Does Flour Go Bad/Expire?


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Flour is used in a lot of baking and cooking recipes. It provides a nice structure and thickens baked goods while creating a crunchy coating in cooked dishes.There are many types of this base ingredient you can use.

Now, if you love to bake, you probably have a lot of flour sitting in your pantry which is the typical place to store the white, fluffy ingredient. This can cause you to wonder. Does flour ever go bad and expire?

Flour does eventually go bad and expire. If you store flour properly it can last for 6-8 weeks after the best by date. Flour will last approximately one year at room temperature and 2 years if kept in the fridge or freezer. Some flours last longer than others but the shelf life of flour depends on how it is stored.

What Does Flour Do In Cookies?

As you can see, different types of flour affect how long it lasts, but all flour will go bad and expire. 

This happens to all foods over time. Their ingredients decompose. Flour may last for a while and even last past its expiration date, but the longer it is stored, the more it decomposes. 

Flour is a staple pantry ingredient. Whether you bake or cook, you use flour to create delicious  desserts and thicken up sauces. Food doesn’t last forever. Over time, its ingredients will decompose and it will go bad. 

Flour is no exception. Although it can last for quite a while, flour will eventually expire. More than likely, you probably keep your flour in the pantry until you use it all. But, did you know that over time, it will go bad? 

This isn’t necessarily harmful to your health if you end up using it in recipes but it can make your recipe taste bad. Flour can last longer if it is properly stored, but eventually it will go bad and expire.

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What Happens If You Eat Expired Flour?

We’ve all been there. You are using flour for some baking and notice that it has been quite a while since its expiration date. But, it’s just flour and you don’t want to make a trip to the store to get some. Plus you don’t want to waste this flour and it looks and smells fine to you. 

Can you still use it? What happens if you eat expired flour?

Expired flour can make your recipes taste unpleasant, but if eaten small amounts, it is unlikely to affect your health. Moldy flour can make you very sick. Because of all of these reasons you should throw out old flour especially if you notice a change in the color or texture. 

Since flour is best stored in a dark and cool place, you most likely keep flour in your pantry. It is said that flour lasts for about 3 to 12 months at room temperature. This is true even if the expiration date is before then. 

Flour typically has a long shelf like. But, remember, it doesn’t last forever. It will go bad and expire. 

If the flour is expired and you still use it, it may make your food taste unpleasant. Eating expired flour probably won’t make you sick unless it is moldy. 

Moldy flour can cause certain health issues and is not good for you to eat. Along with mold growth, be aware of any noticeable signs of spoilage like a bad smell, discoloration, or bad taste and discard this flour. So, even though you probably won’t get sick from eating expired flour, it can result in a bad tasting dish or baked goods. 

How Do You Store Flour For Years?

First of all, flour cannot be stored for years. I already mentioned that eventually flour goes bad and expires. But, there are some ways to help preserve this base ingredient for longer. It is easy to store your flour in the pantry but in order to keep it really fresh, you will need to store it in the fridge or freezer. 

But how?

Flour will only keep for about a year at room temperature. Most flours will last long past their expiration date for up to about 3 to 8 months if kept at room temperature. Flour can last longer (up to 2 years) if refrigerated or stored in the freezer.

So, the white and fluffy ingredient used in many cooking and baking recipes for thickening and structure, doesn’t last forever. But, to help keep it good, flour should be kept cold, dark, and airtight. 

At room temperature in a pantry or in a jar on your counter, flour will last for about 3 to 12 months. If you keep it in the fridge, it will last for about a year. If stored in the freezer, flour will last for 2 years. So, flour won’t last for years and years but if frozen it can last for a couple of years. 

Remember to defrost the flour before using it though. Whichever way you choose to store the flour, be sure it is always in an airtight container. So, at room temperature in the fridge, or other freezer, an airtight container to store flour in is best to keep the base ingredient fresh.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, flour does expire and go bad. If you eat some of the white and fluffy stuff that is expired when it’s baked in something, you most likely won’t get sick unless you eat moldy flour. But, your dish or baked goods will taste bad if you use old flour in it. 

If you store flour properly, you can extend its shelf life in the pantry and by refrigerating or freezing you can preserve it for even longer. Flour is a base and staple ingredient in many recipes but it does go bad and expire.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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