Do Breadcrumbs Go Bad? How Long Do Breadcrumbs Last?

Breadcrumbs are a very popular pantry staple for their versatility. They can be used for breading, to add crunch to several different types of dishes, or to hold meatballs or crab cakes together. If you found some in the back of your pantry, you will need to know if they are still good to use.

Quick Answer

Breadcrumbs do go bad. You can buy breadcrumbs from the store or you can make your own at home. Breadcrumbs are dried so they last longer than regular bread. Breadcrumbs bought at the store are generally good for about 6 months past the best by date while homemade breadcrumbs will last for about 2 weeks in your pantry and up to 2 months in the freezer.


The way you store your breadcrumbs has a big impact on their shelf life. Read on to see how long breadcrumbs last under different storage conditions.

Do Breadcrumbs Go Bad? How Long Do Breadcrumbs Last?

There are different ways to store your breadcrumbs whether they are homemade or store-bought. You can keep them in the pantry, the fridge, or in the freezer.

How Long Do Breadcrumbs Last Outside?

Breadcrumbs are dried and can be stored in your pantry. They typically come in a cylindrical can with a plastic lid and they can be stored in the pantry.

When kept in a cool dry place, regardless of whether or not it has been opened, breadcrumbs can keep in your pantry for about 6 months.

Homemade breadcrumbs don’t last quite as long as store-bought. When stored properly in your pantry, they will maintain their freshness for approximately 2 weeks.

How Long Do Breadcrumbs Last In The Fridge?

Your refrigerator is famous for keeping food fresh longer. While it is not necessary to store breadcrumbs in the fridge, doing so can extend their freshness, especially when it comes to homemade breadcrumbs.

Store-bought breadcrumbs both opened and unopened will stay fresh in the refrigerator for approximately 1 to 2 months if they are in a tightly sealed container.

To extend the shelf life of homemade breadcrumbs you can store them in the fridge. In a tightly sealed container, they will stay good for about a week.

How Long Do Breadcrumbs Last In The Freezer?

If you bought or made more breadcrumbs than you can use, you can always store them in the freezer to keep them fresh for later use.

Store-bought breadcrumbs will remain fresh and maintain their quality for about a year. If they have been kept frozen at 0ׄ°F they will be safe to eat indefinitely.

Homemade breadcrumbs can be stored in a sealable plastic bag and will be good in your freezer for about 6 months if it remains airtight.

Store-bought breadcrumbs can be safe to eat indefinitely when stored properly in the freezer. Homemade breadcrumbs have the shortest pantry life at about 2 weeks.

How To Tell If Breadcrumbs Have Gone Bad/How To Know Breadcrumbs Are Fresh

There are a couple of ways to be sure that your breadcrumbs are fresh, high quality, and safe for consumption.

Smell it: Breadcrumbs should have a mild, pleasant aroma. You can smell the bread and spices if you have Italian or Garlic and Herb breadcrumbs.

Look at it: Fresh breadcrumbs should have a fine consistency and be free of clumps.

Taste it: One of the best ways to tell if your breadcrumbs are fresh is to give it a quick taste test. They should taste fresh and like bread, or the spices they’re seasoned with.

If you are concerned your breadcrumbs have gone bad, there are a few ways to check them to be sure.

Smell it: Smell your breadcrumbs before you use them. If you notice a strange odor, they may not be good to eat.

Look at it: If any moisture gets into your breadcrumbs, they can begin to grow mold. The mold will appear fuzzy and could be white or green. If you notice any mold at all, don’t eat the breadcrumbs.

Taste it: Sample a taste of the breadcrumbs. If they have a sour taste they are no longer good to eat. If they have turned dry, hard, or stale, their quality has degraded but they should still be safe to eat.

How To Store Breadcrumbs?

Storing breadcrumbs properly is essential in maintaining their freshness.

Airtight container: Whether your breadcrumbs are store-bought or homemade, they need to be stored in an airtight container. This can be a sealable bag, a plastic container, or a jar. This pertains to any storage method. They need to be airtight when stored in the pantry, fridge, and freezer.

Transfer store-bought breadcrumbs: Store-bought breadcrumbs typically come in a cylindrical can with a plastic lid. Once opened, this lid may not be airtight so if you have opened them, it would be best to transfer them to an airtight container before storing them.

Let them cool: If you have made homemade breadcrumbs, you must let them dry before you store them. If you store them too hot, you will get moisture in your container and this will cause them to go bad much faster.

Can You Freeze Breadcrumbs? How?

To help your breadcrumbs last longer, they can be frozen. Read on to see how to store them properly in the freezer.

Fresh Breadcrumbs:

Allow them to cool: Fresh breadcrumbs need to be cooled before they are bagged to ensure no moisture gets into the container. This will prevent them from molding or becoming soggy upon defrosting.

All Breadcrumbs:

Airtight container or bag: Put the breadcrumbs into a sealable plastic bag. Remove all of the air before placing it in the freezer.

Added protection: If you plan on keeping the breadcrumbs in the freezer for an extended period, it is a good idea to either double bag it or wrap it in foil to help prevent freezer burn.

Label them: Make sure you label your package so you know when it was placed in the freezer.

 How To Thaw Breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs thaw very fast and will typically thaw out while you are preparing your dish. If you want, you can place them in the fridge to thaw overnight.

Fresh breadcrumbs that have been frozen can become a little soggy upon thawing. To remedy this, you can place them on a baking sheet in the oven to help them crisp up.

Frequently Asked Questions About Breadcrumbs Shelf Life

I ate stale breadcrumbs; will I get sick? Bread becomes stale because of a physical change in the starches.  When becoming stale, the bread can turn dry, crunchy, and/or chewy. This is simply a decline in the quality and it is still safe to eat. You will not get food poisoning from stale bread alone. The poisoning comes from something toxic contaminating the bread.

I left my breadcrumbs uncovered, are they safe to eat? Leaving breadcrumbs uncovered will affect the quality as they can become stale quicker especially in humid climates where there is moisture in the air. Staleness only affects the quality of the bread, not the safety. If you left them uncovered in the pantry, you also run the risk of them having been contaminated by pantry bugs. If it was for a very short period, they should be okay. If there is any question about them being contaminated by anything, it would be best to throw them out.


Breadcrumbs are highly versatile and can be found in many kitchens. For long-lasting freshness, store them in the freezer in an airtight container and keep them away from moisture.

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