As the title says, is it safe to consume flour once its past its expiry date or should it be thrown away?

2 Answers 2


The main things that can go bad with flour, assuming it is properly stored are:

  • Rancidity
  • Insect infestation

If you don't see any insects, and it still smells good, you should feel free to use it. If it smells off or nasty—trust me, your nose will tell you—then you will want to discard it.

The actual date on the bag is only a guideline.

  • mine smells like plado, should I be worried??
    – user21011
    Oct 31, 2013 at 3:34
  • Look VERY VERY closely for the insects, they can be very small! Best to hold it still and see if anything moves. The fact that it is unlikely you will be eating it raw means a good cooking will kill bugs and so on (but you will end up eating them). Also if you do have bugs in there they are probably in ALL your flour based products and any "cupboard dust", etc so you will need a good clean. Jan 3, 2014 at 15:59

Normally no problem. But check if there is flour worms in the flour. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Fill up a plain glass with flour.
  • Press together the flour, so you get a flat / hard surface, slightly below the rim of the glass.
  • Let the jar stand in a bright and warm spot for about 1-2 hours.

If you have flour worms, some very small larvae (less than 1 mm) will break the smooth surface of the flour, and get visible.

If you have these larvae, you should throw everything you have of flour products in your closet and wash your closet thoroughly. Otherwise, the expiration date is not all the world to care about when it comes to dry goods.

  • 3
    While some people do consider flour worms gross, what danger do they pose? May 5, 2013 at 10:02
  • 3
    They are totally harmless to your body, but they populate quite quickly. When they are old enough they pupate, and eventually they reappear as small moths, which in turn lay eggs in other open flour containers. You could put your flour in the freezer over the night, and I will guess that they are all dead in the next morning. That would possible be the best way of getting rid of them. May 5, 2013 at 10:25
  • 3
    Are flour worms the same thing as weevils - if so I virtually grew up on them. There was a permanent infestation in the flour in our pantry and mum just said they were a good source of protein.
    – user22297
    Jan 2, 2014 at 11:38

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