What happens If you eat expired ramen noodles?

In this article, we will answer the question “What happens If you eat expired ramen noodles?”, and how to store ramen for a longer shelf-life?

What happens If you eat expired ramen noodles?

The expiration for ramen noodles does not work like a switch-off button. Rather the degradation process takes place slowly. So you are unlikely to get sick from eating expired ramen noodles as long as the noodles were stored correctly. 

Generally, you can eat ramen noodles within 2 months after the expiration for little to no changes in the sensory characteristics. The expiration of the noodles takes place through the following phases:

6 months past the expiry: The soup becomes bland and the flavor packet loses its flavor intensity. In short, the ramen tastes bad.

18 months past the expiry: You will end up with an upset stomach If you attempt to eat 18 months of expired ramen noodles. Plus the taste is awful, much like cardboard, with unwanted floating particles over the soup.

24 months past the expiry: Eating 24 months expired ramen noodles will mess up your stomach. The noodles will develop an awful smell and an oily texture. 

How long do ramen noodles last? 

The shelf life of ramen noodles varies depending whether they are instant, wheat, or fresh. Fresh or ramen noodles have the shortest shelf life of about 2 – 3 weeks in the refrigerator. For other types, refer to the table below. 

Noodle type Shelf life (Pantry) Shelf life (Refrigerator)
Instant ramen noodles1 yearsNo need to store
Wheat ramen noodles3 – 6 monthsNo need to store
Fresh ramen noodlesNot recommended2 – 3 weeks

How to tell If my ramen is bad?

The presence of mold in the form of discolored patches is an obvious indication of spoilage. This may be accompanied by an awful smell. Spoiled ramen noodles will have an undesirable texture and a bad taste which is very evident at the first bite. 

Why do ramen noodles have a long shelf-life?

The dehydrated and deep-fried ramen noodles have a very low moisture content i.e about 3-6%. The majority of the spoilage bacteria require a minimum of 0.90 aw for growth. The water activity determines the free water in a food product. 

It is a measure of free water available to the microbes for multiplication. Besides, ramen noodles have plenty of Vitamin E, which has excellent antioxidant properties. Vitamin E prevents the oxidation of noodles. All of this contributes to a prolonged shelf-life.

How to buy ramen noodles?

Expiration date 

Read the label and buy the ramen noodles with the farthest expiration date. This way you will get to stockpile ramen noodles for longer in your storage, preparing in advance for emergencies.


Cheap packaging can significantly reduce the shelf-life of your ramen noodles. A cheap elastic packaging is less resistant to insects and moisture. Moreover, It can be easily damaged by any pointy object. 

Ramen noodles with high-quality packaging like cup noodles cost a bit more but last longer. These thick styrofoam or plastic cups do not get easily damaged.

Are ramen noodles healthy?

Ramen noodles should not be included in your regular diet. The high levels of sodium and carbs are harmful to you in the longer run. However, you can enjoy ramen noodles once in a while or when you are looking for a quick fix. 

Alternatively, you can switch to healthier versions of instant noodles. These come with a packet that has dried meat and vegetables which are a good nutrient source. 

You can also use fresh veggies and meat of your choice to jazz up your regular ramen noodles.

How to store ramen noodles?

Correct storage may delay or shorten the shelf-life of any food commodity. Ideally, ramen noodles should be stored in a cardboard box or plastic container for added protection. 

The general rule of thumb is to keep the noodles in a cool and dry place away from heat sources like direct sunlight and the stovetop. 

Any strong-smelling food product should not come anywhere near the noodles. Plus make sure the relative humidity of the environment is low and consistent.

The nutritional profile of ramen noodles 

The following nutrition facts apply to a single serving of chicken-flavored instant ramen noodles.

Calories 188 grams Thiamine 16% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Carbs 27 grams Folate 13% of the RDI
Total fat 7 grams Manganese 10% of the RDI
Proteins 5 grams Iron 9% of the RDI
Fiber 1 gram Niacin 9% of the RDI
Sodium 891 mg Riboflavin 6% of the RDI

Should you avoid ramen noodles?

Regular consumption of ramen noodles results in lower intakes of protein, phosphorus, calcium, iron, potassium, niacin, and vitamins A and C. 

Regular users of ramen noodles are found to have a reduced intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, and seeds. Using ramen noodles as a regular meal substitute can result in an increased risk of Metabolic syndrome


In this article, we answered the question “What happens If you eat expired ramen noodles?”, and how to store ramen for a longer shelf-life?