Have you ever had a packet of breadcrumbs looking at you from the back of the pantry? We know we have. Breadcrumbs are one of those ingredients that are not used on a daily basis, which is why we often wonder about their expiry date.
Well, in a nutshell, breadcrumbs do go bad, and it could be due to incorrect storage conditions. But such situations can be avoided by taking a few extra and simple steps.
So if you want to preserve your breadcrumbs for special occasions, we highly suggest going through the following article. Read on to learn how long the breadcrumbs last and stay edible and what is the proper storage method to heighten their shelf life.
What is the Shelf Life of Breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs, except the fresh breadcrumbs, are prepared from crushed and toasted bread, so they have a dry texture compared to ordinary bread. Therefore, it tends to have the best shelf life and never goes off easily.
Unfortunately, due to its dry texture, it won’t retain its quality forever. As long as proper storage protocols are in place, the Breadcrumbs tend to last for months.
In regards to store-bought Breadcrumbs, they come with a use-by date. Since they are a dry product, you can expect the original crispiness and freshness for a couple of months post-use-by date.
After opening the packages, the shelf life of Breadcrumbs won’t be hampered, especially when it is stored aptly.
The homemade Breadcrumbs usually stay fresh and last for two weeks in the pantry. It lasts for two months in the fridge, and in the freezer, it tends to last for six months.
|Store-Bought Breadcrumbs||Use-By Date Plus One-Three Months||–||Use-By Date Plus One Year|
|Homemade Breadcrumbs||Two Weeks||One-Two Months||Six Months|
- If you want to extend the shelf of Breadcrumbs or notice it has started losing its freshness in the pantry, transfer it to the freezer.
- Refrigerate it after opening the store-bought Breadcrumbs
How to Tell If Breadcrumbs Have Gone Bad
There are many ways to ensure that the Breadcrumbs have gone bad and are not safe for consumption. The main reason for spoilage is moisture, as stated by Food52. Here are a few other signs of spoilage that help you know if Breadcrumbs have gone off.
Change in Smell
The very first method to confirm its spoilage is the smell test. The fresh Breadcrumbs release a pleasant smell, but it starts releasing a foul odor as they go off. In such a case, you have to discard the crumbs.
As moisture leaks into the storage container, mold and fungus start growing, and you will see green and white spots on the surface of the Breadcrumbs. It is time to toss the Breadcrumbs and avoid eating them.
The taste test is an effective way to confirm its spoilage. When the taste of the crumb turns sour and tangy, it means the crumbs have gone bad, and you have to replace them with fresh Breadcrumbs.
Breadcrumbs are dry products, and when you see the hard, grumpy, and dry texture, it doesn’t mean that the crumbs have gone bad. You can still use it if there is no mold growth found on the surfaces.
Refrigerated Vs. Shelf Stable
Refrigeration is necessary to keep the foods fresh longer. But in the case of Breadcrumbs, refrigeration is not always needed. But, storing the crumbs in a fridge helps extend the shelf life and keeps it fresh longer, as per sources.
Store-bought Breadcrumbs (opened & unopened) last longer and stay fresh for at least one to two months when refrigerated in an airtight container. The homemade Breadcrumbs need refrigeration right from the beginning to sustain their freshness and quality.
As mentioned, Breadcrumbs are dry products and hence it, is shelf-stable food. So, you can store the Breadcrumbs in a pantry or kitchen cabinet. If you keep the Breadcrumbs in dry and cool places, they will last up to six months in your pantry. It is applicable both for an unopened and opened package of Breadcrumbs.
The homemade Breadcrumbs are not shelf-stable as they start losing their freshness and quality after two weeks when stored in the pantry. So, it needs refrigeration immediately.
What Happens If You Eat Bread Crumbs After Expiry?
Since Breadcrumbs are dried, they tend to last longer compared to regular bread. They are very cheap and affordable, so it is not worth risking your health. You must discard it as soon as the smell goes off.
The breadcrumbs may turn hard, and dry with a crusty texture, and it is common when quality degrades. But it is safe to eat. The best-by date mentioned on the label is for best quality only. After that, the crumbs get dry with changes in flavor, color, and texture. But, they are still safe and edible.
