The Storage Mistake You Should Avoid With Boxed Pasta

Boxed pasta is a pantry staple. If you are stocking your kitchen cabinets with must-have foods to cook in a pinch, this ingredient is a versatile, economical, and convenient addition. But the real magic and added benefit of boxed pasta centers around its long shelf life, that is, if you store it properly. While your first instinct might be to store those opened boxes in the refrigerator or the freezer, you are making a big mistake. 

Moisture is the enemy of this dried good, which is why it's imperative to store your boxed pasta in a cool, dry area. Moisture can have a negative impact on your dried goods, both opened and unopened packages, because mold and bacteria love even the hint of dampness. It can cause the packaging to become compromised and spoil the food in the process. For this reason, skip your refrigerator altogether when it comes to storing dried boxed pasta. 

In addition, to maintain the integrity of your fusilli, spaghetti, rigatoni, penne, or whatever type of pasta you like to feast upon, you must make certain to store it away from heat and sunlight.

When do you toss boxed pasta?

The best place to store dried boxed pasta is in a cool dry spot in your cabinets or pantry. And if you are wondering about its shelf life, according to the USDA, in theory, pasta that has been stored properly is safe to eat "indefinitely." This is because it is a food that doesn't encourage "harmful bacteria" to take up residency unless it comes into contact with moisture. So, if you find a box hidden in the depths of your cabinets that is two years past its expiration date, don't feel skittish about cooking it, but also don't expect it to have the same texture or taste as a new, fresher box. 

How can you tell if boxed pasta needs to be tossed? As with most foods, using your senses is the best way to make this determination. If your boxed pasta has developed an odor, there are changes in the color of the noodles, or there is mold or bugs, you should feel at ease throwing it out.