How Long Does Popcorn Last?

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, making a prefect snack.

The reason that popcorn pops is that when the corn is heated, the moisture trapped within the kernel expands. It expands until the hull can no longer withstand the pressure and thus pops open. A popular question is: Does popcorn go bad? The answer is: Not exactly.

So, how long does popcorn last? When properly stored, the shelf life of popcorn past its best before date is ...

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Popcorn Expiration Date

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

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

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

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 older kernels than with fresh popcorn. With popcorn made specifically for the microwave, the smell will be slightly different when you open the celophane bag that comes wrapped 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 bother popping these bags.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired!

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.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

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

How long does popcorn last? 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.

What are our shelf life resources?

In determining how long Popcorn lasts, 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 not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!

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With oven-safe glass and water-tight lids, these food storage containers are ready for action! Not a Prime Member? Try a 30-day free trial today!


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