Ramen noodles are great for a quick meal or just to have in case of an emergency, but if you’re like me you probably buy them, throw them in the pantry, then forget about them for months (or years).
Ramen noodles have a best by date on the package. For the best taste and texture, you should eat them before that date, but they’re still good to eat for up to a year after the best by date.
Can you get sick from eating expired ramen noodles?
When it comes to ramen noodles, you do not get sick from eating expired ramen noodles as long as they are stored properly. The moisture content of the ramen noodles is so low that it does not provide a suitable medium for the microbes to grow. Moreover, the preservatives added in the formulation of ramen noodles also play an important role in prolonging their shelf life.
No doubt that ramen noodles suffer textural and flavor changes over time and also tend to go rancid owing to the oxidation of fats but eating expired ramen noodles do not pose health issues as long as there are no signs of spoilage associated with it.
It is worth mentioning that instead of “expiry date” you will find a “best before” or “best by” date written on the packet of the ramen noodles.
The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the package of ramen noodles refers to the quality rather than safety so the ramen noodles don’t go bad immediately after the best before date.
This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of ramen noodles but you can still use ramen noodles that are past this date as long as they were stored properly.
Thus, you should do a sensory evaluation of your ramen noodles to reach a final verdict on whether or not it is still suitable to consume.
Certain indicators point out bad ramen noodles. You should consider the appearance and smell of the ramen noodles to reach a final verdict on whether it is still suitable to consume or not.
If you spot mold or organic growth on your ramen noodles (molds can grow on uncooked ramen noodles only when they are stored in a humid environment for a long time or moisture somehow found its way to it) then the best thing you can do is to toss out such ramen noodles.
If you spot weevils or bugs in your ramen noodles container then it is better to toss such ramen noodles out due to cleanliness concerns.
Moreover, if your ramen noodles have discolored then it is an indication that they are past their prime time.
If you smell something foul, rancid, or musty while taking a sniff test of your ramen noodles then it is an indication of bad ramen noodles and it is better to toss it out.
Moreover, if you feel a noticeable textural difference in your ramen noodles then it is better to toss them out as it is better to be safe than sorry.
Apart from this, if you notice that the packaging of your unopened ramen noodles has holes in it then it is better to toss such noodles out due to cleanliness concerns.
So you should consider the points mentioned above before deciding whether you are going to use ramen noodles or not.
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 noodles||1 years||No need to store|
|Wheat ramen noodles||3 – 6 months||No need to store|
|Fresh ramen noodles||Not recommended||2 – 3 weeks|
How to check if your expired instant noodles are OK to eat
If you really want to eat expired instant noodles, do so at your own risk. There are a few things you must look for. Do my instant noodles… …smell bad? …have mold? …change colour? …have an expiry date over 3 month ago? …have a strange first bite? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you must not eat them.
Can you get food poisoning from ramen noodles?
Is it OK to eat expired instant noodles?