How long can you eat cereal after the expiration date?

In this article, we are going to answer how long can you eat cereal after the expiration date, what is the expiration date, what is the use-by date, what happens if you eat cereal after the use-by date, and whether is cereal healthy to eat and how to know if cereal is bad and how to store cereal so it can last longer. 

How long can you eat cereal after the expiration date?

Cereal does not have an expiration date, instead, it has a best-by or use-by date. Cereal after the use-by date does not cause food poisoning but it might taste weird and lose its crunchiness. If stored away from moisture, you can eat open cereal up to 3 to 6 months after the best-by date. 

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 use-by date?

Best by date or use-by date tells the consumer that food is no longer fresh or in the same shape, 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. 

What happens if you eat cereal after the use-by date?

Nothing will happen if you eat cereal after the use-by date. Cereal has been dried up and loses almost all the moisture so it is very hard that it can go bad and cause food poisoning. When cereal is spoiled or no longer good to eat it will smell rancid, lose its crunchiness, and will taste weird. 

Cereal is normally stored in the pantry. It can get contaminated with little animals that are commonly found in cereal products. Throw it away if contaminated. 

Is cereal healthy to eat?

Cereal can be part of a healthy diet but it depends on what cereal we are talking about. Some breakfast cereals have a huge amount of sugar and artificial flavors no one needs. For example, 100 grams of honey bunches with oats contain 20 grams of sugar and some might have even more such as 100 grams of raisin bran cereal containing 33 grams.

A high sugar diet can lead to rapid weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. Sugar intake needs to be as low as possible and try not to consume more than 10 grams of sugar per day.  

Cereal can also be packed with nutrients such as folic and iron. They are an excellent option when you are on the run and need something to fill you with energy and whole carbohydrates. 

Follow this link for the 10 healthiest kinds of cereal so you can stay away from those sugary cereals that won’t do you any good. 

How do you store cereal so it can last longer?

The cereal should be stored in your pantry away from moisture. It can keep good for a longer time if stored in a dry place. Unopened cereal stored in the pantry can last up to 8 months while open cereal can last up to 6 months in the pantry.

Once open, make sure to seal the bag of cereal. You can change it to an airtight container or sealed bag to keep moisture, mold, and animals away from cereal. Some cereals have more chemicals and preservatives than others so there are some brands that might last longer. 

If you need more information on how to store cereal follow this link. 

Other FAQs about Cereals that you may be interested in.

Can you eat shreddies without milk?

Can you eat honey nut cheerios when pregnant?

Can dogs eat rice Krispies?

Conclusion

This article answered Can you eat cereal after the expiration date, what is the expiration date, what is the use-by date, what happens if you eat cereal after the use-by date, whether cereal is healthy to eat, and how to know if cereal is bad and how to store cereal so it can last longer.

Citation

http://www.eatbydate.com/grains/cereal/cereal-shelf-life-expiration-date/

https://www.insider.com/foods-you-can-ignore-expiration-dates-2018-11#:~:text=When%20it’s%20unopened%2C%20breakfast%20cereal,the%20date%20on%20the%20box.&text=If%20opened%2C%20your%20favorite%20cereal,in%20the%20fridge%20once%20prepared.

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.