Do Rice Krispies Expire? Everything You Need to Know

Rice Krispies treats are a delicious snack for kids and adults alike. Fluffy and light, but not too messy, they make for the perfect little sweet to grab and go — or, you can drop it into your kid’s lunchbox as a fun surprise. They will definitely thank you for it.

But do Rice Krispies treats ever go bad? Can you eat the old Rice Krispies treat you found sitting at the back of the snack cabinet, or should you throw it away?

In short, Rice Krispies treats do have an expiration date, however, they do not actually go bad. Depending on how you store your treats, they are generally perfectly safe to eat 3-4 weeks after the expiration date has passed.

Do Rice Krispies Treats Ever Expire?

Although Rice Krispies treats technically have an expiration date, they do not “expire” in the same way milk or leftover chicken might when left sitting in the fridge for too long. This does not mean that Rice Krispies treats will still taste great after the expiration date has passed, however.

In fact, expired Rice Krispies treats often have a dry, stale flavor, simply because the cereal has gotten old. They are also likely to be sticky and hard to bite into because the binding ingredients — the butter and marshmallows — tend to solidify into a sort of unpleasant mass over time.

Eating expired Rice Krispies treats will not harm you, health-wise, though generally, eating expired Rice Krispies treats probably will not make for the most enjoyable experience. You certainly wouldn’t want to serve them to your friends at a Halloween party. It is much better in this case to whip up a fresh batch or pick up some pre-packaged Rice Krispies treats from the store.

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Where to Find Rice Krispies Treats Expiration Date?

The expiration date for Rice Krispies treats can be found on the back of the wrapper, and on the bag or box that they came in. Generally, Rice Krispies treats are best enjoyed within two weeks of buying or making them, depending on how you decide to store them.

Can Rice Krispies Treats Spoil?

Rice Krispies treats have an expiration date, but can they spoil? Yes, meaning that there comes a time after about six months when an opened bag of Rice Krispies treats are no longer good for eating. This is the point at which Rice Krispies treats can start to get moldy and smell bad if not properly stored.

Store-bought Rice Krispies treats will be difficult to unwrap, as the marshmallows will stick to the wrapper and make a big mess. The cereal and marshmallows get stale over time, which makes for hard, basically inedible Rice Krispies treats.

Eating a spoiled Rice Krispies treat is not super likely to make you sick, but it is probably not going to make you feel better in any way. Also, marshmallows, like gelatin, are made from animal matter — which most people aren’t keen to eat if it’s not fresh.

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Signs of Spoiled Rice Krispies Treats

There are a few signs to look out for when you’re deciding whether or not to eat that expired Rice Krispies treat or not. 

Color

If the color is off, that’s a good sign to toss it. While Rice Krispies treats are good, they have a healthy very light brown to beige color, whereas spoiled Rice Krispies treats will often be pale and sickly in color.

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Sometimes, they will have spots of mold on them, which can look white, green, or blue. It can be hard to tell if an expired Rice Krispies treat has started growing mold due to the marshmallows and butter conglomerating into an indistinct blob. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to go with your gut and throw it out.

Smell

If your Rice Krispies treats don’t smell quite right, go ahead and toss them. If they smell like paint or grass, definitely toss them because this could actually be a sign that the Rice Krispies treats have Salmonella.

Appearance

The same can be said about appearance as was said about color and smell. If it doesn’t look right, it’s really okay to throw it out. If the Rice Krispies treats look oily, this could be a sign of Salmonella, which is definitely not something you want to take your chances with.

Touch

As stated before, spoiled Rice Krispies treats will usually be extra sticky and rock hard to the touch. You will have difficulty unwrapping them, and biting into them. If you’re really unsure, one thing you can do is try to break the Rice Krispies treat in half. If it won’t bend or break, that is probably a good sign that you shouldn’t eat it.

How Do You Store Rice Krispies Treats?

There are a number of ways you can store Rice Krispies treats in order to prevent them from going bad. Freezing them is of course an option, but they should also be tightly wrapped or kept in an airtight container to prevent cross contamination and bacterial infections. 

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Related Questions

Should Rice Krispies Treats be refrigerated?

If you don’t want to freeze Rice Krispies treats, you can certainly refrigerate them. They won’t last quite as long this way, but as long as you wrap them in plastic wrap or store them in an airtight container, they should be just fine for about two days.

Do Rice Krispies Treats get old?

Rice Krispies treats do, in fact, get old. Over time, they get stale, sticky, and hard to even bite into. While eating old Rice Krispies treats will not necessarily harm you, it is best to stick to eating them fresh. Besides, they are far more delicious that way!

How long do Rice Krispies Treat last after the expiration date?

Unopened Rice Krispies treats from the store will last about a year past the expiration date, while opened Rice Krispies treats will last about six months. If you make Rice Krispies treats yourself, you can store them in the fridge for up to two days or in the freezer for up to six weeks.

Summing It Up

Rice Krispies treats are great because they can be stored for a long time, especially in the freezer. Even if you don’t freeze them, they won’t necessarily taste bad when left on the shelf for a few days, which is about how long a bag of Rice Krispies lasts anyway in a house full of people who enjoy this scrumptious snack.

Remember to check your Rice Krispies treats for mold or funky smells, and do not eat them if they are very oily in texture. If they’re too sticky or hard to eat, consider running to the store and getting some fresh ones — and don’t forget to share them with your friends!