How Long Do Oreos Last? Are Expired Oreos Safe To Eat?

Found an old package of Oreos in the back of a kitchen cupboard, and not sure if you can still eat them or not? How long do Oreos really last?

Or maybe you’ve just opened a package and want to know to store the leftover cookies. Assuming there are any left, of course.

Either way, this article is for you if you want to learn:

  • if you can eat those “expired” Oreos
  • how long you can keep Oreos open before they go stale
  • how to tell if those old Oreos are still okay to eat

Sounds interesting? Read on.

Oreos package

How Long Do Oreos Last?

Oreos keep quality for at least a couple of weeks past the date on the label, possibly a few months. Once you open the package, the cookies stay fresh for about two weeks if you keep them sealed.

Like all cookies, Oreos come with a best-by date on the package, and that date is usually at least 9+ months from the production date. The date on my box was about 12 months from the day I bought them.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of telling how long your Oreos will actually last. The date on the label is only a safe estimate, not hard and fast science. Expect the cookies to retain quality for a few extra months past their date.

Info

Wondering how can Oreos last that long? The creamy middle part isn’t milk (or cream) based, and the cookies are dairy-free. Don’t believe me? Just check the label.

Oreos: date on label
Oreos: date on label

Do unopened Oreos expire?

If your Oreos are past their date, the best thing you can do is to open the container and check the cookies. I’ve got some tips on that later in the article.

For now, you should know that most of the time, they’ll be just fine.

What about open Oreos?

Open Oreos can keep quality for at least two weeks before they go stale. If you don’t plan on finishing the package right away, make sure to read the next section.

Pantry
Oreos (unopened)1 – 2 months past their date
Oreos (opened)1 – 2 weeks
Please note that the periods in the table above are estimates only.
Oreos stacked in their wrap
Oreos stacked in their wrap

How To Store Oreos

Keep Oreos at room temperature, in a dry spot that’s away from heat sources. Once you open the package, seal the leftover cookies tightly.

Unopened Oreos don’t require any special treatment; just put them where you keep your chocolate and jelly beans (or any other sweets).

After opening the plastic bag, the only thing that changes is that the cookies are exposed to fresh air and start going stale much faster.

Therefore, if you expect to keep the leftovers for more than a few days, put them in a resealable bag. Or use a bag clip to limit the exposure to air and slow down the degradation process.

Info

Sometimes Oreos come in a resealable bag. If that’s the case, you’re all set, and there’s no need for any extra bags.

Oreos in resealable bag
Easy way to store leftover Oreos: a resealable bag

For the purpose of this article, I ran a test on storing open Oreos. I kept a bunch in a resealable bag (see the photo above), and the rest wrapped in their plastic packaging (photo later in the article).

After two weeks, the ones in the resealable bag turned out a bit better. They stayed quite firm, where the other group has become crumbly. Taste-wise, it was a toss-up (at least for me).

Tip

If you want to store leftover Oreos for more than a week and don’t want them to become crumbly, use a resealable bag.

How To Tell If Oreos Are Bad?

Discard Oreos that:

  • Are moldy. If there’s any fuzzy action, it’s definitely time to let it go. Please note that this case isn’t nearly as common for cookies as it is for other food types.
  • The biscuit part is soft or soggy, not crispy. Technically, the cookie isn’t spoiled, but it’s old, and it’s best to get rid of it.
  • Smell off. As always, if the cookie doesn’t smell okay, throw it out.
  • Taste stale. This is another case where your Oreos aren’t necessarily unsafe to eat, but it’s probably best to thrash them. Eating sweets is meant to bring pleasure, and there’s hardly any in consuming stale cookies.
Oreos wrapped in their package
Oreos wrapped in their package, that’s the least you can do for leftover Oreos

Most of the time, your old or “expired” Oreos will be safe to eat and either okay taste-wise or taste a bit stale. And it’s up to you to decide what you are going to do with them.

For me, I find old Oreos good enough to go with my coffee, but I wouldn’t serve them to anyone coming over.

Oreo cookie closeup
Oreo cookie closeup