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Bread can last for only 3-7 days when kept under room temperatures. However, you can increase the shelf life and prevent mold through proper sealing, refrigeration, and freezing.

One of the most popular foods across the world is bread. You can have it buttered, toasted, or plain. However, it has a very short shelf life. This is because it is highly vulnerable to the growth of mold. It becomes unsafe when it goes bad; it becomes unsafe; hence not advisable to take. Therefore, if you are a fan, chances are you would love to know the shelf life of bread; how long does it last? Moreover, if you want to know how best to keep your bread fresh for longer and how you can tell if it has gone bad, please keep reading.

How Long Does Bread Last?

Numerous factors play a role in determining how long bread will last before it goes bad; its shelf life. This duration can range from 3-7 days, provided it is kept at room temperatures. However, the type of bread, the ingredients used, and the method of storage influence the shelf life; hence, the days might vary. How so?

When you pick a sandwich, a loaf, or any bread from the bakery, you can have it for 3-4 days in a good state under room temperature before it finally goes bad. Remember, this is when there are no preservatives added. However, most types of bread from the bakery will include preservatives because they want to prolong their shelf life. It is, therefore, not a surprise to find potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, sorbic acid, and calcium propionate among the preservatives used to give the anti-mold acids required.

However, if you don’t want any preservatives, you can make your bread at home using perishable ingredients like milk and eggs. Alternatively, you can check with your baker to find out if they avoid preservatives in their bread or not.

If you want a type of bread that stays fresh for the longest time, you can never go wrong with those that are dried, e.g., breadcrumbs. They have no moisture that will allow the growth of mold.

It is important to remember that how you store your bread also has a role in its shelf life. To keep the mold away, you should always tightly seal the bread before storing it under room temperature or anything colder. A warm or moist environment is a no. When you keep homemade read at room temperature, it can last anywhere between 3 to 4 days before it spoils. On the other hand, if you had bought it from the store, it can stay up to a week.

The good thing is, you can decide to refrigerate or freeze both homemade and store-bought bread to increase their shelf life. While in the refrigerator or freezer, it can stay 3-5 days longer. The beauty of using a refrigerator is in the constant temperatures. Whether it gets hotter or cooler in the day, you don’t have to worry about the fluctuations. However, refrigeration offers a short-term solution. You don’t want to have a less soft and course bread. On the other hand, freezing helps keep the mold away for longer. Having a toaster can help you with the defrosting when the time comes.

How to tell if Your Bread Has Gone Bad

When you buy bread, you will get a best by date; showing how long it will stay fresh. However, the bread might be safe to eat even after the best-by-date. Therefore, you need to examine the bread on your own to determine whether or not it is safe to consume. You can check at the following indicators;


Do you see green, black, pink, or white spots when you look at your bread? These might be the mold, and you should throw the loaf right away.


At times all it takes is to put your taste buds to the test. Anything funny, unfamiliar, or weird with the taste of the bread should be an indicator that it is not right. The safest thing to do, therefore, is to throw it away.


Bread that is not okay might have a strange smell. If you get a vinegar, yeast, or alcohol-like smell, it is best to get rid of it. Importantly, if there is mold on the bread already, you can avoid smelling it because the spores might be harmful when inhaled.


When you don’t seal or store your bread properly, it can become dry or stale.However, having tough or dry bread doesn’t mean it is technically spoilt to a point it can harm your health.

The good news is, stale bread without the molds can still be taken. You can use it for breadcrumbs, bread pudding, or even croutons.

Health Risks of Eating Bread With Mold

When your bread is expired and has molds, it is not the best idea to consume it. This is, however, not to dispute the fact that there are safe molds. Remember that knowing the fungus responsible for the mold on the bread is impossible; hence, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Some molds that can harm your health contain mycotoxins which are dangerous when inhaled or eaten. It is advisable to get rid of the whole bread when you see such mold since it can spread throughout the loaf. What happens when you consume mycotoxins anyway?

You can experience stomach upset and other digestive issues. Moreover, your gut bacteria might suffer, increasing your chances of contracting illnesses. Besides, when you take aflatoxin, an example of a mycotoxin, you can develop certain cancer.


Bread is a go-to snack for many people across the world. The main issue is that it has a very short shelf life and can easily get mold and become stale, making it unsafe for consumption. The amount of time it takes before the bread goes bad depends on the type, the ingredients used, and the storage method. Typically, bread can take anywhere between 3-7 days before it goes bad. Some preservatives can be added to increase the shelf life. The good news is. Whether you store-buy or home-make your bread, you can always extend its shelf life through refrigeration or freezing. Also, when the taste, smell, and texture of the bread seem off, it is best not to consume it.

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MS, Durham University GP The work of a family doctor includes a wide range of clinical diversity, which requires extensive knowledge and erudition from a specialist. However, I believe that the most important thing for a family doctor is to be human because the cooperation and understanding between the doctor and the patient are crucial in ensuring successful health care. On my days off, I love being in nature. Since childhood, I have been passionate about playing chess and tennis. Whenever I have time off, I enjoy traveling around the world.

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