Can you get sick from eating expired bread? 

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can you get sick from eating expired bread?” and the information on stale bread.

Can you get sick from eating expired bread? 

If you consume a little bit of recently expired bread, it is unlikely that you would become ill or suffer any other consequences. Mold may grow on the bread that has been sitting about for a long time, making it unsafe to eat. Mold can cause gastrointestinal troubles, and toxic mold can be even more deadly than ordinary mold.

So whether or not you become ill after consuming expired bread is dependent on a variety of factors, including whether or not the bread has mold on it, whether or not it has off-flavors, and whether or not it has a solid texture.

It is possible that you will be able to consume bread that is slightly past its “best before” or “best by” date without falling ill if it has been properly stored because the “best before” or “best before” date is more of a reflection of quality rather than safety.

What is the bread’s shelf life?

The shelf life of bread, or the amount of time it can be stored before becoming bad, is determined by several factors. Bread that is kept at room temperature has a shelf life of 3–7 days, however, this varies depending on the ingredients used, the type of bread, and the storage method used to preserve it.

Type of Bread

To prevent mold growth and lengthen the shelf life of store-bought sandwiches, loaves, and bakery bread, preservatives are often applied. Without preservatives, bread can be stored at room temperature for 3–4 days.

Bread preservatives such as calcium propionate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and sorbic acid are all often found in bread. Lactic acid bacteria are an alternative because they produce antimicrobial acids in their natural environment.

Gluten-free bread is more susceptible to mold growth than regular bread because of its higher moisture content and absence of preservatives. To prevent this from happening, it is typically sold frozen rather than at room temperature.

In contrast, dried bread products such as breadcrumbs or crackers tend to stay the longest since mold requires moisture to grow and thrive.

Because it includes rancid oils, dough for biscuits and rolls that have been refrigerated will deteriorate with time.

A typical example is that most freshly baked loaves of bread do not include preservatives and may contain perishable ingredients such as eggs and milk. Some bakeries also do away with preservatives; if you’re unclear, look for the ingredient list or contact the baker for clarification.

Method of storing

How bread is stored has an impact on its shelf life as well. It is more likely that bread will decay if it is stored in a warm, moist environment. It should be kept sealed at room temperature or below to avoid the growth of mold.

If the bread is homemade, it will last 3–4 days at room temperature, and if it is purchased, it will last up to 7 days. It is possible to increase the shelf life of commercial and homemade bread by 3–5 days by refrigerating them both. Make certain that the bread is firmly covered to prevent drying and that the container does not appear to be leaking moisture if you want to use this approach.

Frozen bread may last for up to 6 months in the freezer if properly stored. Even though freezing does not destroy all dangerous compounds, it does inhibit their formation.

What are the risks associated with consuming stale bread?

Even though certain molds are safe to consume, it might be difficult to determine which fungus is responsible for the mold on your bread. Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid eating moldy bread because it might be damaging to your health.

The most common bread molds are Rhizopus, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Mucor, and Fusarium, to name a few. Toxins generated by molds, known as mycotoxins, can be hazardous if swallowed or breathed in large quantities. Because mycotoxins have the potential to spread throughout a loaf of bread, if you notice mold, you should reject the loaf as a whole.

Mycotoxins have the potential to cause stomach pain and digestive problems. Furthermore, they may disrupt the balance of microorganisms in your stomach, which may result in a weakened immune system and an increased risk of illness.

Furthermore, some mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin, have been shown to increase the chance of developing cancer when taken in large numbers.

What is the best way to know whether your bread is stale?

Bread that has mold on the surface or that has an unpleasant odor is lousy. Mold can be green, black, white, or even pink and can grow on the surface of the bread. It is also not a good idea to smell the bread if mold is visible on it since mycotoxins contained in bread can enter your body by inhalation and cause a range of health problems in the process.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “Can you get sick from eating expired bread?” and the information on stale bread.


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