Is It Safe To Eat Expired Pasta?

It’s a common scenario: You’re rummaging through the pantry, looking for something to make for dinner, and you come across a package of pasta that’s been in there for who knows how long. Is it safe to eat? Can you still use it?

The USDA says that dry pasta — the kind you find in a box on the shelf at the grocery store — can be stored indefinitely[1]USDA Pasta Storage: That’s right, there is no expiration date on dry pasta. However, that doesn’t mean that it will taste as good as it did when it was first purchased. Over time, the quality of the pasta will degrade, and it may become harder and less flavorful.

If you’re unsure about whether your pasta is still good, there are a few ways to tell. First, check the package for signs of damage, such as holes or tears. If the package is damaged, the pasta inside may not be safe to eat. Second, give the pasta a smell test. If it smells rancid or off, it’s best to throw it away. Finally, cook a small amount of the pasta and give it a taste test. If it tastes fine, then it’s still good to eat; if not, then it’s time to say buon appetito to that expired pasta and start fresh with a new package.

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it—the truth about expired pasta. While dry pasta don’t have an expiration date, they do go bad eventually. If you’re unsure about whether your noodles are still good to eat, just give them a smell test or cook up a small batch and taste test them before eating a whole plateful of them. And remember, when in doubt, throw it out! Better safe than sorry when it comes to food safety.


1 USDA Pasta Storage: