Can you get sick from eating expired popcorn?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you get sick from eating expired popcorn” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired popcorn. Moreover, we are going to discuss tips to properly store popcorn.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you get sick from eating expired popcorn?

When it comes to popcorn, you do not necessarily get sick from eating expired popcorn as long as it is stored properly and there is no sign of spoilage associated with it. 

No doubt that popcorn suffers textural and flavor changes over time and popped kernels tend to go stale but eating expired popcorn does not pose health issues as long as there are no signs of spoilage associated with it.  

It is worth mentioning that instead of “expiry date” you will find a “best before” or “best by” date written on the packet of the popped popcorn.

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the package of popped popcorn refers to the quality rather than safety so the popcorn doesn’t go bad immediately after the best before date. 

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of popped popcorn but you can still use popcorn that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

An unopened pack of store-bought popped popcorn lasts for about 2-4 weeks past the printed date on it, if stored properly in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

On the other hand, once opened store-bought popped popcorn stays good for about 1-2 weeks when stored in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag in a cool, dry and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

Moreover, when it comes to the dry kernels, they last for about 1-2 years or 6-12 months past the printed date on them when they are stored properly in an air-tight container in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry away from direct sunlight and heat. They can last even longer than this provided that they are stored properly.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of popcorn.

Thus, you should do a sensory evaluation of your popcorn to reach a final verdict on whether or not it is still suitable to consume. 

Certain indicators point out bad popcorn. You should consider the taste, and smell of the popcorn along with the condition of the packet to reach a final verdict on whether it is still suitable to consume or not.

Smell

If you smell something foul or rancid while taking a sniff test of your popcorn then it is an indication of bad popcorn and it is better to toss it out.

Taste

If you notice off-flavors while taking a bite of your popcorn then it is better to discard such popcorn.

So you should consider the points mentioned above before deciding whether you are going to eat your popped popcorn or not.

Tips to properly store popcorn

  1. Moisture is an enemy of the freshness and quality of the popcorn therefore popcorn should be kept in air-tight containers or air-tight jars to reduce its exposure to air.
  1. Do not store your popcorn in a humid environment.
  1. You should never store your popped popcorns or dry kernels in the refrigerator or freezer as the high moisture content and cold temperature there can negatively impact the quality of the popcorn.
  1. Popcorn can be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place. A cool and dry corner of your pantry can serve this purpose nicely.
  1. Dry kernels should be stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dry, and dark corner of the pantry or kitchen cabinet away from direct sunlight and heat. 
  2. Do not unnecessarily open the lid of the popcorn container and seal it again as soon as possible after scooping out the popcorn that you need.
  1. Once you have opened the package of popcorn, it is recommended to transfer the rest of the popcorn in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag.
  1. If you want to store the open popped popcorns in the original packing then it is recommended to roll the open end of the packet and secure it with the help of a clipper.

You can read how to make caramel popcorn here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you get sick from eating expired popcorn” with an in-depth analysis of the health implications of eating expired popcorn. Moreover, we discussed tips to properly store popcorn.

Citations

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-popcorn-go-bad/

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.