Do Bread Crumbs Go Bad? – Full Analysis

by Charlie
Do Bread Crumbs Go Bad

Although most people think about them at the last second, bread crumbs are quite useful in many dishes. If you like fast food or eating out, you know bread crumbs are a major ingredient in deep-fried foods. 

Do bread crumbs go bad? Yes, bread crumbs do go bad, but they last much longer than a bag of bread does. A can or bag of bread crumbs will last 6 months in a pantry or 9 months in the refrigerator. 

It is better to purchase bread crumbs that come in a can than in a bag because bugs and rats can bite through the plastic if the bag is too thin. A batch of fresh bread crumbs can last up to 2 weeks. Do not try to eat bread crumbs if they are flavorless, clumping together because of exposure to moisture, or have a bad smell.

How Long Do Bread Crumbs Last?

You can’t have the delicious crispy crust without the use of bread crumbs mixed with flour and egg. Plus, bread crumbs are an ingredient that soaks up any excess moisture and dilutes the extremely intense flavor. 

Flavor dilution is one reason why deviled eggs that have blue cheese as part of their ingredients also require bread crumbs. Pure concentrated blue cheese is very strong to many people, but mix in some bread crumbs and the taste is now tolerable and delicious.

So the next time you’re at a grocery store, it’s a good idea to pick up a can of bread crumbs. How long do bread crumbs last? As long as they’re stored in a cupboard or pantry and a lid covers their container, the shelf life for bread crumbs is 6 months in the pantry and 9 months in the fridge.

How Long Do Fresh Bread Crumbs Last?

If you want to create bread crumbs by hand, you should know that they don’t last as long as boxed bread crumbs from the grocery store. So it would be a smart idea to make the right amount for the recipe you are currently making, and not more. 

Freshly made bread crumbs last 2 weeks at most. It will not matter if you place them in the pantry or cupboard, or even a refrigerator. The shelf life is the same.

How Long Do Bread Crumbs Last? Shelf Life [Chart]

ItemShelf Life
Bread Crumbs, unopened6 months (9 months in fridge)
Bread Crumbs, opened6 months (9 months in fridge)
Fresh Bread Crumbs2 weeks

How to Know if Bread Crumbs are Expired

Bread crumbs have a much longer shelf life than a regular slice of bread, but they eventually expire and must be thrown out. Here are some signs you should watch for to know when it’s time to throw out an expired bag of bread crumbs:

No flavor: bread crumbs don’t have many flavors since they are mostly used as breading for different foods and as a filler to absorb moisture. With that said, they should at least taste like small dry pieces of bread. 

Since they are dry pieces of bread, they could also taste like toast. But if you taste a pinch of bread crumbs and they have no flavor, it is time to throw them away. If the bread crumbs in your cupboard are flavored like garlic or spicy Cajun, then their flavorings could taste bland, and the spiciness will have no kick to it.

Sour taste: When you taste a pinch of bread crumbs and you get a very sour flavor on your tongue, then this must mean that the bread crumbs in your cupboard have gone from expired to rotted. 

A sour flavor means bacteria and moisture has penetrated through and is now living inside the bag or container of bread crumbs. If you try to use these types of bread crumbs, you could end up with a stomach ache.

If Bread Crumbs are Made from Bread, How Do They Last So Long?

Since everyone knows that bread only lasts a week or two at most, how is it that bread crumbs can last so long? 

There are two reasons for the long shelf life of bread crumbs. The first reason is the absence of moisture. When making bread crumbs, large pieces of bread are placed inside the oven and then toasted. The toasting process removes most of the moisture inside of the bread. When the toasted bread is pulled out of the oven, it can then be crumbled down into bread crumbs and combined with flavorings and additives. 

The second reason why bread crumbs last so long are the preservatives in their ingredients. The preservatives’ effect makes most things last longer than they would if there were no preservatives in them.

Can You Use Expired Bread Crumbs?

Yes, you can use expired bread crumbs. But before you use any container or bag of expired bread crumbs, you must taste it first to make sure it is just old. You don’t want to eat any bread crumbs that have any sort of bacteria inside of them. 

Bread crumbs only last 6 months in the cupboard or pantry, but if you stick them in the refrigerator and protect them from moisture, they can last 9 months before you have to throw them out. 

When you first buy bread crumbs, check the number of preservatives in the list of ingredients. The more preservatives an item has, the longer it is designed to be shelf-stable.

How to Store Bread Crumbs

Because bread crumbs are small dry pieces of bread, they are an instant magnet for bugs and small rodents. So if your bread crumbs come in a metal container with a lid, then you have nothing to worry about. This is perhaps the best container to store bread crumbs. 

But some bread crumbs come in a plastic bag without any solid container around it. Rats and bugs are likely to chew through the plastic bag, so it would be best if you placed the bag of bread crumbs in a salt container like a large Tupperware. 

You can also place it in a heavy-duty freezer grade ziplock bag. Those plastic bags are thick enough to prevent creatures from chewing through them.

Conclusion

  • Bread crumbs are used as a filler and a flavor reducer for many recipes, especially those which have an intense amount of flavor.
  • A can or bag of bread crumbs will last six months in storage.
  • It is better to buy bread crumbs that come in a can than in a bag.
  • A batch of freshly made bread crumbs will last two weeks at most.
  • If you have a bag of bread crumbs, place them in a heavy-duty Ziploc bag for more protection.
  • As long as they pass the smell and taste test and there is no moisture in their container, you can use expired bread crumbs up to 3 months after their expiration date.
  • Bread crumbs last so long for two reasons: the number of preservatives in their ingredients and the lack of moisture that would quickly rot a piece of bread

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