Pudding mix expires about four weeks after the labeled expiration date on the box. Bad pudding mix typically has brown or black mold specks, foul odors, and textural inconsistencies. Once made, pudding should be discarded after one to two weeks.
Make sure you store opened mix in a quality airtight container, similar to or like this type found on Amazon. If air can get inside, it won’t last nearly as long.
Can Pudding Mix Go Bad?
Pudding mix can go bad like most foods. However, the artificial preservatives and sugar content allow most pudding mixes to last for several years. Proper storage techniques will ensure your pudding mix doesn’t go bad before the expiration date.
Eating expired, bad, or rotten pudding mix can have detrimental health effects.
If there’s no date on the pudding mix (or it was rubbed off), it’s best to look for unexpected smells, mold, and other signs of expiration. Consuming old pudding mix doesn’t always lead to a stomach ache; it often just dampens the flavor and reduces the nutritional value.
In fact, you can watch this informative YouTube video about consuming 65-year-old pudding mix here:
How Long Does Pudding Mix Last?
Pudding mix typically lasts around three to four weeks after the expiration date. Manufacturers typically add a use-by or best-by date on the box, but that’s not that expiration date. If your pudding mix has one of these dates, you’ll likely have several months before it needs to be used.
Keep in mind that these use-by dates are general guidelines. Many people have used pudding mixes a couple of years after they’ve supposedly expired. Expiration dates prevent the flavor from going bad. There are so many preservatives and sugars in these mixes that they don’t go bad for a very long time.
However, proper storage can make your pudding mix last much longer. Never open the mix until you’re ready to use it. Some people prefer opening the mix to transfer it to an airtight container, but it’s not worth potentially exposing the mix to moisture and bacteria.
For more tips regarding proper pudding mix storage, head on to the next section.
How To Store Pudding Mix
To store pudding mix, follow these instructions:
- Keep the pudding mix in a cool, dry place. I recommend storing your pudding mix in an airtight container that’s not exposed to extreme temperature changes or moisture.
- Ensure the pudding mix is in its original packaging, regardless of whether or not it’s in an airtight container. The original package preserves the mix for as long as possible, preventing bacteria from getting into the powder.
- Once you prepare the pudding mix, keep it in the fridge for the best results. You can extend the pudding’s shelf life by a couple of weeks if you refrigerate it. Never leave pudding mix or prepared pudding uncovered for too long.
Read on for a long-term pudding mix storage safety suggestion.
Can You Freeze Pudding Mix?
You can freeze pudding mix for up to a month and a half. Always keep the frozen pudding mix in an airtight container in the freezer. If it’s exposed to the freezer air, it’ll taste bland and stale. Remember not to open the mix; simply put it in the container within the pudding mix package.
Opened frozen pudding mix should generally be thrown out after about six weeks. However, if you store the unopened mix, it’ll last about as long as it does in any other cool, dry place. Of course, there’s no reason to freeze the unopened pudding mix until you open it. Freezing it won’t add to the shelf life unless you’ve prepared the pudding.
Pro Tip: It’s important not to repeatedly freeze and thaw the pudding mix. This can form ice that cools into the water, which transfers bacteria into the mix. The paper or plastic packaging isn’t designed to withstand extreme temperature fluctuations or humidity.
Does Pudding Mix Really Expire?
Pudding mix really expires, but it can last a few weeks, months, or years beyond the date on the label. We don’t recommend eating expired pudding mix, but many people have had no problem doing so. The only real difference is that the flavor, smell, or texture might be dull compared to the fresh pudding mix.
Pudding mix expires much faster if it’s tampered with. For example, if there are holes or tears in the package, there’s a very high chance that it’ll go bad quickly. Invasive pantry bugs can tear through the paper packaging and lay eggs in the pudding mix. If you find bugs in the pudding mix, it should be thrown away (even if it’s before the expiration date).
Can I Still Use Expired Pudding Mix?
You can still use expired pudding mix, but it’s important to know what to look for. If you’re worried about the appearance or flavor, it’s best to avoid the product altogether. All pudding mixes have varying recommendations for how long they last after the sell-by date. Always contact the manufacturer to know exactly how long they’re safe for consumption.
Remember, expired pudding mix likely won’t taste as good as fresh pudding. These mixes often absorb the flavor of their packaging once they’re expired. For example, they could taste like paper, plastic, or cardboard. Expired pudding mixes stored in the freezer or fridge will likely taste stale and flavorless. You could also miss out on the nutrients if there are fresh fruits in the mix.
Using Expired Pudding Mix
If you notice the pudding mix is expired, but you still want to use it, do so at your own risk. Again, it’s not uncommon for people to consume expired pudding mix, which is why it’s one of the many popular survivalist foods available. It’s packed with preservatives that prevent it from going bad for a very long time.
Another thing to remember about eating expired pudding mix is that it might not do anything beneficial for you. You won’t enjoy the flavor, nor will you get the potential vitamins and minerals. The only thing you get out of it is the full feeling, which could be perfect if you’re feeling quite hungry, and it’s all you can get your hands on.
How To Tell If Pudding Mix Has Gone Bad
To tell if pudding mix has gone bad, look for these signs:
- Black, brown, or green dots: These discolorations are often signs of mold and bacterial growth. They’re the biggest and most common sign that it’s time to get rid of your pudding mix. If you consume these dots or specks, there’s a high chance that you’ll feel gross for a while after.
- Chalky clumps: When your pudding mix looks clumpy or chalky, it likely has moisture in it. Once moisture gets into the mix, bacteria can form. A little bit of clumping is expected when you mix the pudding powder with milk or water, but it shouldn’t be hard to break apart.
- Moisture or slime: Both of these foul signs are indicative of mold or fungal growth. Much like the aforementioned discoloration, you should avoid consuming or mixing pudding powder when it has moisture or slime.
Additionally, you should steer clear of pudding mix that smells funky. While this is quite uncommon, it could happen if there’s mold in the packaging. The powder shouldn’t smell stale, sour, or bitter.
Can You Eat Raw Pudding Mix?
You can eat raw pudding mix because it typically doesn’t have anything that could cause digestive harm. However, you should avoid consuming raw pudding mix if it has dairy or eggs in the mix.
If you eat raw pudding mix, it won’t taste the same. The powder is meant to be mixed with water or milk, which alters the flavor. If it tastes rotten, throw it away, and don’t prepare the mix.
Can It Make You Sick?
Eating raw pudding mix won’t make you sick unless it’s rotten or made with dairy ingredients. Consider eating a small portion before consuming an entire serving of raw pudding mix. Keep in mind that each package often contains three or more servings, so it’s best not to consume too much of the raw powder at once.
The only symptom you might feel is a mildly upset stomach if you eat too much of the powder. It has concentrated sugar, which means one bite has a lot more sweetness than one bite of prepared pudding.
Is Pudding Mix Gluten-Free?
Pudding mix is almost always gluten-free. Gluten is typically found in bread mixes, none of which you’ll find in pudding powder. However, it’s worth checking the label if you have gluten allergies. Pudding mix won’t flare your digestion due to gluten problems, but it often pairs well with food that has gluten in it.
If your pudding mix doesn’t mention gluten on the label, check the ingredients. Some types of flour and protein have gluten, which could be found in pudding mix if you choose an off-brand. Always inspect the packaging if you have any allergies that could be found in pudding mix and jello mix.
For more, don’t miss The 14 Best Substitutes for Milk In Pudding.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.