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If you’ve got an old bag of pasta hiding away in the back of the cupboard, that appears to be out of date, fear not! It might not be the end of that carb-rich ingredient just yet. Let’s take a deep dive and answer some pasta questions, starting with: Can you eat out of date pasta?
Can You Eat Out of Date Pasta?
Yes, you can eat out of date pasta.
But there are exceptions to the rule, of course. (Aren’t there always?)
If you get a bag of dried pasta out of the cupboard and see that it is one day out of date, you can still eat it. Nothing is going to happen overnight, on the best before or use-by date, that will affect the quality of the food.
The same applies for raw, dried pasta that is a week out of date, or a month out of date.
Best before or use-by dates on foods like pasta are there as a safety net for the manufacturers as well as a way to keep you – the consumer – safe.
The manufacturer can guarantee high-quality goods up until the use-by date. After that point, the manufacturer can no longer guarantee the high-quality of the product. It’s likely still safe to eat for many weeks, months and maybe even years from that point, but the manufacturer can’t guarantee that.
“The best before date, sometimes shown as BBE (best before end), is about quality not safety.”– Food Standards Agency
Dried pasta products, as well as many other dried products, have a very long shelf life because of the way they have been preserved, plus the ingredients used in the manufacturing process.
Are Out of Date Pot Noodles OK to Eat?
Just as with dried pasta, out of date pot noodles are OK to eat. (Probably.)
Unless you have noted any changes to the contents, it is more than likely still safe to make and then eat a Pot Noodle that is out of date.
If you notice changes to the smell, appearance, texture, or taste of the pot’s contents, and the product is out of date, it is not a good idea to eat it.
For the most part, deciding whether or not to eat out of date food, such as Pot Noodles and pasta, is down to common sense. If it looks, smells, tastes, and seems fine/normal, it is probably safe to consume it. If there are any changes to the product, it is not recommended to consume it.
Is Out of Date Fresh Pasta OK to Eat?
It is not a good idea to eat out of date fresh pasta.
Fresh pasta is different to dried pasta. Dried pasta, as previously mentioned, has been preserved in such a way that it lasts for a lot longer than fresh pasta.
Fresh pasta is not preserved in that way, nor does it contain the same preservative ingredients. It goes out of date (and turns bad) a lot quicker than dried pasta.
If your out of date fresh pasta is a couple of days out of date, look and smell it. Does it look and smells normal – as you would expect it to? It is likely to be okay to eat after you’ve cooked it, if it looks and smells just fine.
Are there any changes to the texture, smell, appearance, or taste? You should stop eating it or cooking it and throw it away if there are any changes.
If your out of date fresh pasta is more than two or three days out of date, refrigerated or not, it is not recommended to eat it. You’ll likely notice some changes to the way it looks or smells. White spots or specs, for example, is an indication that mould is starting to grow.
Fresh pasta also has a tendency to look slimy when it starts to turn bad. It can also give off an unpleasant aroma.
Are Out of Date Egg Noodles OK to Eat?
Out of date dried egg noodles are likely OK to eat.
Fresh egg noodles, however, will need to follow the same rules as fresh pasta.
It is not recommended to eat fresh egg noodles that are more than 1-3 days out of date.
Because of the ingredients in the noodles, and the ways they have been preserved, it is actually quite rare for dried egg noodles to go bad. You might notice a slight decrease in quality, perhaps, but most people wouldn’t notice the difference if they were eating dried egg noodles that were six months out of date.
Dried egg noodles can last for up to 2 years past their best before date, if stored appropriately.
Are Out of Date Fresh Noodles OK to Eat?
It is not recommended to eat fresh noodles that are more than 2 or 3 days out of date.
Fresh noodles will last for up to 3 days in the fridge, if they are stored in an airtight container.
Because fresh pasta usually contains eggs and other fresh ingredients, they have a shorter lifespan than dried pasta – and this applies to all pasta products, including noodles, egg noodles, spaghetti, ravioli, and more.
Is Out of Date Filled Pasta OK to Eat?
Filled pasta that is preserved or dried will likely be safe to eat for many months past the best before date.
Fresh filled pasta, however, will need to be eaten within 1-3 days.
The stuffing inside filled pasta will also have a part to play in how long the product lasts, fresh, dried, preserved (canned) or otherwise. You might find that the pasta itself looks fine to eat, but the stuffing has started to turn bad.
What to Do With Out of Date Dried Pasta
You can eat out of date dried pasta in all of the same ways you would usually cook and eat in-date pasta. There are a few tweaks you could make to ensure your dish tastes great and is of a high quality, though.
The longer your pasta is out of date, the more the quality will likely have gone down. For that reason, out of date fresh pasta is best served in a flavour-packed sauce. Extra ingredients, such as meat, mushrooms, or vegetables will also help to ‘mask’ any reduction in pasta quality.
If you don’t want to eat out of date pasta, why not consider taking it to a food bank? I’ve no doubt that you’ve heard a lot about those in the news lately, with more and more of them popping up, up and down the country.
If the food is still good to eat (but you don’t want to eat it), donate it to a food bank or similar charity establishment. Some supermarkets have donation bins in which you can add your expired or soon-to-be-expired food.
You could also consider bulk-cooking meals with your soon-to-expire or already-expire dried pasta and handing them out to homeless communities, family members, etc. There’s nothing to stop you from freezing it, then reheating and eating it in the future.
You can find more information freezing, defrosting, and reheating pasta dishes right here:
Can Out of Date Pasta Make You Sick?
Out of date fresh pasta can definitely make you sick, because it usually contains egg products.
Dried pasta that is out of date will not likely make you sick, unless you can see physical signs of mould or decomposition. More than anything, out of date pasta will decrease in quality. It can still be safely cooked and eaten for many months – and even years – after the best before date has passed, providing it has been stored correctly.