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How Long Do Pop-Tarts Last? (And Do They Go Bad?)

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Sweet, crunchy, and delicious, Pop-Tarts are a firm favorite for many families! These filled pastries make a great breakfast snack, taking just a few minutes to warm up in the toaster.

With the wide array of flavor options available, it’s tempting to keep all of your favorites in the pantry for your choosing. But, before you stock up, you’re probably wondering how long they’ll stay fresh.

How long do Pop-Tarts last? If kept in their wrappers, Pop-Tarts will last until their ‘best before’ date, and may still be okay to eat after. Once out of their wrapper they can go bad if not stored correctly. The best way to keep Pop-Tarts fresh is to store them in a cool place in their wrappers or an air-tight container.

Want to keep your Pop-Tarts fresh and delicious? We have got all the answers and more for you! We will take a look at how long Pop-Tarts last and give you some tips on the best way to store these tasty snacks.

What Are Pop-Tarts?

If you’ve been inside a grocery store in the last decade or two, you’ve probably came across Pop-Tarts!

These tasty little snacks are marketed as ‘toaster pastries’ – a filled pastry that can be heated in the toaster. They come in a range of different fillings and many varieties are coated with a sugary frosting.

Pop-Tarts can be eaten hot or cold, and although intended to be a breakfast snack many people eat them at all times of the day.

Fillings include fruits such as strawberry, cherry, and blueberry, and other flavors such as brown sugar cinnamon, and S’mores.

(For those of you wondering, a S’more is a marshmallow toasted on a fire, then sandwiched between two chocolate biscuits. No camping trip is complete without a pack of marshmallows anymore!)

Pop-Tarts are supplied in either twin packs or multipacks. They are normally wrapped in foil, similar to chocolate bars and biscuits, to keep them fresh.

Do Pop-Tarts Go Bad?

The foil wrapping that Pop-Tarts are sealed in will keep them fresh and perfectly fine to eat for a long period of time. 

However, they will not last forever! There is a time limit on when a sealed packet of Pop-Tarts can safely be consumed.

Your box or packet of Pop-Tarts will be marked with a ‘Best Before’ date. This is a guarantee from the manufacturers that, if eaten before this date, the food will be in perfect condition.

After this date, the food may still be edible, but the quality may have deteriorated.

So, is it okay to eat food after the best-before date? This comes down to your own personal judgment and the item of food itself.

You will need to carefully assess to see if the food has gone bad, or if it has deteriorated to the point where it is inedible.

The good news is that best-before dates are used for foods that will not be too harmful if they have started to go bad.

The other date commonly referred to is the ‘Use By’ date, which is for foods that can cause poisoning such as meats and fish. Food that has gone past the use-by date must never be consumed.

Pop-Tarts are a highly processed food item and contain a lot of sugar. This means that they are very well preserved and it will take them a long time to go bad.

Think of the fruity filling like jam – it is basically a preserve!

Once a pack of Pop-Tarts has been opened, then the rate at which they deteriorate will speed up considerably.

Any uneaten Pop-Tarts must be stored correctly and consumed before they go bad.

How Long Do Pop-Tarts Last In The Pantry?

If your Pop-Tarts are in their original packaging, they will last in your pantry until at least the ‘Best Before’ date.

The good news is, manufacturers normally err on the side of caution with the best-before date, as they want you to eat the food while it is at its best.

This means that many foods will still be edible even after the best-before date has passed.

If your Pop-Tarts have gone beyond the best-before date, open the packet and check that they don’t appear to have gone bad.

If they look and smell as you would expect, pop them into the toaster and enjoy!

Once you have opened your packet of Pop-Tarts, their shelf life will be greatly reduced. The pastry will become stale and they are much more likely to go moldy.

Keep opened Pop-Tarts in an airtight container and consume within one to two weeks.

Do Pop-Tarts Last Longer In The Fridge?

Like most pastry-based items, keeping Pop-Tarts in the fridge will not help them to last longer. In fact, the humidity in the refrigerator may even make them become soggy and stale!

If your packet of Pop-Tarts is not open, then just store it in the pantry until you are ready to eat them.

The only advantage of using a refrigerator is that it will reduce the likelihood of mold, so this might be a good option for storing an open packet of Pop-Tarts if you live in a very warm and humid climate.

Keep them in an airtight container or plastic wrap to keep air and moisture at bay.

Do Pop-Tarts Last Longer In The Freezer?

There would be no real advantage to keeping unopened packets of Pop-Tarts in the freezer, as they have such a long shelf life when stored in the pantry.

An open packet of Pop-Tarts can be stored in the freezer if packed in an airtight container or plastic wrap.

However, there are no manufacturer guidelines on heating frozen Pop-Tarts, so you should let them defrost at room temperature first.

As an interesting aside, some people love eating frozen Pop-Tarts! Apparently, this works particularly well with flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough and ice cream sundae.

We’ve never tried this, but it sounds like an intriguing concept! 

What Is The Best Way To Store Pop-Tarts?

With such a long shelf-life, the best way to store unopened packets of Pop-Tarts is in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or kitchen cupboard.

If stored this way they should remain tasty and edible even when they have passed their best-before date.

However, most Pop-Tarts come in a pack of two, with just one recommended as a serving – so what do you do with the other one?

If you can reseal the original wrapper then do so, or pop it into a small airtight container or wrap it with food-safe plastic wrap.

Your Pop-Tart will stay perfectly fresh in the pantry for one to two weeks.

Related Questions

Pop over to clear up a few more burning questions.

How To Tell When Pop-Tarts Have Gone Bad

Pop-Tarts can be stored for a very long time, however, you do not want to eat a Pop-Tart which has gone bad!

As well as risking an unpleasant stomach upset, a Pop-Tart which has gone bad will not taste at all pleasant.

Here are the best ways to check if your Pop-Tart has gone bad:


Often, the first sign of deterioration of a Pop-Tart you will notice is a change to the texture.

This is because, no matter how good the airtight wrapping is, they will eventually start to go stale. A stale Pop-Tart will become crumbly and lose the delicious, crisp texture we all love.


If your Pop-Tart has gone bad, it will smell stale and moldy. A fresh, edible Pop-Tart should smell sweet and pastry-like, although when cold they have very little odor at all.

Remember to give the filling a smell before you eat it – if it doesn’t smell you expect it to, throw it away!

Color & Appearance

Pop-Tarts that have gone bad may develop a layer of mold. This could be on the inside or outside of the Pop-Tart, so to be on the safe side snap it in half and have a look. 

Check for any discoloration of the pastry and filling, such as darker or lighter areas.

How Do You Cook Pop-Tarts?

Whilst Pop-Tarts were designed as a toaster pastry, they can now be reheated in other ways too! These are the best ways to cook pop tarts:


The traditional method is to place your Pop-Tart in the toaster. Put the toaster onto a low setting, as if you were making lightly browned toast.

Take the Pop-Tart from the wrapper, pop it in the toaster, and cook for one cycle. Give the Pop-Tart a few seconds to cool before eating.


Remove the Pop-Tart from the wrapper and place it onto a microwavable plate. Heat on full power for 3 seconds.

Leave to cool for a few moments before eating – the filling can get hot very quickly!

Forego Cooking

If you’ve never tried a cold Pop Tart, they are actually very nice! Many people don’t bother heating their Pop-Tarts and prefer to eat this toasted snack straight from the packet.

Or even better, give a frozen Pop-Tart a try – you might never want to heat up a Pop-Tart again!

Up Next: 11 Best Greek Breakfast Recipes

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