old (dry) pasta

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mouses
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old (dry) pasta

Post by mouses » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:54 am

So in the process of sorting through food stocks, I came to several boxes of (dry) pasta in the bottom of the refrigerator door. I am sure they have been there for several years. They have no expiration dates. Should I toss them, or are they usable? Thanks.

ThriftyPhD
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by ThriftyPhD » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:06 am

Is it in the original box? If so, I would be surprised if there's not an expiration date, though it might be hard to find. Usually they last a long time stored at room temp, I'm assuming even longer in the fridge.

https://www.eatbydate.com/grains/pasta- ... tion-date/

This says it should be good 1-2 years past the printed date, if stored at room temp.

Of course, safe is different than optimum flavor. If it's been sitting in the fridge for years it might have picked up some off flavors.

bryanm
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by bryanm » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:17 am

I would cook it and see how it tastes.

I don't think pasta could harbor any bacterial growth, so the only potential spoilage would seem to be rancidity. That's unlikely if well packaged and kept in the fridge, and you would taste it. There might also be some issue with starch aging (I doubt it) but that would just be staleness, not a food safety issue.

(I cook a lot. I'm not a food safety expert.)

livesoft
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by livesoft » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:22 am

I don't see any issues. A good sauce will be your friend anyways.
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runner3081
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by runner3081 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:23 am

livesoft wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:22 am
I don't see any issues. A good sauce will be your friend anyways.
I actually prefer plain noodles, no sauce. Yeah, weird, but throw some shredded cheese on there and it works!

adamthesmythe
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:24 am

> I came to several boxes of (dry) pasta in the bottom of the refrigerator door.

And WHY were they in the refrigerator door??

As it tends to be a bit humid in there, I would expect this to be worse than sitting in a cabinet somewhere.

livesoft
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by livesoft » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:24 am

If you can't taste a difference, then maybe you better quarantine yourself even more.
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bayview
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by bayview » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:30 am

I finished off a remaining half box (end of box was taped shut but hardly air-tight) of linguine several days ago and lived to tell the tale. Expiration date was July 2018. Building up my immune system, bwah hah hah.

With pasta, I look for tiny critters in the box. Absent critters and perhaps blue fuzz or something, I’ve always figured it’s ok.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

Topic Author
mouses
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by mouses » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:34 am

adamthesmythe wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:24 am
> I came to several boxes of (dry) pasta in the bottom of the refrigerator door.

And WHY were they in the refrigerator door??

As it tends to be a bit humid in there, I would expect this to be worse than sitting in a cabinet somewhere.
When I was a starving student, I lived in an apartment building that had mice. Ever since then, the only food objects kept outside the frig are in cans or jars.

OpenMinded1
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by OpenMinded1 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:42 am

bryanm wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:17 am
I would cook it and see how it tastes.

I don't think pasta could harbor any bacterial growth, so the only potential spoilage would seem to be rancidity. That's unlikely if well packaged and kept in the fridge, and you would taste it. There might also be some issue with starch aging (I doubt it) but that would just be staleness, not a food safety issue.

(I cook a lot. I'm not a food safety expert.)
Very unlikely that you would get food poisoning from it considering the fact that you will be placing it in boiling water.

frugalmama
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by frugalmama » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:47 am

OpenMinded1 wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:42 am
bryanm wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:17 am
I would cook it and see how it tastes.

I don't think pasta could harbor any bacterial growth, so the only potential spoilage would seem to be rancidity. That's unlikely if well packaged and kept in the fridge, and you would taste it. There might also be some issue with starch aging (I doubt it) but that would just be staleness, not a food safety issue.

(I cook a lot. I'm not a food safety expert.)
Very unlikely that you would get food poisoning from it considering the fact that you will be placing it in boiling water.
I agree, I think you will be ok using it. You can pressure cook it as well if you have an instant pot...bacteria isn't going to survive that. Also, many times the dates listed on things like pasta are best if used by dates, not expiration dates.

Shallowpockets
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by Shallowpockets » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:49 am

There are probably at least a billion people in the world who would love to have that pasta.
Consider yourself fortunate that you might just throw it away.

adamthesmythe
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:51 am

livesoft wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:24 am
If you can't taste a difference, then maybe you better quarantine yourself even more.
For those who didn't get this- there are reports that the loss of sense of taste or smell is an indication of COVID-19 infection.

Onlineid3089
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by Onlineid3089 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:53 am

mouses wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:34 am
adamthesmythe wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:24 am
> I came to several boxes of (dry) pasta in the bottom of the refrigerator door.

And WHY were they in the refrigerator door??

As it tends to be a bit humid in there, I would expect this to be worse than sitting in a cabinet somewhere.
When I was a starving student, I lived in an apartment building that had mice. Ever since then, the only food objects kept outside the frig are in cans or jars.
Username checks out. I'd use the pasta and not think twice about it.

