Ditch Your Bread Expiration Date: How to Know if Your Loaf Has Actually Gone Bad

Don’t toss that bread just yet

Whether you make your own bread or grab a loaf from the supermarket, everyone should know when to keep and when to toss old bread.

Foods You Should Never Refrigerate and How to Store Them Instead

Grocery store loaves should be kept in their plastic loaf casing at room temperature, never in the fridge. According to “sell by” dates, bread is good for three to five days after opening, but it can actually be consumed much longer after that as long as there is no mold growth.

You can usually see fuzzy, green spots on the surface of bread, so it’s easy to tell when it’s time to toss. Porous foods like bread can be contaminated with mold below the surface beyond what you can see, which means you shouldn’t just discard the moldy spot and continue eating the rest.

Bakery breads that are usually sold in brown paper bags should be removed from the bag and wrapped tightly in plastic cling wrap and also kept at room temperature. The absolute best way to store all your loaves is in a bread basket right in your kitchen. And if you’re not going to get through your loaf, here’s how to freeze and thaw bread.


When it comes to going through your stash of groceries and other items, ignore expiration dates and instead check out how to know if your milk, eggs and more have gone bad.