Do Tortillas Go Bad? Ultimate Guide

Can your tortillas go bad?

Yes, tortillas can go bad. The majority of tortillas come with a best-by or expiration date to be used as a guideline. The shelf life of your tortillas will differ based on how humid it is in your area and how well they’re stored. However, tortillas will last up to one month when refrigerated, and up to 8 months when frozen.

Tortillas are a great source to keep in your kitchen anytime, so when you find they are on sale or readily available in large quantities, it’s not reasonable to not want to buy an entire year’s supply at one time.

We’ll go over the various types of tortillas available to purchase or make and how these ingredients impact the shelf life that your tortillas will last.

We’ll also discuss the best methods to keep your tortillas in order to keep them fresh for as long as possible.

What Is A Tortilla?

Tortillas are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine, and they’ve been very popular in the homes of North as well as South America as well. Technically speaking, they’re a type of thin flat, unleavened bread.

In particular, tortillas are made from corn flour or wheat flour which is the most common ingredient combined with water and tiny amounts of salt.

Corn tortillas are used most often in dishes like tacos and tostadas, enchiladas, and chalupas among other dishes. Wheat or flour tortillas are utilized for meals that require a wrap with a soft texture like burritos.

Certain meals can be made equally well using both kinds of tortillas, like quesadillas.

Due to their increasing popularity, tortillas have been expanded beyond Mexican food and are now utilized more generally as wraps to hold any filling or serve as a substitute for bread to fix sandwiches.

Tortillas can be enjoyed warm-up or at room temperatures. They can be baked, frittered, or made into chips. The flavor is mild enough to be enjoyed with any dish and makes them a flexible flatbread.

Can Tortillas Go Bad?

Yes, tortillas do become rotten over time, like almost every other food item. Make sure your tortillas are stored properly, and sealed against moisture and heat to protect the quality.

If you purchase tortillas that are purchased from stores you should not open the original packaging until you are in a position to eat them. The manufacturer’s seal provides the most effective protection for preventing spoilage.

After opening, you’ll need to ensure that they’re stored inside an airtight container and do not expose the bag to temperatures that could cause condensation, or to any humid regions.

Moisture can trigger mold and air exposure could dry out tortillas.

Do Corn Tortillas Expire?

Corn tortillas, as with any other food, will go in a bad way over time. If you’ve bought a bag that contains corn tortillas, chances are they’ll have a best-by-date written on the outside of the bag, providing you a hint of when they’ll remain at their best.

Corn tortillas generally are usually able to last about one month in your food pantry as well as for up to six weeks or more in your refrigerator.

Corn tortillas have a more long shelf time as compared to flour tortillas due to the fact that corn itself is a more robust grain and less susceptible to mold.

Can You Consume Expired Tortillas?

You can indeed take tortillas that have been over the best-by date that is printed on the packaging. The best-by date isn’t an expiration date.

It’s just an estimate by the manufacturer on how long they believe their product will be at its top quality. Beyond that, they’re delicious although maybe not quite as delicious as they were two prior.

If your tortillas are bad, you’ll usually discern it pretty quickly. A puffy tortilla is not appealing and you’ll probably not want to eat them. Moreover, they could make you sick.

In the majority of cases, the stomach is healthy and can eliminate harmful bacteria that are present in a small amount of mold, before it could cause harm.

But if you’re suffering from food sensitivities, digestive problems, or illnesses or are pregnant or breastfeeding, you could be more susceptible to food that is contaminated with the mold of any type.

Tortillas don’t generally come as to be a costly purchase, and we recommend purchasing fresh ingredients when you’ve had food that’s gone bad However, there’s an alternative to keeping tortillas that are old.

The first step is to determine if the mold is only on one of the sides, simply remove it. If the mold is spreading or there are tiny spots in the middle part of the tortilla it is possible to “wash” it with a dry cloth or paper towel that has been soaked in vinegar.

Vinegar kills most but not all of the bacteria, and removes the smell and, hopefully, most of the taste too.

If you are planning to take a tortilla to eat that has become spoiled, it’s recommended that you prepare to cook it first. If there are any harmful bacteria, and acid wash prior to cooking it for a couple of minutes in a pan will destroy the bacteria.

The addition of quesadilla toppings can hide any flavors that have remained unappealing.

How Long Will Tortillas Last Past Their Expiration Date?

To make an easy reference, refer to this chart for safe eating tortillas that aren’t removed from their original packaging within the time frame of the printed”best before” date.

Flour TortillasFor up to 1 week3 weeks to 1 month
Whole Wheat TortillasFor up to 1 week3 weeks to 1 month
Spinach (or other flavors) TortillasFor up to 1 week3 weeks – 1 month
Corn Tortillas1 week – 10 days1 – 2 months
Homemade Tortillas3 to 5 daysOne week or more

Tortillas are able to last between 1 week to two months depending on the way they’re stored.

In the majority of cases, the unopened bag of tortillas purchased from the store can stay fresh in your cupboard or pantry until one week and possibly even larger if the tortillas are made with corn, instead of flour.

In your refrigerator, the unopened container could last for a whole month, or perhaps 2 corn tortillas.

To extend their shelf-life further, you might think about freezing tortillas, which would permit you to store the tortillas for up to 8 months.

How Long Will Corn and Flour Tortillas Last?

Corn tortillas can be kept fresh in an unopened container for at least a week provided they’re stored in a dry, cool area, such as the pantry or in a cupboard, and aren’t exposed to heat or extreme temperature changes.