Turbo29
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by Turbo29 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:57 am

No bacteria is going to grow in dry pasta, the water activity is too low.

GT99
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by GT99 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:08 pm

mouses wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:34 am
adamthesmythe wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:24 am
> I came to several boxes of (dry) pasta in the bottom of the refrigerator door.

And WHY were they in the refrigerator door??

As it tends to be a bit humid in there, I would expect this to be worse than sitting in a cabinet somewhere.
When I was a starving student, I lived in an apartment building that had mice. Ever since then, the only food objects kept outside the frig are in cans or jars.
Thanks for bringing up bad memories. About 10 years ago, I had HVAC work done on my townhouse and they ran a new line down the back from the attic and didn't seal it up properly. In a bit of fantastic timing, I was working out of town M-F and my girlfriend at the time lived about 90 minutes away, so I was basically only home every other weekend. It took me quite a while to realize I had a bad rat infestation. It was great opening up a cabinet and finding bags of sugar and cereal chewed through. Went out and bought 11 traps. The next morning I had 9 dead rats and 2 tripped but empty traps. Yeah, that was a fun experience.

But my real point - there are tons of plastic and metal containers you can buy that mice and rats aren't going to get through that you can store things safely in your cabinets. I learned that the hard way.

Capsu78
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by Capsu78 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:48 pm

I have stored pasta in my basement for years at a time. I too found some mouse activity that caused me to put my cats on a PIP.
Only losses of pasta were in plastic wrapped only. My boxes of Barilla were never pilfered.

livesoft
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by livesoft » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:49 pm

GT99 wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:08 pm
But my real point - there are tons of plastic and metal containers you can buy that mice and rats aren't going to get through that you can store things safely in your cabinets. I learned that the hard way.
Something chewed right through the industrial plastic bucket that was holding my rat poison and ate it. I admit it took them several weeks to get at their reward.
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Watty
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by Watty » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:38 pm

mouses wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:54 am
Should I toss them, or are they usable?
I would not toss them until you have a replacement for them.

From the news reports I have read many stores are out of things like pasta.

One you have purchased as much new pasta as you need then I would toss them.

gd
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by gd » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:21 pm

2 years past stamped date for dried pasta is typical for food pantries, I think. I used to volunteer in one and routinely took home food expired past their extended limits, and considered dried pasta immortal if it was not discolored. The stuff that I stopped taking was basically chemical stew; the more chemicals they used, the less it kept. Products like super convenient instant meals got foul far faster-- not so much microbial as chemical, going off taste as the food-like product degraded. I gradually stopped eating that stuff even new mostly from those experiences.

This has some links:
https://www.secondharvestmadison.org/pa ... uct-dating

Thesaints
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by Thesaints » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:23 pm

Who keeps spaghetti in the fridge ???

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mfswatz9
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by mfswatz9 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:36 pm

I keep mine in the freezer. :D

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jabberwockOG
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:48 pm

Dry pasta when stored in a cool dry place will last almost indefinitely. To cook pasta requires it be submerged in boiling water between 8-12 minutes depending on style and shape. Eating date expired pasta that doesn't have obvious major defects like discoloration, mold, or other contamination should not be a problem.
Last edited by jabberwockOG on Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Dottie57
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:49 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:22 am
I don't see any issues. A good sauce will be your friend anyways.
+1

The sauce is why pasta exists.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:55 pm

I have never heard of storing dry pasta in a refrigerator. Seems like a recipe for disaster.

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tooluser
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by tooluser » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:12 pm

My experience with old dry pasta is that it falls apart more easily when finally cooked. Big tubes become random curved pieces and bits.

Thesaints
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by Thesaints » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:24 pm

tooluser wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:12 pm
My experience with old dry pasta is that it falls apart more easily when finally cooked. Big tubes become random curved pieces and bits.
Indeed. The older, the dryer.

DiamondplateDave
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Re: old (dry) beans

Post by DiamondplateDave » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:31 pm

Not worth its own thread, but I thought I would point out that old, dry beans are not always salvageable. Some years ago, I used a couple bags of dried beans that had been around for a while. I made a nice chili in the crock pot, gave it a few hours....not done. An hour later...beans are still crunchy.
I found out that old beans may never become tender. I would have thrown the beans out, but I had put about $10 worth of meat in the chili....so I ate it, but without much pleasure. So either throw the old beans out for the squirrels, or cook them separately, so you can throw them out if they don't soften up.

bhsince87
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by bhsince87 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:54 pm

It depends. If it has eggs in it, it can go rancid. Without eggs, it will be OK for several years, although some of the nutrients can fade over time.
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kaneohe
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Re: old (dry) pasta

Post by kaneohe » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:17 pm

one thought.........stuff like cereal, cookies get stale over time. However a short period is the toaster-oven restores them like new. Don't know if that would happen to pasta .

Don't microwave them tho.........makes for interesting fires........ask me how I know.

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