Shelf Life of
Popcorn

How Long Does Popcorn Last?

How Long Does Popcorn Last?

Shelf Life of Popcorn

How long does Popcorn last? Does popcorn expire? The shelf life of popcorn depends on the best before date, the packaging and how it is stored. Popcorn is 100% whole grain, thus low in fat and high in fiber, a prefect snack. The reason that popcorn pops is that when the corn is heated the moisture trapped within the kernel expands until the hull can no longer withstand the pressure and pops open.

Does popcorn go bad? Not exactly. So, how long does popcorn last? When properly stored, the shelf life of popcorn

past its best before date is …

(Unopened) Pantry
Past Printed Date
Popcorn lasts for Indefinitely
Microwave Popcorn lasts for 6-8 Months
Popped Popcorn lasts for 2-3 Weeks



But remember, popcorn, like a lot of other grains, usually have a best before date and not a use by date or an expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use it for your healthy snack after the best before date has lapsed.

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

When popcorn has gone bad, the moisture trapped within the hull has dried and thus the kernel will no longer pop. Popcorn may appear slightly darker when dried, but it is hard to tell for sure unless you actually try to pop the kernels. Some kernels will most likely pop, but you will have many more “old maids” (un-popped kernels) with old than with fresh popcorn.
With microwave popcorn, the smell will be slightly different when you open the celophane bag around the microwave safe bag if the popcorn has gone bad. This is because the oils within the bag are beginning to go bad. If the oil has gone bad, the taste will be off and it is not recommended to pop these bags. Practicing proper hygiene and food safety discipline will help prevent food borne illness.

How to store popcorn to extend its shelf life?

The best way to store popcorn is in its original air tight container with a tight seal in a cool dark place like the pantry, away from the stove or other appliances that may produce heat. It is not recommended to use the fridge or freezer to store popcorn because they will dry out faster and its shelf life will be shortened. Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of all foods.

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

That depends. How long does cheese last? In general, popped corn will be one of the last expiring ingredients in any dish, soaking up the other ingredients. To find out how long other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

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What are our shelf life resources?

Our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of popcorn.

*An important note about expiration dates …

Although the popcorn shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion, and should not replace the advice of your health care provider. Please eat responsibly!