How long can you eat bread after the sell-by date?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can you eat bread after the sell-by date?” with an in-depth analysis of how long you can eat bread after the sell-by date. Moreover, we are going to discuss tips for preventing bread waste. 

How long can you eat bread after the sell-by date?

Bread can be kept for five to seven days after it has passed the sell-by date, although mold can develop if it is stored in a wet environment. Bread should be kept cool and dry.

The shelf-life of bread

Bread has a shelf life of 7-12 days when stored firmly wrapped in the refrigerator. Homemade bread, on the other hand, would only keep its freshness in the fridge for 5-8 days if stored properly.

Depending on the type of bread and how it is stored, the bread will last 3-6 months in the freezer. To execute the preservation function, freezing temperatures stop the growth of microorganisms.

The table below displays the estimated shelf-life of several types of bread in various storage circumstances.

In the pantryIn the fridge In the freezer
Store-bought bread5-7 days7-12 days 3 months
Homemade bread 3-5 days 5-8 days 3 months 
Baked goods (rolls, bagels, pastries, etc.)Expiration date + 2-3 daysNot recommendedExpiration date + up to 6 months

How to store bread?

At room temperature:

The bread can be safely stored at room temperature as long as it is unopened. The seal is crucial once the package has been opened. Transfer the original package to a breadbox or a plastic storage bag if it cannot be resold. Moisture and air must be kept out of the bread.

A paper bag works well for storing freshly baked homemade bread. Fold the bag’s end and secure it with paper clips after putting the bread inside. The bread should be stored in a cool, dry location away from heat sources such as sunshine and the stovetop.

In the fridge:

Refrigeration temperatures will rob the bread of its moisture if it is not securely wrapped. Keep the bread tightly packed in a freezer bag or the original plastic packing in the fridge.

In the freezer:

For longer shelf life, any variety of bread, including bagels and banana bread, can be frozen. Cut the bread into slices before freezing it. Bread that has been frozen cannot be cut. Furthermore, because defrosting takes little time, pre-sliced bread is ideal.

  • Without any additional wrapping, unopened loaves of bread can be placed immediately in the freezer.
  • To freeze leftover bread, place it in a freezer bag and squeeze out the air before putting it away.
  • Make sure the bread isn’t shattered by other frozen items or damaged by pressure. It is best to keep it in an airtight container to avoid this. 

What factors influence the shelf-life of bread?

Type of bread and ingredients used 

A loaf of bakery bread has preservatives added to lengthen the shelf life of a store-bought sandwich. Calcium propionate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and sorbic acid are some of the preservatives used.

Lactic acid, which is naturally found in bread, has antimicrobial properties. As a result, these types of bread are sold at room temperature.

Gluten-free bread is sold in the refrigerated department because of its high moisture content and lack of preservatives, making it prone to spoiling.

Due to their lower moisture content, breadcrumbs and crackers last the longest. Because of the high oil content, chilled dough for biscuits and rolls is prone to rancidity.

In comparison, homemade bread with no preservatives and perishable ingredients like eggs and milk has a lower shelf life.

Storage method of bread 

Bread that is stored in a warm, wet environment will spoil quickly owing to microbial growth. Bread can be refrigerated for 3-5 days to extend its shelf life. Both homemade and store-bought pieces of bread fall within this category.

What happens if you eat expired bread?

The most prevalent types of fungus that deteriorate bread are Rhizopus, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Mucor, and Fusarium. Toxins produced by any of these fungus could be found in bread.

When inhaled, it can cause food poisoning or irritate the respiratory tube. Indigestion and a compromised immune system are symptoms of food poisoning.

Tips for preventing bread waste

Instead, here are some suggestions for preventing bread waste before it becomes moldy:

  • To use up bread that has passed its best-by date, make homemade croutons, crackers, bread pudding, or breadcrumbs.
  • Any remaining bread should be well-sealed and stored in the freezer.
  • If moisture is visible within your bread package, dry it with a clean cloth before resealing the bag. This will assist to keep mold at bay.
  • Wait until the bread is entirely cool before covering or sealing it. This will keep moisture from building up and causing mold to grow.
  • If you don’t want to freeze your bread, figure out how much you’ll use in a week and buy only that much. You won’t have any leftovers this way.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can you eat bread after the sell-by date?” with an in-depth analysis of how long you can eat bread after the sell-by date. Moreover, we discussed tips for preventing bread waste. 


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