How Long Does Bread Last?

Whether you buy your bread at the grocery store or bake it at home, it is bound to go bad sometime. How long your loaf stays fresh depends on a few factors — most importantly how it has been stored and what preservatives it does or doesn't contain. 

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First, use your senses to tell if food has gone bad. Porous foods like bread can be contaminated with mold below the surface, which means you shouldn't discard the moldy spot and continue eating it. If you see any fuzzy, green growth on bread, it's time to toss it.

If refrigerated after opening instead of placed in the pantry, commercial bread products such as pan breads, flatbreads, rolls and buns will all last two to three weeks instead of the typical three to five days. If stored frozen, commercial breads will last between three to five months, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

For all the homemade bread bakers out there, anything you bake yourself should also last three to five days on the shelf or two to three months in the refrigerator. However, since your homemade bread lacks preservatives, it may have a shorter shelf life. 

If your loaf of bread is close to reaching its expiration date, consider cooking up some creative grilled cheese sandwiches or using it in these other recipes to finish off a loaf of bread.