Emergency Supplies

Shelf Life of Ramen Noodles: How Long Do They Last & What To Do If They’ve Expired

Does ramen expire or can it be used as a survival food?

What Is The Shelf Life of Ramen Noodles?

The shelf life of ramen noodles can range from 3 weeks to up to three years. Instant ramen lasts the longest and can be consumed after it has expired in ideal storage conditions.

In order to make ramen last as long as possible, it’s important to have an understanding of what the ideal storage conditions are. Does ramen need to be frozen or can it just be kept in a cupboard? What happens if it is eaten after the expiration date?

Find these answers and more as you read on.

How Long Do Packaged Ramen Noodles Last?

To begin with, there are three different kinds of ramen noodles: fresh noodles, wheat noodles, and instant noodles.

It’s important to know this because the different ramen noodle varieties have different limits when it comes to expiration.

As you might expect, fresh noodles keep their quality for the shortest amount of time.

How Long Does Ramen Last in the Fridge?

Typically, these noodles expire after three weeks when kept in a refrigerator.

If you have the ability to freeze your fresh ramen noodles, they can keep for up to about 3 months.

Both wheat noodles and instant ramen noodles can also be frozen, but it generally isn’t necessary. These two ramen types keep for quite a while just being stored in a cool, dry pantry.

Just keep in mind that wheat noodles may only last up to 6 months, while instant ramen can maintain quality for up to 3 years. However, the flavoring packet that comes with the noodles might not last quite as long.

Is It Safe To Eat Expired Ramen Noodles?

Eating Instant Ramen Noodles

Unless the ramen noodles have been stored in wet or humid conditions, then they can often remain safe to eat for months after the expiration date.

As long as the package is unopened and the noodles have been stored in a dry location, there shouldn’t be too many negative effects caused by eating them.

It’s most likely that expired ramen noodles just won’t have as much flavor as noodles that haven’t expired yet.

Over time, the ramen will become blander and eventually may be unpleasant to eat. If you end up eating them past that point, you might find yourself with an upset stomach.

When you notice stomach pain as a result of eating expired ramen noodles, it’s safe to say that the noodles are no longer good to eat.

Why Do Ramen Noodles Go Bad?

There are two main reasons why ramen noodles might go bad.

The first reason is that something went wrong during the storage process. Maybe the area became too moist, or the package was somehow opened.

Secondly, it is possible for even instant ramen to get so far past its expiration date that it begins to break down. All foods break down sooner or later, so this is just part of the natural process.

When instant ramen is being made, it goes through a deep frying process. Over time, the oil used in that process is what causes the noodles to become brittle and inedible.

How To Tell If Ramen Noodles Are Bad

Before you attempt to eat any expired ramen noodles, make sure to check the following:

  • Date of expiration. How long ago was the expiration date? In most cases, you should be okay to eat ramen that has been expired for 6 months or less.
  • Type of expiration date. Different foods will list different kinds of expiration dates. These include “use by”, “sell by”, and “best by” dates. If the label on the expiration date is one of the latter two options, the ramen is likely to be okay even after the date listed.
  • Packaging. What kind of packaging has been used? Is it fully sealed? Do you see any signs of mold or damage from insects or mice? If the packaging is fully intact, it’s more likely that the ramen is safe to eat.
  • Storage conditions. Was the ramen stored in a cool, dry location? If so, it’s more likely to be safe. Water and humidity create an ideal environment for bacteria growth, so avoid ramen that has gotten wet or experienced high temperatures.
  • Overall condition of the ramen. Try to take a look inside the package if you can. Does the ramen appear to be normal? Check for mold, unpleasant smells, or strange coloring. If you notice any of these problems, don’t eat it. This rule applies to other emergency food and drink like Gatorade or vinegar.

Luckily, ramen that has been dried isn’t a food that is naturally prone to bacterial growth. Because it’s dehydrated, there is no water for bacteria to use. That is just one factor that makes ramen a great food to keep around as a backup or for emergency purposes.

How To Store Ramen Noodles Long Term

Instant Noodles

Ramen noodles typically come with their own packaging. However, some packaging options might be more likely to degrade than others. You may need to spend a little extra to get ramen with quality packaging.

Once you’ve chosen your ramen, it’s also important to store the ramen package inside another container. This just helps to keep moisture and pests from getting into the food.

At the very least, keep the ramen packages in a box. That said, an airtight container can go a long way toward keeping the ramen safe and edible for a longer period of time.

Then, select a location that is cool and dry. Avoid excess heat, direct sunlight, moisture, and mold. All of these things will cause your ramen to go bad more quickly.

Are Ramen Noodles a Good Survival Food?

When it comes to survival, there’s no denying that ramen has a lot to offer. Instant ramen is easy to store, simple to prepare, and comes with a long shelf life. On top of that, most instant ramen is quite inexpensive, making it easy to stock up on.

Because of those factors, instant ramen is absolutely a convenient survival food – but it may not be a very healthy one.

According to Healthline, instant ramen misses out on a number of important nutrients like fiber and protein. Additionally, it’s packed with sodium. Although sodium is something the body needs, too much of it can lead to some serious issues.

Overall, instant ramen is something that should be added to your list of survival foods. Just make sure that you have plenty of other options on hand to give your body the nutrition it needs. Balance out your consumption of ramen with other sources of vitamins and protein and you’ll be good to go.

What Are The Best Survival Foods?

The term “survival food” applies to any food that can be used in an emergency situation. These are typically foods that have long shelf lives and can provide nutrition for up to several years.

Instant ramen is considered a good survival food that can be used long-term. The shelf life of ramen noodles is excellent compared to many foods but it isn’t the only one. Some other long-term survival foods include:

If you spend some time exploring, you can find a number of foods that you can stock up on (like maybe Spam for medium-term). Often, these foods are lightweight and don’t require any kind of special storage other than a cool, dry location. Many survival foods are also very lightweight.

When choosing survival foods, consider what the human body needs. One type of food alone won’t typically be enough to keep someone healthy.

It’s best to get as many varieties as you can whether you’re planning for an emergency or just want to make sure you have extra food around that won’t go bad quickly.

Do ramen noodles really expire?

Yes, all types of ramen noodles expire. Packaged instant noodles expire after three years.

What is the shelf life of dried ramen noodles?

Approximately 3 years.

By AlwaysReadyHQ Team

Pinterest // Email

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

The AlwaysReadyHQ Team is made up of writers and editors with experience ranging from emergency paramedics to former FEMA policy writers to natural disaster reporters.

Our goal is to provide clear, concise, organized, realistic, and actionable information to help you and your family feel comfortable and ready for anything. Less scared and more prepared.

We only source from authoritative sources such as government agencies and industry associations to bring reliable information to directly to you.

Andrew Riley - Contributing Editor

Andrew grew up in a country known for earthquakes, volcanoes, and typhoons. But despite the chaos and destruction of natural disasters, he remembers the resilience and readiness of neighbors, despite a lack of official government aid. He hopes that his team of experienced writers bring a bit of that to all of AlwaysReadyHQ's readers.