.

Other FAQs about Bread which you may be interested in.

How to freeze french bread?

Does flatbread have yeast in it?

Can you freeze old bread?

How to spot bad bread?

If you see a green, black, white, or even pink mold on the surface of the bread, or has some unpleasant smell then it is the indication of bad bread. 

Moreover, if the mold is visible on the bread then it is not a good idea to smell the bread as mycotoxins present in bread can enter your body via inhaling and can cause a lot of health issues. 

What is the shelf life of bread?

Store-bought bread lasts for about 7 days if it is stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat. On the other hand, homemade bread lasts for about 3-4 days if it is properly stored in the pantry.

Refrigeration further prolongs the shelf life of bread and the bread that is properly stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit will have a shelf life 3-4 days longer than the unrefrigerated bread.

You can even opt for freezing your bread. Bread lasts for about 6 months if it is properly stored in the freezer.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you get sick from eating expired bread” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired bread. Moreover, we discussed ways to spot bad bread and the shelf life of bread.


Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.