Shelf Life of
Pudding

How Long Does Pudding Last?

Chocolate Pudding

How long does Pudding Last? Pudding, a sweet milk-based desert has been a popular food item for years. The shelf life of pudding can vary due to the type, packaging, storage method, and thickening agent used. Pudding is typically created through either a baking oven or on the stove top and consists of milk, sugar, and thickening agents such as tapioca, eggs, gelatin, cornstarch or rice. However, in North America, most consumers get their pudding from Kraft. Similar to jell-o, it comes either in the form of instant, cook to prepare or pre-packaged ready made. No-matter the form, pudding can be found in regular, sugar-free, reduced fat and non-fat versions. So, just how long does pudding last?

When properly stored, Pudding lasts for the time periods indicated below beyond its best by date:

(Unopened) Pantry Refrigerator
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Vanilla Pudding lasts for 3-4 Weeks 3-4 Weeks
Chocolate Pudding lasts for 3-4 Weeks 3-4 Weeks
Kraft’s Dry Pudding Mix lasts for 4-5 Weeks
(Opened) Pantry Refrigerator
Pudding Prepared from Dry Mix lasts for 1 Day 5-7 Days
Homemade Pudding lasts for 1 Day 5-7 Days




Of course, all food and drink products will last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. But, like many other products, pudding usually has a best before date which is simply the last date by which a manufacturer will vouch for a product’s flavor and quality, not its safety.  Because of this distinction, you may safely eat your foods for a time period after the best before or sell by date has expired.

How to tell if Pudding is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Saving money, practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent food borne illness.  Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your packaged pudding has expired and gone bad.  The first sign of caution in prepared pudding is when you see pockets of watery liquid (the liquid has separated from the other ingredients) and the sweet taste is replaced with a sharp, bitter flavor. You can tell if it has gone bad if you see bright bacterial marks or dark mold on its surface. Dry pudding mix is still good if it has remained dry, been stored properly and is within the eat by date. There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled food, so always remember to practice food safety and eat all your foods prior to their expiration.

How to store pudding to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the shelf life of all foods. For the packaged and dry mix pudding, it should be stored in a cool dry environment not susceptible to temperature change.  When items go through temperature changes of cool to warm and vice versa, the moisture in the air tends to condensate inside the packages. This moisture allows mold to grow and your pudding to spoil. Thus, while a refrigerator is recommended for packaged prepared pudding, it is not required… if you bought the prepared pudding in the refrigerator section, it should be kept in the refrigerator but if you bought it on the shelf, then it can remain on the shelf.
Freezing pudding is not recommended since it changes the consistency and the thawed food will be watery and undesirable.

For homemade pudding, you can keep it fresh longer by storing it in your refrigerator below 40°F immediately after use.  Like most dairy products, you should store it in air-tight containers that help keep out moisture and other contaminants.  In addition, you should always make sure to use clean utensils when serving in order to avoid cross-contamination.  Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting facts about the shelf life of Pudding?

  • Most pudding containers are made of colored plastic which reduce the exposure to light, air and fluctuating temperatures.
  • In the 18th and 19th century, boiled pudding was a common main course aboard ships in the Royal Navy.
  • All flavors of pudding typically have the same shelf life.
  • In North America pudding refers to a creamy egg based dessert, while in Britain it refers to a custard starch thickened pudding.

How to use extra pudding before your pudding goes bad?

What if you have too much about to spoil and go to waste? Here’s a few simple ideas:

  • Make a yellow cake mix and put vanilla pudding between the layers when cool. Then spread on some hot fudge straight from the jar for an easy Boston Cream Pie.

How long is Pudding good for when prepared in a dish?

How long does pudding last? That depends. How long does milk last? In general, pudding lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient it is mixed with. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date.

 What are our shelf life resources?

Our how long does pudding last content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scour the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of pudding.

 *An important note about the expiration date of Pudding …

Although the regular, reduced-fat and fat-free pudding shelf life information provided by Eat By Date is generally reliable, it is in no way intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified health care provider.  Please eat responsibly.