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Do Instant Ramen Noodles Expire or Go Bad? (Answered!)


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Do Ramen noodles expire or go bad? In short – Yes, yes, they do! BUT just because it has expired or hit its best by date doesn’t mean it’s bad… Instant Ramen noodles are a cheap, delicious, and easy way to make dinner in a pinch. But what about when you realize that pack of instant noodles you took out for dinner hit its expiration date? Do you dare eat it? Are Ramen noodles good to eat after the expiration date, or should you toss it? Get ready to dive into the world of expired Ramen noodles as you’ve never thought about before!

Ramen noodles are a popular food choice for college students, campers, and anyone on a budget. But, how do you know when they expire or go bad? Instant Ramen noodles can last several months and, dare we say, years past the expiration date if they are stored right. In this blog post, we will discuss what an expiration or best by date is and what it means if you can still eat ramen noodles after that date has passed. We will also talk about some signs your ramen might be going bad and when you shouldn’t risk eating them! Let’s take a look at what this means and how to tell if your ramen noodles are expired or bad!

Do Instant Ramen Noodles Expire?

Yes, just like with all other food items, Ramen noodles expire and go bad (if they didn’t, we’d be scared to eat them!). That being said, it is likely many, many months (possibly years) after the expiration date that you’d truly need to throw them out. Instant Ramen noodles have been dried and packed with so many preservatives that the shelf life is far longer than what the package reads.

Instant Ramen noodle brands like Maruchan also use a best by date, which is different than an expiration date and doesn’t mean the product is bad to eat on that particular date. We are getting a bit ahead of ourselves here. Let’s take a look at the difference between an expiration and a best by date on packaged food is.

Expiration vs. Best By Date: What Do They Mean?

First, let’s clear something up. The dates on food, expiration, or best by are put on labels to let you know when a product is past its peak quality – not to tell you when it is unsafe to eat. If you’ve ever opened a yogurt and ate the whole thing just to realize it was 3 weeks past its “expiration date” but tasted fantastic, this is a prime example of something being good well after the bad date that you may have wasted if you’d checked it.

An expiration date is meant to give you a heads up on foods that are prone to foodborne illness. It’s a heads up, so to speak, to let you know the food has reached peak quality and will most likely start to spoil soon, like dairy products, meats, and cheeses. It’s not intended to be a set-in-stone date. More of a caution, check this out before you blindly scope a big spoon full of yogurt in your mouth.

The best by date is a lot more lenient and is found on products that are more shelf-stable, like instant Ramen noodles, cookies, crackers, and chips. Things that tend to go stale and lose their freshness over time but don’t necessarily spoil to the point of illness. (BIG fan of stale Cheetos over here… anyone else? Just me? Okay!)

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So… Are ramen noodles good to eat after the expiration/Best By date?

Yep! Instant Ramen noodles are normally perfectly fine to eat after the expiration or best by date. Given the info above all, you’d really have to be worried about is how it will taste, which may not be pleasant. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check your Ramen noodles for mold growth or soggy areas. If they aren’t stored properly, they can and will go bad quicker.

Does instant ramen seasoning expire?

Yes, the seasoning packets in instant Ramen, like the ones found in Maruchan, do go bad after an extended period of time. The best thing to do would be to dab your finger in the packet and test it before using it. If it tastes unpleasant, sour, or rancid in any way, toss it.

The seasoning packet is actually prone to going bad faster than the instant noodles, so just because the packet is bad, it doesn’t mean noodles are bad.

How Long Do Instant Ramen Noodles Last? Shelf life of ramen noodles

Two to three years. Instant Ramen noodles like Maruchan have a long shelf life. In most cases, you can count on keeping them a year after the best by date on the package. After that, it will really start to lose its flavor.

Do Ramen Noodles Go Bad? Like, Actually BAD?

Yes – Instant Ramen noodles can go rancid. If they aren’t stored properly, they can and will go bad quicker. Excessive moisture and improper storage can be attributed to your Ramen going south.

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How to Tell if Ramen Noodles Have Gone Bad

Mold growth is the most common sign that instant ramen noodles have gone bad. If you spot mold or see any signs of it popping up, don’t eat them. Ramen noodles are extremely easy for mold and fungus to take hold of because they have lots of surface area for the spores to multiply, which makes checking these instant noodles pretty simple too. If you do happen to find some yummy-looking mold colonies growing on your noodles – toss that sucker!

If there are any soggy or wet spots if the bag is open or has a hole in it that may have been made by an insect or field mouse, toss it.

What happens if you eat expired ramen noodles?

Nothing most likely. If you’ve checked over your noodles and they look good, and you cook them properly, there’s no harm in eating them past the expiration date. The taste may not be as great, but they will still be edible.

So next time you have a hankering for some Ramen noodles and all you’ve got is an old package with a few weeks left on its best by date, don’t sweat it! You can totally still cook them up and enjoy them. Just be aware that they may not taste as fresh as when they were first bought.

Can expired/bad ramen make you sick?

Yes. Any food has the potential to make you sick if it’s reached its peak and started to rot or go bad. That being said, with instant Ramen, you’d notice pretty quickly. If you were to eat expired instant ramen noodle soup, the worst-case scenario would be some bad gas and bloating, but it’s more likely that you’ll experience some stomach discomfort for a few hours as your body tries to fight off what is essentially food poisoning from not being stored properly before it spoiled.

Remember that we are not doctors, and you shouldn’t just take our word for it. You need to check the noodles and make sure they are good to eat. WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT! Any time you eat something that is “old,” you run the risk of a food born illness.

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How To Store Instant Ramen Noodles For Optimal Shelf Life

Instant Ramen should always be stored in a dry, dark place like you would with any other kind of noodle or pasta. Humidity and moisture exposure will shorten the shelf life of your Ramen and make them more likely to go bad. If you’re not going to eat all the noodles in a package, put them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Doing this will help keep them fresh for up to two weeks.

Now You Know! You Can Eat Instant Ramen Noodles After They Expire

If you’ve made it this far, you probably know more about Instant Ramen and the expiration date than you ever wanted to know. But at least now you know that if the expiration date has passed, the Ramen isn’t bad, and you’re not necessarily out of luck. Just be sure to check for any signs of spoilage before cooking and eating them. And as always – when in doubt, throw it out!

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