Bread is the most widely consumed food across the world. Usually made out of wheat, yeast, and other preservatives, bread tends to last fresh for only a short duration before starting to go bad.
Preservatives actually play a crucial role in keeping the bread fresh longer, but frozen bread is likely to go stable and last longer than the unfrozen bread.
The shelf life of frozen bread greatly depends on a variety of factors including preparation method, best by date and how it is stored in the freezer.
Of course, no food can last longer and will expire after its best by date, if not stored properly. You need to know that like all other grains, bread do have a best by date and not any expiration date.
So, due to this distinction, it is suggested that frozen bread is required to be used safely to compliment the meals even after its best before date has passed.
If properly stored in the freezer, the frozen breads can have a longer shelf life and can also be used after its best by date also.
What are the Methods for Storing Frozen Bread?
Frozen bread is likely to develop freezer burn if it is not stored properly. The moisture in the breads sublimates as water, thereby leaving the bread harder and drier even after properly defrosting.
You may also see some ice crystals inside the bag where the bread is stored. They are actually the water that is sublimated by the bread.
In order to increase the freezer storage time of the bread, you must always make use of heavy plastic storage bags that are designed specifically for storage in the freezer.
The frozen bread usually lasts longer and has a shelf life of over 4-5 months which is more than its best by date. But, it must be thawed properly before consumption.
The shelf life of non-frozen bread is only one week when kept at room temperature with normal wrapping. But again it varies depending upon the type of bread, ingredients used and storage method of the bread.
Refrigeration of the bread is always considered to be the best method for increasing the total shelf life of the breads. It can be used both for homemade and commercial bread.
If you choose this method for storage of breads, ensure that the breads are properly sealed in order to prevent dryness, visible moisture in packaging and freezer burn.
It is estimated that the shelf life of frozen bread is 6 months and it can be consumed within this time frame with proper thawing.
Refrigeration of the breads never destroys all the dangerous elements from breads, but it prevents them from growing, making it healthy for consumption even after its best before date has lapsed.
Is Refrigeration of Frozen Breads Safe for Consumption?
Sliced bread is best stored in plastic bags as it keeps it fresh for a longer period. Storing the bread in paper bags in the freezer is not suggested as it quickly dries out the bread slices, making it bad for consumption and also increases the chances of freezer burns.
Refrigeration is the best long term option for storing the bread. Freezing the breads is always suggested as it maintains the texture and taste of the breads for at least 6 months and you can easily consume it with proper thawing.
But it is recommended that you use airtight freezer container or plastic bags with twist tie closure for refrigeration of the bread.
Bread can be refrigerated for an indefinite time, but the taste and quality of the bread start declining after a time period of 6 months.
So, consumption of the breads must be done within 6-6.5 months before it starts rotting or the quality starts losing. If you see freezer burn setting on the bread, it is still safe for consumption with the quality may be compromised.
The better you wrap loaves or bread for storage in the freezer, the longer its quality can be preserved. Regardless of the methods, you opt to store the bread, the quality and taste of the bread can be preserved forever.
However, this doesn’t mean that the breads are not safe for your consumption as you can feel quite safe in eating the frost-covered freezer bread.
Remember, for longer-term storage, you must use the deep freezer to about the freezer burn and to extend the shelf life of the frozen breads.
How to Know if the Frozen Bread is Rotten or Spoiled and Not Safe for Consumption?
Exercising the best hygiene and food safety methods can help you avoid foodborne illness. The senses of the person are the best and most reliable tool to find out if the bread is good for eating or it has done bad and rotten.
The most common traits of rotten bread are the mold formation and you will always smell it prior to seeing it with eyes.
The mold in bread can appear in different colors. You will even see white colored mold formation which needs a close look to distinguish it from the flour.
If you see mold formation in one slide of the bread slice, then it is not good to eat the other side of the slice, you simply need to discard the entire bread.
Moreover, the dry and hard texture of the bread indicates that the bread is still stable and you can use it as crumbs or croutons if you are sure that no mold formation is present there.
There are many health risks associated with rotten foods and hence you need to exercise the best food safety and enjoy the food safely.
Is Frozen Bread Really Safe and Never Expire?
Frozen bread is safe for consumption but within the shelf life as mentioned above. However, the quality may get compromised when it is kept for refrigeration, but it is still safe for eating.
Moreover, frozen bread does have an expiration date as mentioned above. There is no specific time frame for its expiration, it all depends on the preparation and storage method.