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Do Tortilla Chips Go Bad? – The Ultimate Guide

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Tortilla chips are perfect for any type of dip! With their simple, salty design, they can be quite versatile in how you use them. Whether you use your tortilla chips for salsa, queso, or guacamole, they’re a great buy! 

It can be challenging to keep things like tortilla chips fresh. When a little handful goes a long way, you’re bound to have leftovers.

You just never know how to use up the last of the bag, so what do you do with them? Do you just keep them forever or find some way to use up those crumbs?

Do tortilla chips go bad? Because tortilla chips have a low moisture content, they are not likely to go bad anytime soon if stored in dry conditions. They should be safe to eat, even if stale, for up to 2-3 months. However, if you notice moisture, mold, or any odd scents, you should discard them.

In this guide, we will cover the reasons why your tortilla chips are unlikely to go bad for a while and what to look for when they do.

We also have some helpful storage tips, so keep on reading for the best ways to keep your tortilla chips fresh for longer!

Do Tortilla Chips Go Bad?

You’re not likely to get sick from eating old tortilla chips. Tortilla chips are so salty that the moisture content is extremely low.

These chips are also made from corn tortillas, which tend to last longer than regular tortillas before going bad in the first place.

When they go through the frying (or baking), drying, and salting process, they become even more resistant to spoilage.

Bacteria and mold need moisture to thrive, so your airtight, salt-filled chip bag is probably the last place you’ll find it.

However, if you live somwhere with high humidity or are worried your chips may have somehow been exposed to extra moisture, you should check for mold just to be sure. If you find any irregular white spots, toss them out.

While your old tortilla chips may not make you sick, they still may be stale if they have been exposed to too much moving air.

Even stale tortilla chips can be slightly revived by toasting them in the oven. The good news is that as long as your chips aren’t growing mold or have something else unusual going on with them, they will be safe to eat. 

Old tortilla chips will probably not make you sick as long as you keep these signs in mind. 

How to Tell If Tortilla Chips Have Gone Bad

Keep in mind that the likelihood of tortilla chips going bad is pretty unlikely. They can get stale, but there is a difference between being stale and being bad to eat.

Some people would rather not eat stale chips, and that’s totally ok! You can toss them out, but they aren’t necessarily bad, meaning they won’t make you sick to eat. 

There are some signs you can look for if you are concerned that your tortilla chips have gone bad.

Take a good look at them. If you notice any mold or white spots on any portion of the chips or packaging, we recommend that you go ahead and toss them out. This is a sure sign they are bad. 

Other than that, you can smell them and see if they have a bad odor, possibly sour or pungent.

If your chips just look or smell off, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Go ahead and discard the chips rather than eat them. 

The good news is that tortilla chips don’t go bad easily! 

How Do You Store Tortilla Chips?

Tortilla chips are made using corn tortillas. You can buy them from the store or even make your own. They’re a popular snack food because they are light and airy but also a tad salty. They mix perfectly with so many things!

You can enjoy simple chips and dip, crush and sprinkle them on top of your chili or taco salad, enjoy them as a full meal on a plate of loaded nachos, and more. There are so many options out there, so don’t let yourself be limited to just these.

When you have these crispy, crunchy chips, a little bit goes a long way. You often have leftovers and no plans to use them.

Or maybe you have an unopened package in your pantry and you’re concerned they’re no good anymore. What do you do?

If you store your chips properly, they will probably be good even up to 3 months after that best-by date that you find stamped on the bag. This isn’t an expiration date, it’s just a recommended timeframe for the best quality. 

When we say stored properly, here is what you should keep in mind:

  • Airtight storage
  • Stored in a cool, dry location
  • Not in direct sunlight
  • Away from moist areas

You can actually even freeze them, but we really don’t recommend that process because it isn’t necessary and can make your chips even more brittle than they already are. They can also pick up moisture from the freezer.

If you make your own tortilla chips and are looking for a way to preserve them for longer, you may want to consider just freezing your tortillas before you make them into chips.

If your bag is unopened, store them away with no worries. To store an open bag, roll it up tight and seal it into a container or a storage bag that is airtight.

Up Next: Keeping Chips Fresh – The Ultimate Guide

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