How long does bread last in the fridge after expiration date?

In this brief guide we will address the question, “how long does bread last in the fridge after expiration date?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how long does it take before bread expires and what are the optimal storage methods to prolong the shelf life of bread. 

How long does bread last in the fridge after expiration date? 

Bread does not last long in the fridge. As a matter of fact, it is never recommended to store bread in the fridge. This is because there are risks of bread developing a mould or growth while it is in the freezer. Moreover, the starch inside the bread crystallizes, which in turn causes the bread to go stale much faster than it already was. 

Surprisingly, with bread, there are only two ways that will help you prolong the shelf life as well as maintain the quality of the bread – either freeze it or keep it in the pantry. 

However, having said all this, if you do want your bread to last past its expiry date then you should consider the option of freezing it. 

Expiry dates are a rough estimate by the manufacturers that does not precisely mean the food product will expire on the exact mentioned day. It just means that the food product will not taste the same or it may deteriorate in quality past the “best by” or “best before” date.

Changes you may observe after refrigeration. 

The starch in the bread crystallizes, making it a favourable place for the microorganisms like molds to grow on it. Refrigeration for longer durations will inadvertently affect the flavour and texture of your bread.  

Fridge is actually a damp place for your bread. Microorganisms like molds grow best in such environments, and especially when the food product is already a result of microbial fermentation. 

Storing bread in the fridge actually shortens the shelf life of bread, thereby, rendering it unsafe to consume. 

Refrigeration is only a short term solution for your bread when you want to thaw it. It will ensure a constant temperature which will not immediately affect the flavor and texture of your bread. However, when it comes to long term storage, freezing is actually the right answer to it. 

How to tell if your bread has gone bad? 

Like mentioned earlier, the best by date is just an estimate and your bread may still be fresh past this date. Therefore, as long as you are aware of the signs of spoilage, the bread will be safe to consume. Here are some classical indicators that help you identify that the bread is no longer fresh or safe to consume. 

  1. Mold

Mold is a type of fungus that grows in different colours. It could be black, green, white, or pink. If you see such a growth or color formation on your bread, you should discard it immediately. 

  1. Unpleasant odor 

This is perhaps the most common technique while handling any food product. Simply discard the loaf when you notice the odour of the bread has changed. It indicates either the presence of a contaminant or the growth of microorganisms. 

  1. Strange taste or hard texture

Even if your bread passes the first two indicators, and then does not taste right, it is better to just throw it away and not take any risks. Health is wealth! 

Similarly, if you leave your bread out in the open for too long, the bread will go stale and turn dry. This is also an indicator that your bread has now gone bad and it is time to throw it away. 

How to store bread so it doesn’t go bad?

Short term bread storage

If you wish to consume within a span of three weeks, you don’t have to do the extra work of wrapping it in a different plastic bag that it came in. Just wrap it up and put it in the freezer. The plastic bag will keep it fresh for about 3 weeks. After this period, your bread may start to develop a freezer burn. 

Long term bread storage

If you want to freeze your bread for a longer duration, you might want to put in some extra effort. Use a plastic wrap in this case to ensure the absence of unnecessary air. Once you have wrapped it with a plastic wrap, put another layer of aluminium foil or freezing paper. 

It is also a good idea to mention the date before you put it in the freezer. In this way, you will know when your bread is about to go bad. This method prolongs the shelf life of bread for upto 6 months depending on the freshness and quality of bread. If you freeze it any longer, your bread will develop the freezer burn. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide we have addressed the question, “how long does bread last in the fridge after expiration date?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how long does it take before bread expires and what are the optimal storage methods to prolong the shelf life of bread. 

References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-long-does-bread-last#spoilage

https://www.thedailymeal.com/expiration-date-bread-good

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.

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