Do you enjoy snacking on crackers while waiting for the food to be ready? Well, you’re not the only person guilty of this.
When it comes to keeping emergency rations, most people have a sizeable store of crackers they can fall back on whenever the need arises.
Some prefer the disc-shaped crackers, called Ritz crackers. The Ritz crackers are lightly salted, and they taste great. But the concern for many is whether these crackers can go bad.
You can never know the truth about something until you investigate or conduct in-depth research. So, we have conducted our research and discovered the following about Ritz crackers.
Keep reading to learn more!
Do Ritz Crackers Go Bad?
The straightforward answer to this question is yes. Ritz crackers go bad, but it takes a lot of time for this to happen. Why? The reason is that cracker is a dry good.
Careful inspection will help you determine if your Ritz cracker has gone bad. In other words, you can determine if your cracker has gone bad by smelling, tasting, or taking a close look at it.
If the Ritz cracker boasts an off odor or its appearance has changed, it has gone bad. The flavor is also another way to identify a spoiled Ritz cracker. A change in flavor means something isn’t right with the cracker.
Keep in mind that molds may appear on crackers that have gone bad. So, if there’s mold on your crackers, consider discarding them. The mold is enough to signal that you can’t eat such crackers.
Do Ritz Crackers Expire?
Yes, Ritz crackers do expire. Every food has an expiry date, whether canned or packaged. But the fact that your unopened Ritz crackers have passed their expiry date doesn’t mean you should avoid eating them.
Crackers are dry goods. Thus, they can last for a long period. In other words, crackers can remain fresh for months even after their expiry date.
So, nothing will happen to you if you consume expired Ritz crackers. But please, inspect your expired crackers before eating. Keep an eye for signs of spoilage, such as mold, changes in flavor, odor, and appearance.
If you notice a change in flavor, odor, and appearance or presence of mold, your Ritz crackers have gone bad. You won’t feel good eating such crackers, so the best decision is to discard them.
However, if the taste, flavor, or appearance has changed, but the crackers aren’t moldy, you can still eat them. Just toast the crackers in the toaster oven for a few seconds, and their original taste may likely return.
How Long Do Ritz Crackers Last After the Expiration Date?
The straightforward answer is 3 to 12 months. But it all depends on how you store the crackers.
If stored properly, your unopened expired Ritz crackers can stay fresh for about 3 to 12 months. Crackers are dry goods, so molds don’t develop on them easily.
Yes, your Ritz crackers have passed their expiry or “Best By” Date, but that does not make consuming them a bad idea. The manufacturer used a “Best By” date to notify you that the ingredients used in making the crackers may start deteriorating from that point onward.
But as a reminder, keep in mind that your expired Ritz crackers are safe to consume, provided there are no molds on them.
How Long Do Opened Ritz Crackers Last?
Note that your opened Ritz crackers may last about 2 weeks to 2 months. The factor that determines how long an opened Ritz cracker would last is storage. If stored properly, expect your opened crackers to last longer.
So, start storing your opened crackers properly so that you can eat and enjoy them instead of opening fresh Ritz crackers to eat. Store your opened crackers at room temperature, and ensure the package is well-sealed. Please seal the package tight so that air can’t get through it.
A Handy Tip: Note that you can consume opened crackers that have past their expiry date. If there is no mold sign on the crackers, it is safe to consume. Opened crackers can stay fresh for 2 weeks to 2 months after expiring. It all depends on how you store them.
Can Expired Crackers Make You Sick?
The fact that your crackers have passed their expiry date or “Best By” dates doesn’t mean they are no longer safe to eat. Crackers are dry goods, so they can remain fresh for months after expiring.
So, the answer is no! Expired crackers cannot make you sick just because they have passed their expiry dates. The major thing you should be on the lookout for is signs of spoilage.
It is best to inspect your expired crackers for any possible sign of spoilage, which includes molds or off odor. If your crackers don’t smell good, then something isn’t right.
In a nutshell, expired crackers can only make you sick when they have gone bad.
How Long Can Crackers Be Stored?
You can store unopened crackers for as long as possible, provided they haven’t expired. If the unopened crackers have expired, they can only be stored for 3 to 12 months.
In other words, when the crackers you have stored in your summer cabin expire, a countdown on their storage time starts. However, how you stored the crackers also counts.
If you don’t store your crackers well, even though they haven’t expired, they may go bad or become uneatable.
Furthermore, keep in mind that you can only store opened crackers, whether they have expired or not, for 2 weeks or 2 months. It all depends on how you store them.
So, the bottom line is how you store your crackers. If you store them properly, they’ll last very long.
Now, if you want them to last long, the best way to store crackers is to place them in an airtight container or bag. Ensure the packages of your opened crackers are closed before putting them in the airtight bag or container.
A Handy Tip: Store your opened and unopened Ritz crackers in an airtight bag or container. This way, they’ll last longer.
Can You Freeze Ritz Crackers?
The short answer is no! You cannot and shouldn’t freeze crackers, whether it’s Ritz crackers or other types. Why? Crackers don’t freeze well.
You’ll find ice crystals forming on the crackers when you freeze them. The ice crystals will make your Ritz crackers soggy, causing them to lose their texture and structure.
You won’t be able to consume frozen crackers when they become soggy. So, avoid freezing crackers. Don’t even put your crackers in the fridge, as they won’t last long.
The best way to store Ritz or any other type of cracker is what we discussed earlier. Put the crackers in an airtight bag or container, and that’s it. Place the container in a cool and dry place.
There are many reasons you can’t freeze Ritz crackers. One of them is that the temperature in the freezer fluctuates now and then. So, crackers stored in the freezer will freeze and thaw as the temperature fluctuates, causing them to lose their integrity.
Freezer burn is another reason you should avoid freezing crackers. It is possible if you don’t store the crackers properly in the freezer.
What To Do With Expired Crackers?
Suppose you have a bunch of expired crackers, and time is running out to use them. What can you do with them? This question might be running through your mind now if you’re in such a situation.
The good news is that you can use your expired crackers to combine or prepare several dishes.
Crackers are exceptional ingredients, as you can use them for savory and sweet dishes. Below are ways to put your expired crackers that are still eatable to good use.
In other words, you can combine the crackers with the following dishes.
- Haystack supper
- Saltine toffee bark
- Creamy carrot casserole
- Artichoke egg casserole
- Banana split icebox cake
- Parm breaded pork chops
- Dijon scalloped potatoes
- Peanut butter cup cheesecake
- Turkey cordon bleu casserole
- Cheddar veggie-appetizer torte
- Summer squash mushroom casserole
- Blueberry cheesecake ice cream
- Crunchy almond turkey casserole
- Dipped peanut butter sandwich cookies
So, here are the dishes that you can make with expired but eatable crackers. You can also get creative and devise other ways to use your expired crackers before they become stale.
Conclusion: Can Ritz crackers go bad?
Yes, Ritz crackers can go bad. When these crackers go bad, you may likely find mold on them. Other signs that the Ritz crackers have gone bad, or are becoming unsafe to eat are flavor, smell, and appearance changes.
Another thing we discussed is that it is possible to consume expired Ritz crackers. The fact that your crackers have passed their expiry date doesn’t mean they have spoilt. Ritz crackers can stay fresh for 3 to 12 months after expiring.
The best thing to do is inspect the expired crackers for spoilage. If you notice any sign of spoilage, discard them.