Chips are a popular snack item found in many pantries and households they’re tasty and convenient, but can you eat expired chips that have expired or stale chips? Can gobbling up those salty snacks still pose any health risks if they’ve been past the expiration date?
Are expired chips safe to eat? It may seem like chips should last forever when stored properly in an airtight container, but what about the ones that expire?
If you’re like most of us, chances are you’ve been in a situation where you reach into the pantry looking for chips to satisfy your craving. You find an unopened package of old chips on the shelf only to discover that they have expired.
Chips can make or break a snack or meal; they add that extra crunch, texture, and flavor to several classic dishes. Therefore, it is a good idea to not stray too far from the manufacture recommendations on product dates.
Are Expired Chips Safe to Eat?
The short answer is the potato chips may be stale, past their peak quality, if they are past their expiration date; however, they are still safe to eat.
Is it truly safe to eat expired chips? Or will you be better off tossing them out of your pantry as soon as possible? You may be surprised to learn that most chips are safe to eat after they’ve passed their due date if they were stored in a cool, dry place, in an unopened package. It is one food item that will generally stay crisp up to 3 months after the expiration date on the package.
Why Do Manufacturers Put Dates on Chips Well in Advance of Spoil Dates?
First, manufacturers issue dates of a food product to make sure that their product is consumed when it is at its freshest state. Additionally, they want to keep the consumer safe. Therefore, they make sure to place a sell-by date or expiration date well in advance of the product spoiling.
However, this does not necessarily mean that the product is not edible a long time after the use-by date.
Due to their low moisture content, the shelf life of potato chips is quite long. Unopened potato chips are snacks are popular with consumers because of the long shelf life, especially when compared to other perishable foods like fresh fruits.
Perishable foods need to have dates on them, so consumers know when the product was manufactured and the shelf life of the potato snack. When stored in the original packaging, the food product should keep consumers safe when eating the product by the date on the packaging.
How long do opened potato chips last?
Once potato chips have been opened, seal the package tightly and they will stay fresh at room temperature about 2 weeks.
However, if you just fold over the end of the chip bag and store on the counter at room temperature, they will quickly go stale. To extend the crispiness make sure to fold over the end of the bag and seal with a chip clip or place in a properly sealed container or plastic sealing bag.
The Real Expiration Dates on the Package
Since the manufacturer wants consumers to stay safe while enjoying their product, in many cases, the real expiration date of chips can be extended a little beyond the best-by date listed on the package. Potato chips can be eaten up to 3 weeks after the sell-by date. They may become stale, but they should remain safe to eat.
However, the sell-by date is important for a grocery store as they must keep their stock rotated so consumers get the freshest possible perishable food products. Even though this potato snack is one of those relatively shelf-stable foods especially compared to dairy products, the Food and Drug Administration has regulations requiring product information for consumers.
Can Expired Chips Make You Sick?
Generally, if the package is unopened and the chips have been stored in a pantry, they are safe to eat for up to 3 months after the expiration. However, if you notice moisture, mold, or any odd scents, you should discard them as this could mean that they are spoiling.
For food safety, make sure to read labels carefully. Generally, consuming expired food past the expiration date can cause serious gastrointestinal problems. These can include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea. The worst case scenario can lead to food poisoning. Once in your system, the harmful bacteria can cause serious health problems.
How can you tell if chips are spoiled?
The best way is to tell if your potato chips are spoiled is to look at them and smell them.
Looking at the food. If you notice any discoloration, slimy appearance, or mold, do not eat them as they are spoiled and you will most likely get sick.
Smelling the potato chips. When you open the bag, did you notice an off odor? They could smell sour or musty. If you smell anything off, discard them.
Will expired Doritos make you sick?
If they don’t smell rancid or show signs of spoiling, they won’t make you sick. However, stale potato chips itself does not pose a health risk and will not make you sick. It is the spoiled food that will make you sick. It’s kind of like stale bread. It is safe to eat this stale food, just not as fresh and delicious as when it was just fresh.
Uses for Stale Potato Chips
However, there are many uses for stale chips and stale bread. Crush them up and combine with a bit of melted butter. Sprinkle over your next casserole for a delicious crunchy topping.
Crush them up and add them to meatloaf.
How long do unopened tortilla chips last?
If stored in the original unopened packaging, they can last up to 3 months after the expiration date on the package. After that, they could still be safe to eat; however, they will more likely be a bit stale.
How long can you keep an opened bag of corn chips?
If the bag has been tightly closed and stored at room temperature, it can last up to 2 weeks. It will still have that great taste and crunch. If the bag is left open and not sealed with a clip, the corn chips will be quite stale. This can happen within just a few days.
Can stale Cheetos make you sick?
Cheetos should be discarded within 1 month after opening. After that, you run the risk of getting sick from spoilage.
Many years ago, my husband ate Cheetos that had been sitting out in an opened bag for a month. He got food-born poisoning. So, don’t take any chances. If you see any change in the texture or color, discard. If they smell off, stay safe and discard them.
How Long Do Homemade Potato Chips Last?
For best quality of the chips, they should be consumed within 24 hours of making them. However, you can store them at room temperature. This is nice for large qualities of homemade potato chips made in advance for parties.
They can remain fresh up to 4 days. After that, they may become stale and soggy.
How to Keep Potato Chips Fresh
If you plan on eating potato chips within a few days, it is perfectly fine to roll the end of the bag over and securing with a chip clip.
However, if your chips tend to go stale before you can eat them, here is a food hack for you.
Freeze your Potato chips.
How to Freeze Potato Chips
You might be wondering, can I really freeze potato chips and have them be crispy when I eat them?
The great news is, yes you can! You can freeze potato chips easily.
Chips can be frozen both opened and unopened. Once opened, either place them into a freezer bag or roll the end of the chip bag over a few times and secure to keep it from unrolling.
Then just place the chips in the freezer.
They will keep for 1 full year and be crisp when enjoying anytime you want. In fact, freezing tends to enhance the flavors too.
Since the chips are dry when they go into the freezer, there is no need to thaw them before eating them. However, you can let them sit on the counter for a little bit before eating them too.
They will be tasty and crunchy.
How to Keep Potato Chips Fresh
- Potato Chips
- Ruffle Chips
- Homemade Chips
Short-term Chip Storage
- If you plan on eating potato chips within a few days, it is perfectly fine to roll the end of the bag over and securing with a chip clip.
How to Freeze Potato Chips
- Chips can be frozen both opened and unopened. Once opened, either place them into a freezer bag or roll the end of the chip bag over a few times and secure to keep it from unrolling.
- Then just place the chips in the freezer.
- They will keep for 1 full year and be crisp when enjoying anytime you want. In fact, freezing tends to enhance the flavors too.
- Since the chips are dry when they go into the freezer, there is no need to thaw them before eating them. However, you can let them sit on the counter for a little bit before eating them too.
- They will be tasty and crunchy.