Can You Eat Expired Bread

You’re ready to make a sandwich, only to realize your bread is expired. Can you still eat it? As long as there is no mold or other signs of spoilage, you can eat expired bread. Bread typically lasts 5-7 days past the “best by” date. You might consider toasting it to get rid of staleness.

Hi! My name is Michelle, and I’ve been baking bread for years. But I’ll be honest – I regularly buy store-bought bread, especially bagels, English muffins, and Naan. Knowing whether or not I could consume it after it “expired” was critical, as I hate wasting food!

If you’re curious whether you can eat expired bread, keep reading. Below, you will find essential info such as whether or not you can eat expired bread, how to know if your bread’s gone bad, and how you can make it taste better – plus so much more!

What are we waiting for? Let’s dive in!

Can You Eat Expired Bread?

As long as there is no presence of mold or other signs of spoilage, you can safely consume expired bread. Most of the time, bread lasts for about five to seven days past the “best by” date listed on the packaging.

The only issue is that your bread might taste stale, especially if you store it in the refrigerator. That’s because the fridge is notorious for drying baked goods, including bread. Even if it’s “fresh,” it can still taste dried-out and stale.

How to Tell Bread Has Gone Bad (4 Signs)

Expired bread is only safe to consume if it has not gone bad. But how can you know when it’s time to toss the loaf? Here are a few tell-tale signs your bread is past its prime.

1. Mold

The biggest indicator of bread that’s gone bad is mold. Mold on bread can be in various colors, including white, yellow, green, gray, or black. It may present itself as an undesirable discoloration or be paired with the infamous moldy “fuzz.”

2. Odd Smell

If there’s no mold present, then you will need to rely on your nose. Go ahead and give your loaf of bread a whiff. If your bread smells off in any way, it’s best to discard it.

3. Disgusting Taste

If you take a bite of the bread and it doesn’t taste good, it’s spoiled. Really, it’s as simple as that. 

4. Rock Hard Texture

There’s a big difference between dried-out bread and rock-hard bread. Dried-out bread can be saved. But the bread that’s irreversibly hard and turns into crumbles the second you touch it should be thrown away.

How Long Does Bread Last?

Bread can last as little as three days or as many as six months, depending on how it’s stored.

Room Temperature3-7 Days
Refrigerator6-12 Days
Freezer6 months

How to Store Bread for Longevity

Keep in mind that these timeframes are only applicable to bread appropriately stored. Here are a few simple tips and tricks to extend the shelf life of your bread:

  • Room Temperature: A bread box is the best storage option for your bread, whether it’s store-bought or homemade. However, you can also get by with a brown paper or cloth bag.
  • Fridge: Keep store-bought bread in its original packaging, closed with a twist tie or bread clip. Homemade bread should be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored inside an airtight storage container.
  • Freezer: Storing bread in the freezer requires a few more steps but is still a breeze. Wrap it in cling wrap, then aluminum foil. Then, store it in an airtight container or plastic resealable freezer bag. The goal is to keep the bread from getting the freezer burned.

What Happens If You Eat Expired Bread?

As long as there is no mold present, nothing. You will simply enjoy your slice of bread, whether you’re making garlic bread, a turkey sandwich, or a slice of toast with breakfast. 

How to Revive Stale Bread

The only issue is that it might not taste as good and will likely be on the stale side. But that’s okay. You can bring stale bread back to life using one of these quick and easy remedies:

  • Toaster: The most straightforward way to save stale bread is to toast it!
  • Oven: Spritz the bread with some water, then bake it for 6-10 minutes at 300F.

Other Ways to Use Stale Bread

You can also transform stale bread into something else entirely. Here are a few of my favorite recipes for hard, stale, and otherwise unpleasant (yet still safe to consume) bread.

  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs are super simple to make and quite versatile. I use them to make savory salmon cakes, zucchini chips, and as a topping for macaroni and cheese. Delicious!
  • Bread Pudding: This is the most traditional way to use up old bread, and it tastes scrumptious – you know, just like Grandma used to make. Here’s the recipe.
  • French Onion Soup: If you’re looking for something to warm your belly for dinner, this is it. It’s utterly delicious and filling for the whole family.
  • French Toast Casserole: On the other hand, if you’re looking for a drool-worthy breakfast for Saturday morning, consider turning stale bread into this marvelous French Toast Casserole.

FAQs

Expired bread? What’s that? Clearly, bread goes bad after a while, but it might not be as soon as you think. Here are a few additional questions that people have asked. You might want to know the answers, too.

Can you eat bread a month after the expiration date?

Unfortunately, bread typically doesn’t last a whole month beyond the expiration date – unless it was stored in the freezer. Bread stored at room temperature or in the fridge will likely only have an extra week before it goes bad or becomes so utterly stale and disgusting that you won’t want to eat it.

Can you eat expired bread crumbs?

Curious about your store-bought bread crumbs? Well, they can last a whopping three months beyond their expiration date. However, you will want to check for signs of spoilage, such as an odd smell or taste. Also, ensure no moisture has penetrated the container, causing clumps.

Can expired bread make you sick?

If there is no mold, it likely will not make you sick. On the other hand, consuming moldy bread will likely cause stomach discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some people may have an allergic reaction that requires medical treatment.

Final Words

Most bread will last up to a week past the “best by” date, and it is safe to consume. Double-check for signs of spoilage before consuming. If it’s stale, you can revive it in the toaster or oven or use it for another recipe entirely.

Do you eat expired bread?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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