Can You Eat Expired Popcorn?
Well, you can eat expired popcorns as they are not harmful but after two to three months of their expiry, they lose the moisture trapped inside them due to which you cannot enjoy eating them as there are a lot of dry popcorns when you make them which are hard to chew.
Even though popcorn will be safe to eat past the labeled date, it will not taste the same. You may eat popcorn past its expiration date, but the longer you wait to eat popcorn, the worse that popcorn will taste, and also, eventually, it may be subpar. After its best-by date, the popcorn will still be safe to eat, but the flavor of popcorn will slowly diminish.
If your popcorn kernels are past the best by date, and are still in good shape, they are still safe to eat. There is no need to worry, dried popcorn kernels last much longer, even past the expiration date, as long as they are stored in the right conditions. If you keep dried kernels longer than two years, they will become drier, and most of them will not fully pop when heated. If popcorn kernels are not stored properly, either in an airtight bag or container, or in an area that receives plenty of sunlight, they may lose moisture from within, and they may not pop as well as they did when you used them for the first time.
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You can keep plain popcorn kernels for a pretty long time (up to one or more years) when stored correctly in an airtight location or container. Ultimately, popcorn kernels are recommended to stay fresh for 1-2 years, but they can last an unlimited amount of time as long as you store them well. There are a few factors that can impact your popcorns shelf life, but generally, loose kernels that are stored in a container last for up to one year, popped popcorn for 2-3 weeks, and bagged popcorn kernels last 6-8 months.
|Type of Popcorn||Shelf Life|
|Regular Popcorn Kernels||1-2 years|
|Microwavable Instant Kernels||8 months|
|Bagged Popcorn Kernels||6-8 months|
|Dried Popcorn Kernels||2 years|
It is pretty hard to prolong the shelf life of microwave-safe instant popcorn kernels, as every producer will have different flavoring formulas and ratios of sugar to butter. Dried kernels and microwaveable bags will last about the same amount of time, but ready-to-eat popcorn has an entirely different shelf life. The shelf life for regular kernels is typically 6-7 months, while that of microwavable instant kernels is 8 months. Generally, microwave popcorn is good and safe to eat only for up to two months after its expiration date.
Some say that you can still use microwave popcorn kernels beyond three months after this date, but doing so could pose a major risk to your health. As the best rule of thumb, if your microwave popcorn is past its best-by date of use, you might want to take care with it, or throw it away, just to be safe. Microwave popcorn, and the oils and flavors within popcorn, get unpleasantly bland as they age, so it is best to avoid pushing past your best-by date to maintain a nice taste.
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If you have had your popcorn longer than one year past its best-by date, it is best to check for signs of aging, such as an off-putting smell or lots of uneaten kernels. If the popcorn you are eating has been expired only for a month or two, it is highly unlikely that it is going to give you problems, and will probably be perfectly fine. The most you are likely to notice about popcorn that is been sitting around for a little bit is that it is going stale. If your popcorn seems to have gone stale after popping, that likely means that the kernels have been sitting around too long, or were not stored correctly.
If you are making popcorn and you notice that you are left with more unpopped kernels than you popped, this is a good sign your kernels are not fresh and need to be disposed. Corn kernels will shrivel and go bad if left for a long time, pop ones will shrivel, and fats will turn into a fatty substance that will spoil microwaved popcorn. Also, kernel consistency changes at lower temperatures, and the flavor of the popcorn is different once it is defrosted.
It may be tempting to put the popcorn in the fridge to help it last longer, but the only thing that this does is to make the popcorn dryer, making it even shorter lived. As long as your packing conditions are ideal, this kind of popcorn can probably survive for several weeks before going bad. This kind of popcorn can remain edible up to four months, since the fat in it does not allow kernels to survive much longer. Since popcorn does not freeze, this snack stays edible for a lot longer, just make sure you throw it in an airtight, freeze-proof bag.
If you do choose to freeze, just know that popped popcorn still will not taste like fresh popcorn, though there are a few tips to try and revive it. Popped popcorn has a shelf life, and can go bad a lot quicker than dried kernels. Yes, though, expiration dates are established because popcorn kernels lose moisture over time and become drier on the inside, leading to either stale popcorn or easily burned popcorn. If you are buying microwave popcorn, you cannot use an expired kernel, as getting the correct amount of moisture in your kernel is crucial.
Loose-kernel corn either pops or does not, and you will know whether or not your popcorn is compromised by weather and moisture by the amount of unpopped kernels on the bottom of your skillet. If your popcorn has a foul odor, or only half the kernels are popping, chances are that the oils are already rancid, and the grains are already drying out. Risks of Consuming Expired Popcorn In a worst-case scenario, dried-out expired kernels will not pop like they are supposed to if you store them for too long, and popcorn flavors will worsen. After its best-by date, popcorn is likely to be fine for another month or two, but you will want to watch for signs of spoilage before eating any popcorn.
As long as your popcorn is still two or three months old, you are fine to eat it, with some exceptions. You should probably avoid any popcorn past its expiration by several years, as it is certainly going to taste bad, and is not worth the trouble of trying to get it going. This means the quality of your popcorn will start to decline after a certain date, but will still be edible.
How does bagged popcorn stay fresh?
It is suggested that leaving popcorn out causes it to spoil due to moisture in the air. Once you put it in a pouch and seal it in the freezer, the outside air is gone. Another alternative is to place the popcorn in the freezer once it has totally cooled.
Can you get sick from popcorn?
Bronchiolitis obliterans is often known as “popcorn lung.” This is a disorder that affects the tiniest airways in the lungs, causing you to choke and stop breathing. Inhale in a substance used to taste microwave popcorn might occasionally trigger it.