Last updated on October 26th, 2022 at 05:19 pm
Have you ever opened the cabinet or pantry at home looking for something but discovered an old cracker you’ve forgotten? Your first impulse would be to throw this away.
This thought came from the concept that we must consume within the expiration date.
But wait, is this always the case? Well, you’ll learn from this article whether crackers past their expiration date would still be edible or not.
Eating crackers or any other type of food after their expiration date can sometimes cause you to develop some symptoms of food poisoning. These symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, chills, and stomach cramps. Therefore, when you notice a cracker changing its crispy taste after a while, you shouldn’t take it advisably.
Is It Safe To Eat Expired Crackers?
You can eat your expired crackers if the package is still closed. They will lose some of their taste but will still be consumable.
Cracker taste becomes rancid when they expire, and they usually smell bad because the oil inside can spoil when kept for a long time.
Therefore, those kinds of crackers can cause the development of some food poisoning symptoms; these are not safe to eat.
On the other hand, old crackers that don’t smell bad are fine to eat, especially if there’s no observable change in their shape and taste.
However, there are two things you should note regarding expiration dates.
Some companies prefer to write the date after which consumption is no longer safe, while others will say “consume before,” which means the product can’t have its expected taste after that date.
Certainly, it’s best to avoid eating old crackers that smell bad. Some old crackers can smell like acetone or vinegar.
When you consume these crackers, you are most likely to have a stomachache or cause vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
However, the United States Department of Agriculture said many dates on food products refer to quality, not safety.
It means some food won’t cause you to be sick even if you eat them after its expiration date. However, they may lose their original taste and flavor.
It’s important to note that food poisoning doesn’t grow in a freezer. Therefore you can eat frozen food even after months of freezing.
Though, after a long time, frozen food may go dry and so may not taste good.
Moreover, You can tell if a cracker has expired by developing an odor that isn’t known to them, a change in flavor, a change in appearance, or sometimes the appearance of mold.
If a cracker has developed any signs, it’s best to be thrown into a bin to avoid getting sick.
The following list covers three impacts of eating expired crackers.
#1. Nothing May Happen:
You’ll be relieved to learn that, aside from a funky taste, nothing will happen if you eat an expired cracker.
Even knowing this, it’s still better to avoid eating an old cracker, especially frequently.
#2. Food Poisoning:
A report says food poisoning occurs to one out of six Americans yearly. The symptoms, as listed above, include stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, fever, and chills.
Though expired crackers are less likely to cause food poisoning, they sometimes do. Anyway, it’s the nature of humans not to eat anything that smells or tastes rotten.
#3. Exposure to Dangerous Bacteria:
When you contract food poisoning, exposure to dangerous bacteria such as E. Coli, cholera, Campylobacter enteritis, staphylococcus aureus, e.t.c. may become a significant symptom.
The multiplication of bacteria, yeast, and molds can cause food to spoil, which is related to some illnesses.
These bacteria can also cause issues such as a stiff neck, which is a symptom of Listeria, loss of balance, fever, and muscle aches are also inclusive.
Moreover, the characteristic rubbery texture of crackers has absolutely no negative effects on health.
The feeling of eating a cracker that has lost its ability to crunch as intended is strange, but only because people are too used to having their palates fooled by hyper-processed products.
If you buy crackers with homemade ingredients on the label, you’ll notice that, right out of the box, they don’t sound and crumble in the same spectacular way as the processed and sugary ones.
The cause is, above all, the humidity of the environment that penetrates them.
Many children prefer soft crackers: don’t feel guilty about giving them that way, and please don’t throw them away.
If you don’t like them, you can put them in the oven for a few minutes, and they will be as good as new, even a couple of months after buying them.
How Long Are Crackers Good After Opening?
To answer this, one needs to know the extent to which you stored your crackers and the storage condition.
Nevertheless, when you properly store opened crackers, the package can generally last for about four to six weeks when kept at room temperature.
In addition, open crackers would be safe to eat if they were properly stored and the package didn’t get damaged.
Crackers are unsafe to consume only when there’s a change in their texture, color, or flavor.
The best way to store crackers is to package them in an airtight container, then store them in a cool and dry place.
On the other hand, open crackers can stay for only two weeks; afterward, they can easily go bad.
Can I Refresh My Old Crackers?
You can revive your expired crackers by simply putting them in an oven.
Start by preheating the oven to 350⁰F, then place the old crackers on a baking sheet or a kitchen paper towel.
Bake the crackers for about four to five minutes inside the microwave dish. Remove the crackers from the oven and allow them to cool down.
Voila, they are good for consumption now. See the table below for the tools you need to refresh an old cracker.
|Microwave||Reheating the old crackers|
|Kitchen paper towel||For wrapping the cracker|
|Wire cooling rack||For Cooling them|
What Are Old Crackers Good For?
Old crackers aren’t always a waste item. They could still perform various functions.
Let’s see how you could use old crackers.
#1. Flower Fertilizers:
Using household waste to make good flower fertilizer is economical and environmentally friendly.
After fermentation, you can use expired crackers as flower fertilizers.
These homemade fertilizers are all organic and contain various nutrients and rich organic matter needed by flowers. The fertilizer effect is mild and long-lasting.
#2. As a Binder
Stale crackers can also improve the soil, form a granule structure, coordinate the air and water in the soil, and improve the growth of flowers.
Development is extremely favorable. You can use old crackers to replace breadcrumbs as binders in your dishes.
Grind the stale crackers in a food processor until they are finer, then store them in an airtight container.
#3. Moisture Absorption
Old crackers absorb humidity and moisture, protecting your dry ingredients from moisture buildup. Place the crackers in flour, salt, or sugar containers.
#4. Breading or Coating
You can replace the breadcrumbs or flour in your fried food with stale crackers.
Crush the crackers with a rolling tool, coat the food in an egg wash, then bread the food with your old crackers.
To sum up, old crackers are sometimes safe to consume but unsafe at other times.
However, you can differentiate between the two scenarios by observing the crackers’ texture, flavor, or shape.
If the texture, flavor, and shape are still intact, they’re edible; otherwise, they aren’t.