How Long do English Muffins Last in the Fridge

In this article, we will be answering the question of how long do English muffins last in the fridge, how to properly store muffins at room temperature and in the fridge, and why freezing may be the best option to store muffins. English muffins are bakery products that contain flour, water, salt, yeast, and leavening agents. 

How Long Do English Muffins Last in the Fridge?

The maximum storage duration of English muffins in the fridge is three to four days. Also, English muffins with toppings must be stored in the fridge to retain the freshness and quality of the toppings, whether sweet or savory.

However, English muffins kept in the fridge lose their soft texture and quality very quickly. Unless you enjoy the taste of dried-out English muffins, we recommend you avoid refrigerating them. Bakery goods suffer starch retrogradation during storage, which is the reassociation of the polysaccharides of gelatinised starch. This phenomenon, also referred to as gelation (not to be confused with gelatinisation), involves the reordering of the starch polysaccharides (amylose and amylopectin) (2).  

What is the shelf life of English muffins?

The recommended shelf life of commercial english muffins is 3 to 7 days at room temperature in a cool, dry and dark place, 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator and 6 months in the freezer (1). 

Bakery products are subject to physical, chemical and microbiological spoilage. While physical and chemical spoilage limits the shelf life of low and intermediate moisture bakery products, such as English muffins, microbiological spoilage by bacteria, yeast and molds is the concern in high moisture products, such as cakes. Therefore, shelf life depends on the product’s ingredients and on the storage conditions (4).

Properly stored English muffins can last 7 days if kept in an airtight container (or preferably in their own packaging) in a cool and dry area at normal room temperature.

Another factor is the ingredients used to make the muffins. English muffins can be made of whole wheat or regular wheat flour and can contain diverse ingredients, including cinnamon, grains and fruits. The composition of a bakery product determines its shelf life. For example, the addition of natural or chemical preservatives may extend the shelf life of English muffins (5).

How to Store Home-Made English Muffins in the Fridge?

To store home-made English muffins, it is necessary to be aware of the following recommendations:

  • Remove the muffins from the pan, along with any paper or silicone liners you might have used) at least five to 10 minutes after baking them.
  • Place the muffins in a single layer (preferably on a wire rack) to let any moisture escape. This allows the muffins to stay moist but not too wet or soggy.
  • After they have cooled, place the muffins into an airtight container lined with paper towels or a tea towel, and also topped with another towel to absorb any excess moisture from above. You can also place them in a freezer bag. 
  • Use clean tools to manipulate the product. Avoiding direct manual contact with the product can extend shelf life (4).

The packaging must provide a good moisture barrier, especially to protect frozen muffins from excessive drying out, which manifests itself as ‘freezer burn’ and adversely affects both texture and taste (3).

What Are The Tips for Storing English Muffins Properly?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when storing English muffins:

  • When selecting an airtight container for the muffins, glass and porcelain are considered safe for health. Moreover, these materials can also be used in the microwave because of their durability and heat resistance. Limiting the amount of free air space in the pack by using materials that conform as closely as possible to the product shape will limit the amount of moisture trapped inside at the point of packing and avoid the muffins from drying out (3).  
  • If you choose a plastic container, make sure it is a PP plastic box and is BPA Free. These symbols can be generally found on the body or bottom of these airtight freezer-friendly containers. 
  • The standard storage temperature (fridge) for muffins is 3 to 6 degrees Celsius or 37 to 42 degrees Celsius.
  • The standard humidity level should not fall below 50%.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations and refreezing the muffins after they’re once tawned. That causes retrogradation of the starch and leads to texture damage (3).

How to Tell if English Muffins Have Gone Bad?

To tell if an English muffin has gone bad, it is necessary to be aware of the signs that may indicate spoilage. These are (7):

  • The generation of off-odors 
  • The formation of visible mold
  • Changes on the texture
  • Generation of slime
  • Signs of discoloration

Spoilage of bakery products can be caused by the action of bacteria, yeast and fungi and enzymic spoilage caused by lipoxygenase. It can be also as a result of chemical changes, such as the oxidation of lipids or staling.

What are the risks of eating an English Muffin that has gone bad?

The risks of eating an English muffin that has gone bad are of having symptoms of food poisoning. 

Spoilage of bread due to action of pathogenic microorganisms may constitute a health risk. Food-borne illness reports from Canada and the United Kingdom have been associated with the consumption of spoiled bakery products. Common symptoms of food poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and fever. 

Can You Freeze English Muffins?

Yes, English muffins can be successfully frozen for as long as three to four months. It is the best way to extend their shelf-life and their original flavor. 

While properly stored muffins will not go bad after the three-month mark, they will begin to collapse or get freezer burn.

Why is Freezing a Better Option? And for How Long?

Freezing is a better option of storage for English muffins when compared to refrigerated storage, because proper freezing conditions reduce the surrounding temperature to almost below 0 degrees Celsius. This inhibits almost all dangerous microorganisms from reproducing and degrading the stored food. 

In addition, you can manage the surrounding moisture so that the muffins remain edible for an extended duration. Reducing the temperature of a food product slows down both enzyme activity and the growth of microorganisms. Reducing to temperatures of 18 ºC and below virtually stops such activities and even kills some microorganisms (3).

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question of how long do English muffins last in the fridge, how to properly store muffins at room temperature and in the fridge, and why freezing may be the best option to store muffins.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

References

1.-

US Department of Agriculture. Foodkeeper. 

2.-

Kilcast, David, and Persis Subramaniam. Food shelf life stability. 2001.

3.-

US Department of Agriculture. Food Safety and Inspection Service

4.-

Smith, James P., et al. Shelf life and safety concerns of bakery products—a review. Crit rev food sci nutr, 2004, 44, 19-55.

5.-

Galić, K., D. Ćurić, and D. Gabrić. Shelf life of packaged bakery goods—A review. Crit rev food sci nutr, 2009, 49, 405-426.

6.-

Sanders, Scott W. Using prune juice concentrate in whole wheat bread and other bakery products. Cereal Foods World, 1991, 36, 280-283.  

7.-

Saranraj, P., and M. Geetha. Microbial spoilage of bakery products and its control by preservatives. Int J Pharmaceut biol arch, 2012, 3, 38-48.