Do Corn Tortillas Go Bad? [How To Extend Their Shelf Life?]

Image of corn tortillas about to go bad

You can whip up Mexican wraps, enchiladas, or burritos any time if you have corn tortillas in your pantry. However, corn tortillas have a finite shelf life like all edible items. So, do corn tortillas go bad?

Yes, corn tortillas go bad. Their shelf life depends on whether they’re store-bought or homemade and how and where you store them. They usually last for one week past the printed date when stored in the pantry and 6 to 8 weeks in the refrigerator. Frozen corn tortillas will keep for 6 to 8 months.

Let’s take a deeper look at this now.

Why Do Corn Tortillas Go Bad?

Tortillas are made with a few simple ingredients like cornmeal, salt, and water.

Store-bought tortillas may also contain preservatives.

Nonetheless, the recipes are usually simple, and they don’t include dairy or other perishable ingredients.

This helps them remain usable for a long time.

However, corn tortillas are food. Like all edible items, they will also eventually go bad.

You can only extend their shelf life to a certain extent by storing them well.

Environmental agents like heat, moisture, and germs make them spoil faster.

You can extend their lifespan by storing them in a sterile environment, away from heat and moisture.

How Long Do Tortillas Last?

How long tortillas will last will depend on the type of tortillas and how you store them.

For instance, unopened store-bought corn tortillas keep for 7 to 10 days at room temperature in the pantry.

Homemade tortillas don’t last as long because they don’t contain preservatives, nor are they packaged in the same manner as store-bought tortillas.

Nevertheless, the shelf life of store-bought tortillas reduces once you open the packaging because it exposes them to heat, moisture and germs.

Tortillas last longer when in the refrigerator or freezer.

The low-temperature setting and sterile environment of a refrigerator slows down the rate at which they spoil.

Hence, tortillas kept in the fridge or freezer remain usable even after the date of expiry mentioned on the package.

Corn tortillas keep for six to eight weeks in the refrigerator when you store them in a well-sealed, airtight bag.

They will last even longer, for several months, if you freeze them.

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Do Corn Tortillas Go Bad In The Fridge?

The main purpose of a refrigerator is to preserve food by keeping it at a low temperature.

The dry environment and low-temperature setting control the growth of bacteria in food.

Thus, it takes longer for the food to spoil.

You can store corn tortillas in the refrigerator to extend their life.

When stored properly, they will last for several weeks in the refrigerator.

At room temperature, the same tortillas will spoil in a week to ten days.

So you can use them beyond the date mentioned on the packaging when you keep them in the refrigerator.

However, remember that the refrigerator will only delay their spoiling, not eliminate it.

Tortillas in unopened packages usually hold up longer than homemade tortillas and those stored in open packs.

However, it’s important to store corn tortillas in thick, airtight, freezer-safe bags.

If they come in resealable, refrigerator-safe bags, you can store them in the same bag after taking out what you need.

Transfer the tortillas to another bag if the packaging isn’t airtight.

Leaving them in the same bag can ruin their texture by making them dry and hard.

You may still be able to eat them, but they will not taste as good.

Tortillas exposed to moisture become a breeding ground for bacteria. They can also develop mold.

It’s best to toss them out if you notice any such signs.

Consuming spoiled tortillas can cause nasty food-borne diseases and make you sick.

How To Tell If Corn Tortillas Are Bad?

Good corn tortillas

Regardless of whether you store corn tortillas on the counter, in your pantry, fridge, or freezer, they have a finite life span.

Beyond this time, the tortillas will spoil.

You may not spot the signs of food spoilage in the first stages because of the absence of any visual signs.

Additionally, different recipes will spoil at different rates.

It will also depend on the different ingredients used, the quality of packaging, and how you store the tortillas.

The preservatives in store-bought tortillas help them last longer than homemade tortillas.

Tortillas are usually very soft and pliable. However, their texture changes as they begin to spoil.

The tortilla will end up becoming hard and stiff.

This can also happen if the package isn’t properly sealed and the tortillas are exposed to the cold air in the refrigerator.

Corn tortillas will also smell off when you keep them for too long.

The change in smell will be subtle initially, but it becomes evident over time.

Finally, you can’t miss noticing the mold that appears on tortillas that are past their prime.

It will resemble white or green patches on the surface.

By this stage, the tortilla has gone bad. Consuming it can lead to serious digestive problems.

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How To Store Tortillas To Extend Their Shelf Life?

One of the best things about corn tortillas is that you can make them ahead of time and store them for days.

Store-bought tortillas hold up well for several weeks or even months in the freezer.

However, it’s important to store them properly to prevent spoiling.

If you intend to use your corn tortillas soon, store them in the pantry or refrigerator.

However, if you are unsure when you will be using them, it’s better to freeze them.

Regardless of whether you choose to keep them in the refrigerator or freezer, you should always pack them well.

For homemade tortillas, wait until they have cooled down to store them. Transfer the tortillas into an airtight bag after cooling.

Place the tortillas flat and remove any excess air from the packaging.

Then seal it tightly and place it flat inside the refrigerator.

You can store store-bought tortillas in their original packaging if it’s airtight.

If not, remove it from the original package and place it inside another airtight bag.

Seal it after expelling any excess air. Then, lay it flat inside the refrigerator compartment.

For long-term storage, choose the freezer.

You can directly put unopened tortillas in their original packaging into the freezer.

However, if you will not be using all the tortillas at once, you may like to separate them before freezing.

Place sheets of baking paper or butter paper between individual tortillas.

Then, seal the entire stack inside an airtight bag and put it in the freezer.

Always ensure that the tortillas lay flat inside the freezer to help them keep their original shape.

Storing them flat will also make it easy to remove the individual pieces.

When you wish to use the tortillas, remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw on the counter or in the refrigerator.

Corn tortillas will thaw in minutes on the countertop.

However, if you want them to thaw evenly, it’s better to leave them in the refrigerator for a few hours.

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1 thought on “Do Corn Tortillas Go Bad? [How To Extend Their Shelf Life?]”

  1. I have frozen sprouted corn tortillas that have been in the freezer unopened. I was going to use some today but saw the date on the package that was Nov. 2020. They look ok but had I best throw them out.

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