Ramen noodles are an instant meal popular among students and those who have a short lunch break or don’t have time to cook. This product is affordable and easy to prepare, so many people buy it in bulk and store it for months. Still, you may wonder do ramen noodles go bad and how long do ramen noodles last. Let’s find out.
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Do Ramen Noodles Go Bad?
This instant meal-type lasts for a very long time. The reason is that it only contains flour and water, while flavorings are separately packaged. There are several kinds of these noodles, and their shelf life depends on the packaging and the way you store them.
If you compare several packs of ramen noodles, you will notice that most of them have a best before date printed instead of an expiration date. Even though this product remains edible for long after a recommended period, its taste quality will decline as time goes on.
How Long Do Ramen Noodles Last?
As I have already mentioned, ramen noodles can last way after the labeled deadline if you store them properly. However, there is a significant difference in the duration of instant ramen noodles, noodle soup packed in a cup, and fresh noodles.
If you like homemade cooked noodles, you can only store them in the fridge but not in the pantry. Even then, they will keep taste for only a few days. If you have some leftovers, keep them in the freezer for up to two months.
Ramen noodles shelf life
Ramen noodles type
|Instant||8 months||3 months||
Up to one year
|Up to label date||10 days||Up to 2 months|
|Cup||3 to 6 months||3 months||
|3 to 6 months||3 months||Up to 4 months|
|Cooked||Unsafe||5 to 7 days||
Up to 2 months
On the other hand, you can store ramen noodle packs and cups in a fridge and pantry. Noodle packs can stay in good condition for a maximum of eight months after the date on the label, but don’t store ramen cups for more than six months.
7 Tips to Tell if Ramen Noodles Have Gone Bad
You can eat ramen noodles even after their expiration date has passed. However, you should check the packaging before preparation, especially the one stored for too long.
Any discoloration on the noodles block shows a change in their composition. Pale noodles can be a result of bacteria presence or mold development. Either way, don’t eat such a product because it can potentially cause food poisoning.
If you prepare your instant meal and sense a strange odor, you should choose something else to eat. Ramen noodles won’t change their smell as long as they are okay to eat.
Once you prepare ramen noodles, taste them carefully. Any sour or bitter note is a warning sign, as well as other off-flavors you may notice. If you think your ramen soup tastes unusual, don’t eat it.
Ramen noodles usually come with some flavor enhancer in powder form. If you notice lumps in the powder bag, you can be sure that the packaging has been exposed to moisture. While there may no visible changes in the product, it is a clear indicator your ramen has gone bad.
Once the oil in the ramen bag goes rancid, you should throw it away. That is a definite sign that noodles are no longer safe to consume.
If you keep ramen noodles in a pantry, bugs can infect any damaged packs and lay eggs between the noodle layers. Although most pantry bugs are no threat to your health, such a product is probably disgusting enough for you to decide to get rid of it.
Black or green mold spots growing on the noodles block can severely harm your health. If you store ramen packs in a wet environment, the mold will develop and shorten their expiration date.
5 Tips to Store Ramen Noodles
Ramen noodles are a food with a long shelf life and are not demanding for storing. You can buy them on sale or use coupons and keep them for months in your pantry or kitchen cabinet. Still, there are some storing guidelines you can use to avoid wasting them.
Kitchen and pantry
There are several ramen noodle types, including those packed in Styrofoam cups, bags, and aluminum packaging. The ideal place to store all of them is at room temperature, dark, and dry.
You can keep the packaging in the kitchen cabinet or pantry, depending on the amount you have. The crucial thing is to put it away from a heat source or a direct sun exposure. Keep the packaging safe from temperature fluctuations since this product lasts longer at a stable temperature.
You can benefit from keeping ramen noodles in a cardboard box, whether you use a pantry or a kitchen cabinet. It is one more level of protection from moisture, external odors, and insects.
Plus, you can put that box with noodle packs on the pantry floor, where the temperature is the lowest. You can save noodles for an extra month or two by storing them this way.
Paradoxically, you can store ramen noodles in the fridge shorter than in the pantry. Frequent refrigerator door opening and high humidity level lead to rapid noodles block deterioration, resulting in black and green mold spots on the surface.
If you prefer fresh or homemade noodles, the vital factor in their shelf life is the container for storing them. This food can go bad in a matter of days, so it is an excellent option to keep them in a clean, glass, airtight vessel and place them in a fridge.
Keeping noodles in a plastic container or nylon bag is not a good idea either. They are susceptible to external factors such as moisture, mold, or pantry bugs when kept that way.
If you buy ramen noodles in bulk, you can separate powdery additives and separate bags with oils. Place the noodles blocks in an airtight container and keep the oils and flavorings in the fridge. That way, you won’t risk the oil leaking if the packaging is damaged or the powder additives clumping.
Another option is to open the bags and pour the powders with the same aroma in a small glass jar you should close tightly. That will allow you to visually inspect the product condition and add smaller or larger doses to the noodles, depending on your preferences.
Nowadays, you can buy frozen ramen noodle family packs in better-stocked stores or online. That means you can save money and put a large noodle bag directly in the freezer.
However, a better option is to divide the package into several portions, place them in re-sealable bags and write the date of freezing on each one. Most experts don’t recommend storing noodles in the freezer for more than a few months.
The Risk of Consuming Expired Ramen Noodles
In most cases, you can safely eat expired ramen noodles since they don’t come with any health risks. Still, this product contains only a few nutrients and many additives, preservatives, and flavor enhancers.
Plus, ramen noodles contain high values of sodium, which can harm you in the long run. Therefore, many studies show that consuming ramen noodles daily can damage your health, causing heart, liver, and blood diseases.
Remember, you can always use only one noodle block and prepare it with homemade chicken soup, mushrooms, sour cream, or meat. That way, you will avoid the artificial flavorings and enjoy ramen noodles as a part of healthy recipes.
Can You Freeze Ramen Noodles?
You may hear about ramen noodles freezing in extremely cold weather. Since possible, there is no reason to avoid extending their expiration date by placing packaging in the freezer.
If you have ramen noodles leftovers after dinner, you can always freeze them till the next occasion. Most noodle types freeze well, but there are few things to keep in mind:
- If you want to put an unopened ramen noodle pack in the freezer, you should place it there without additional packaging or transferring it to another container.
- Never freeze unopened ramen noodle cups because air expansion can lead to cup bursting. As a result, you will get noodles all over the fridge.
- Once you cook noodles, separate the portion you want to freeze before adding the sauce or flavorings. Place the noodles in an airtight container, put them in the fridge for an hour and then transfer them to the freezer.
Once you decide to take the ramen noodles out of the freezer, you should do that the day before you plan to prepare the meal.
The best option is to leave them overnight in the fridge, but you can also reheat this food in the oven or microwave. Remember to add some water to them in such a case.
Ramen noodles will eventually go bad if you don’t store them properly. That can happen due to packaging damage and moisture or mold presence. Luckily, expired noodles don’t pose a significant risk to your health, and you can eat them even after the best before date.