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How Long Does Bread Last And How To Tell If It’s Bad?

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Bread is perhaps one of the most important and most popular staple foods across the world.

How Long Does Bread Last

It’s a regular fixture in many shopping baskets whenever it comes time to grab the groceries, and we can often find ourselves eating through a whole bag of the stuff in next to no time at all. 

Because it is so versatile, and so easy to serve up in countless recipes, you’ve likely found yourself purchasing an extra loaf to meet the demand in your home.

But how long does bread actually last? And how do you know when it has gone past its best? 

If you want to ensure that your extra loaf of bread doesn’t spoil, then you have come to the right place.

Today, we are dedicating ourselves to finding out exactly how long bread lasts, and how you can go about telling if it’s bad.

And that’s not all, because we’ll also take a look at some handy ways that you can allow your bread to last longer! 

Read on below!

How Long Does Bread Last?

Luckily, you have plenty of time afforded to you in order to make the most of any loaf of bread.

Any average loaf of bread, purchased from a grocery store, will last around 5 to 7 days at room temperature.

This is the case regardless of whether the bread is wholemeal or white bread. 

You will want to ensure that the bread is covered, as this will keep germs, bacteria, and even small insects from gathering on its surface, which would inevitably cause the bread to quickly spoil.

Homemade bread, on the other hand, will not last quite as long, and will instead last between 3 to 5 days at room temperature.

The reason for this is that homemade bread will not contain any preservatives intended to keep the bread from spoiling.

Once again, it is best to ensure that homemade bread is covered when not being eaten, to keep it safe from bacteria and insects.

Can You Make Bread Last Longer?

For some people, 7 days is not enough to make full use of a loaf of bread.

If you want to ensure that you are able to eat every last slice of your bread, you will want to ensure that you keep your bread in your refrigerator. 

Keeping bread in the refrigerator allows it to last for a few extra days on top of the original 5 to 7.

If refrigerating bread, be sure to seal it away tightly, in order to keep it from absorbing the flavors and scents of other foods in the fridge.

If you need bread to last even longer than it does in the fridge, then you can make use of your freezer. Placing bread in the freezer allows it to last for months at a time!

With enough care, you can easily help bread to last six months in the freezer. Just make sure to allow the bread to thaw for a number of hours before eating it! 

When freezing bread, you will want to make sure to consume it within that six-month time frame, as leaving it to freeze for longer than that can result in freezer burn, which leads to bland and oddly-textured bread. 

How Do You Know If Bread Has Gone Bad?

How Long Does Bread Last

If you have a loaf of bread that you suspect may be past its best, there are a few things you can do to check to see if it is okay to consume. 


First, you will want to check for visible signs of spoiling on the surface of the bread. Luckily, bread shows that it has spoiled in a very clear manner.

When bread spoils, mold will begin to propagate on its surface. 

Search for small patches of white, black, blue, or green mold. If you notice any, be sure to discard the loaf. Make sure to dispose of the bread even if only one slice is spoiled.


If the bread looks totally fine, but you are still unsure whether it is past its best, the next thing you will want to do is to give it a little smell.

Smell the bread to see if it smells unusual to you. If you can smell vinegar, yeast, alcohol, or anything unusual, it is best to simply discard the bread, as it is most likely well past its best.


If the bread not only looks but also smells just fine, then you can confirm whether it is okay by having a small taste of the bread. 

Rip off a small piece of the bread and try to see if you can notice any strange or unusual flavors.

If the bread tastes sour or is just otherwise unappetizing, it is best to assume that the bread is past its best. If it doesn’t taste right, you won’t want to eat it anyway, so best to discard it! 

Is It Okay To Eat Bread Past Its Best?

Generally, you will want to avoid eating spoiled bread wherever possible, but in most cases, you would be fine if you accidentally consumed a small amount.

Spoiled bread may cause a slight headache, provided you have not consumed too much.

If you find that you may have consumed bread with mold on its surface, then in most cases you will be fine. Only a small amount of mold will at worst cause some stomach cramps.

If you have consumed massive quantities of mold, then you may be at risk of illness.

If you notice shortness of breath, nausea, or even diarrhea, it would be best to seek medical help as soon as you can! 

To Wrap Up

As you can see, bread offers you a not-insubstantial period of around 5 to 7 days within which to consume it, before it will begin to spoil.

But you can also make it last longer by storing it correctly, or even placing it into your fridge! 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can Bread Last 2 Weeks?

While bread will not last two weeks at room temperature, or in your fridge, it can last that long when frozen.

Can You Survive Off Bread For A Month?

No. Bread does not provide enough of the nutrients that the body needs to survive. Within a very short time you would actually develop the condition ‘Scurvy’.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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