Tortillas Shelf Life: Can It Go Bad? How To Tell

Tortillas are super tasty wraps we can use to make a ton of sandwich-style food. It’s famous for being one of the main ingredients in burritos and tacos! If you’re planning to have a Mexican night, you’re probably wondering if you can still eat the pack in your fridge or pantry.

It may leave you wondering, ‘do tortillas go bad?

Short Answer:

Just like other food items, tortillas do go bad. As for when the shelf life, it all depends on various factors.

Let’s delve into that and learn more about tortillas and their shelf life.

In this article, we also cover:

  • Do Tortillas Go Bad? Shelf Life of Tortillas
  • How Do You Tell If Tortillas Has Gone Bad?
  • How Do You Store Tortillas Properly?
  • … and others frequently ask questions about tortillas?

Are you ready? Keep reading to learn more.

Shelf Life of Tortillas

image of Tortillas Shelf Life

Tortillas are thin and round unleavened bread made of cornmeal or wheat flour, baked on earthenware or iron. There are different types of tortillas, varying by location. (*)

For instance, Central America and Mexico have tortillas made of ground maize or corn. Guatemala and Mexico have various colors of corn dough for tortillas, made of white, yellow, or blue maize. South America has arepas, which are thicker versions of tortillas.

Here are some of the different kinds of tortillas:

  • Flour tortillas
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Spinach tortillas

And just like other food items, tortillas do go bad. As for when the shelf life, it all depends on various factors, such as:

  • Type of tortillas
  • Past printed date
  • Storage conditions
  • Quality of ingredients

Here is the estimated shelf life of tortillas based on their type and storage condition:

  • Spinach, whole wheat, and flour tortillas: Lasts for 1 week past its past printed date in the pantry, 3-4 weeks in the fridge, and 6-8 months in the freezer
  • Corn tortilla: Lasts for 7-10 days past its expiration date in the pantry, 6-8 weeks in the fridge, and 6-8 months in the freezer
  • Homemade tortilla: Lasts for 2-3 days past its expiration date in the pantry, 5-7 days in the fridge, and 6-8 months in the freezer

As you can see, homemade tortillas have a shorter shelf life compared to store-bought tortillas. Homemade versions contain little to no preservatives.

Also, note that opened tortilla packages last shorter than the estimates above, probably mere days if left in the pantry. Be wary of the best by date to get a gist on how long they can last. 

How to Tell If Tortillas are Bad

Tortillas, like particular bread, only last for a few days or weeks after opening it. If you’ve had tortillas for a bit long and past the best by date, it’s best to test it out before using it on your dishes.

Here are signs that tell if tortillas have gone bad:

1. The texture and appearance

Open your tortilla and hold it. If it feels slimy, it will most likely develop mold or already has. Tortillas that are too stiff don’t mean spoilage but may most likely need heating, as they lost their moisture.

Also, check for any unusual spots and color changes in the tortillas. Tortillas shouldn’t change colors, but once you see any green tinges, throw them away!

If there are insect bites or insects in the package, you must dispose of it right away.

2. Smell

Take a whiff of the tortillas. If you smell a rotten or unusual odor, it’s obviously spoiled, and you must throw it.

3. Taste

If you still aren’t sure if you can use tortillas, cut a small piece and taste it before using the entire package. If it tastes rotten and dirty, that means it’s gone bad. But if it tastes like regular tortillas, feel free to use it for your food!

How to Store Tortillas Properly

Tortillas go bad because of mold growth, high humidity levels, hot temperatures, and the presence of insects. To keep it from spoiling too quickly, it’s vital to store tortillas well. Here are efficient storage tips to follow:

1. Keeping it in the pantry

We highly recommend keeping your unopened tortillas in a cold and dry place, like the kitchen pantry, at room temperature. Please keep it away from any heat sources, direct sunlight, and high humidity levels.

Make sure that the tortillas aren’t exposed to fluctuating temperatures or humidity levels. Either leave it in the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry, but don’t change its storage locations frequently.

2. Storing in the refrigerator

If you don’t use your tortillas within the week, do place them in the refrigerator. Transfer your tortillas into an airtight container or zip lock bag before storage. Check the tortillas daily and use it before it starts showing signs of spoilage. (*)

3. Freezing tortillas

Whether you bought it frozen or not, freezing tortillas will help them stay fresh for a few months.

When you plan to freeze tortillas, wrap each one in wax paper and put them in a sealable bag. Pack only a few tortillas in a bag, as opening it too frequently will cause heat and humidity to enter. This may cause it to melt over time, with its quality quickly decreasing.

Learn more: Can You Freeze Tortillas? Yes, Here’s How

4. Leftover tortillas storage

Keep your tortillas in a resealable package or airtight container, then keep it in a cold, dry place. It may be better to keep your tortillas in the refrigerator, reheating them when you’re ready to eat.

When you plan to remove the tortillas out of the freezer to use, keep them in the fridge overnight so they can thaw adequately. Then, allow the tortillas to sit outside at room temperature for an hour and heat it in your toaster oven. You can also heat frozen tortillas in a microwave in the defrost setting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few frequently asked questions about tortillas our readers have submitted:

Wrapping It Up

Tortillas have a moderate shelf life that ranges from days to months.

We hope we thoroughly answered your question, ‘how long do tortillas last?’ Keep this information in mind the next time you get tortillas so you can have them last longer.

image of tortillas can go bad

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