After the package is opened, they might be able to last for this time however, you’ll need to ensure they are stored in an airtight bag that isn’t open and exposed to moisture, air, or temperature variations all the time.

Flour tortillas aren’t as fresh as much as corn tortillas, because flour tortillas are more prone to mold and absorb moisture faster than corn.

Within your kitchen, the flour tortillas begin to become dangerous as they get closer to the one-week mark however, you’ll typically have a few more days of corn tortillas.

How Long Will Homemade Tortillas Last?

The homemade tortillas are best eaten fresh out of the oven or pan. If you’ve created an amount that is more than what you’re able to eat at once, they’ll last for three days in your kitchen pantry kept in an airtight bag, and placed in a dry, cool place.

In your refrigerator tortillas made from scratch will last as long as a week. You’ll want to ensure that they’re tightly sealed. The air inside your fridge is very dry and can cause your tortillas to become hard and hard.

If this happens, you’ll be able to make them soft by warming them up in an oven. There’s probably plenty of oil on their surface however, you could add some more to the pan if you like.

It is also possible to freeze homemade tortillas. They should remain fresh for six months or more. Make sure to freeze them in one portion, put them in freezer-safe containers, and do not refreeze them after they’ve been defrosted.

How To Know If Tortillas Are Bad

The most straightforward way to know whether your tortillas are bad is to put your nose into the bag and look for any unusual smells. If you don’t detect the musky tang of mold, examine the tortillas using your eyes in search of any coloration.

If your eyes and nose are clear, it’s fairly safe to eat the tortillas. There is however an opportunity that your taste buds to detect something that you’ve missed with your other senses.

If you are able to taste the stinky, sour taste that comes from mold, your tortillas may have become stale. If not, enjoy your meal!

What Does Mold On Tortillas Look Like?

Usually, the mold on tortillas can be seen in blue-green spots with varying dimensions typically after exposure to water. Sometimes, mold may appear white and this is harder to spot, particularly on flour tortillas with white coloring.

Sometimes, based on the kind of tortilla as well as the method in which you stored it, rather than the appearance of spots, it is possible that a significant part of the tortilla may alter color, usually making the yellow or white color the appearance of a dark tint.

If you spot this, it could be affecting not only some tortillas but the entire batch.

This kind of damage is likely to be obvious and extremely difficult to disguise or avoid It is recommended to simply eliminate the item and purchase an entirely new one.

Store-bought tortillas are likely to come with instructions on the packaging to ensure the proper storage conditions. The kind and the brand of tortillas might come with specific instructions.

Organic tortillas made from only a few ingredients and with no preservatives could have a shorter shelf life than others, but they are more basic.

It’s always recommended to follow the instructions on the label If there are no instructions it’s a good idea to use the food item to keep fresh.

The most significant risk for tortillas is the exposure to moisture and air, as we’ve previously mentioned, therefore, you should ensure that you keep them in an airtight package. Wrap them in aluminum foil, and plastic wrap, however, there’s a higher chance of experiencing an air leak that way.

It is also important to make sure that you open the bag as little as you can, thereby limiting the amount of air from outside that enters the bag.

Do not remove the tortillas from the bag for a prolonged period of time, and then keep them in the bag again. Instead, you should remove what you’re planning to eat right away.

If you’ve done all of this even the opened bag of tortillas will last about 2 to 3 weeks in your refrigerator and possibly even longer in the event that you’re fortunate and attentive.

How To Keep Tortillas Fresh Longer

If you wish for your food items to stay fresh longer, they must be refrigerated.

As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, tortillas may stay fresh for 1 week in the pantry or another temperature-controlled space out of direct heat. However, you’ll probably have close to a whole month of secure storage if you store those tortillas stored in the refrigerator.

It is also possible to freeze tortillas and that can extend their shelf life by as long as up to. There are some best practices to ensure that you receive the most effective results both before the freezing process and also after. This article is dedicated to explaining exactly the best way you can put tortillas in the freezer most efficiently.

Interesting Facts & Questions

Do Tortillas Contain Gluten?

Flour tortillas contain gluten in their ingredients because they are made of wheat or wheat-derived products.

Corn tortillas might have gluten-free ingredients. Corn doesn’t naturally contain gluten, however, some recipes may contain other ingredients that aren’t gluten-free.

If you suffer from a severe allergy or sensitization to gluten, it’s essential to look over the label carefully and search for the gluten-free label which proves that the tortillas were produced in a gluten-free environment and that there’s no chance of cross-contamination.

Are Corn Tortillas Keto and Vegan?

Corn tortillas can be considered vegan however, not all items made with corn tortillas are vegan.

Naturally, a burrito that contains meat isn’t vegan friendly however, some restaurants or food trucks might fry tortillas with the lard that isn’t vegan-friendly. It’s a good idea to inquire whether the cook is making meals for you.

Corn tortillas aren’t keto-friendly. They might have a little fewer calories than tortillas made from flour but that’s not enough difference to make them a viable option on a keto diet.

The standard portion size for a serving will be two corn tortillas which typically contain approximately 20 grams of carbohydrates.

Can Dogs Eat Tortillas?

In general, the tortillas don’t pose a risk of poisoning your pet or causing digestive discomfort in any significant way.

But tortillas are not the most nutritious or healthy pet food It’s best to limit tortillas to a minimal amount in the diet of your dog.

Consuming too many processed foods like tortillas could make your pet gain weight quickly, which can make it difficult for you to convince them to eat the right and nutritious diet designed for them.

If your dog is suffering from grain or wheat sensitization like many dogs and is susceptible to it, flour tortillas can cause digestive problems for them.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.