Until there are no signs of spoilage, you can use it as Breadcrumbs after the use-by date won’t make you sick.
Can You Freeze Breadcrumbs?
If you have made or bought more breadcrumbs than you need, you have the option to freeze them to keep them fresh and flavorsome for later use. Breadcrumbs can be frozen for up to six months, and you can freeze herby crumbs, plain crumbs, and even the panko crumbs, as per Freezeit.com.
The store-bought breadcrumbs tend to last fresh and sustain their quality for up to one year, frozen at zero degrees. For homemade breadcrumbs, sealable plastic bags are necessary for storage in the freezer. It lasts up to six months in a freezer.
The commercially prepared breadcrumbs are edible indefinitely, especially when it is stored as recommended in a freezer. Unfortunately, the homemade crumbs have a shorter life expectancy of two weeks in the pantry. But, it can be extended with proper freezing.
Pro Tips for Freezing!
- For fresh breadcrumbs, you have to bring down the temperature of the crumbs before freezing. Place the crumbs into an airtight plastic bag and ensure no moisture gets into the bag before freezing.
- For store-bought breadcrumbs, you must place them in a sealable plastic bag and squeeze the bag to remove excess air before freezing it.
- You must wrap the crumbs in foil and use a dual bag for storage for added protection.
How to Store Breadcrumbs
If you plan to use the breadcrumbs for an extended time, you must know the best storage methods. Whether it is store-bought crumbs or homemade ones, both need proper storage to sustain their quality and flavor.
For the freshly prepared Breadcrumbs, it is always best to store them in a freezer to extend their shelf life up to one-two week. You can also keep them in your pantry, but ensure it is away from heat sources and stored in cool, dry places with zero moisture.
The homemade Breadcrumbs must be stored in dry and cool places. The dry homemade Breadcrumbs remain fresh for up to six months, especially when stored in a freezer or fridge in recommended storage bags.
The flaky crumbs must be stored in a sealable container in your pantry at room temperature. It won’t go off for up to two weeks. You need to store it in an airtight container in your kitchen cabinet and ensure that the storage place is away from moisture and heat sources.
If you have purchased excessive Breadcrumbs than you need, you can store them in cool and dry places in your kitchen or pantry. But, to extend their shelf life and keep them edible after use-by, you must refrigerate or freeze them.
Alternatives for Breadcrumbs if they Go Bad
If the packet of breadcrumbs in your kitchen pantry has gone bad, you can try using the following substitutes:
- Potato chips
- Saltine crackers
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Thaw Bread Crumbs After Freezing
Breadcrumbs melt very fast. For best results, you must place the frozen crumbs into a fridge overnight to thaw them properly. Remember, the freshly prepared crumbs may get a bit soggy when melted, and to fix it, you may place it on a baking sheet and put it into an oven to restore its crispiness and quality.
Is It Safe to Eat Stale Breadcrumbs?
Ans Breadcrumbs get stale when there are changes in the starches. As a result, it gets stale and turns chewy, crunchy, and dry. It signifies a decline in its quality, but it is still edible and safe. You will never get sick after eating stale Breadcrumbs or experience symptoms of food poisoning. Food poisoning occurs from mold growth or toxic contamination in the bread.
What Happens When You Leave Breadcrumbs Uncovered Outside?
Ans – Leaving the crumbs outside the fridge without covering it will affect the quality adversely. It will make the crumbs stale quickly, especially if you reside in high humid areas where moisture is high in the air. The staleness will affect its quality and not the safety of crumbs.
The Bottom Line
The store-bought Breadcrumbs have longer shelf life compared to the fresh and homemade crumbs. It tends to last for a few months more than homemade crumbs. The homemade crumbs have a shelf life of two weeks.
The breadcrumbs must be stored in dark and cool areas in airtight containers away from heat sources and moisture. Breadcrumbs are good for freezing as it helps extend the shelf life and sustain their consistency and quality longer.
But, don’t forget to check the spoilage signs before consuming, including changes in taste, texture, and smell.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Michael A. Antoine is a Sr. Chef at one of the leading chains of restaurants in the USA. He might raise hell in his kitchen, but his deep and practical knowledge about food and recipes helps us give you the best and tastiest recipes.