How Long Do Chips Last Unopened?

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Potato chips are one of the most loved snacks out there. According to research published in Smithsonian magazine, a single person consumes around 6.6 pounds of potato chips annually. This shows how crazy people are to have chips as their snacks. 

Even though chips aren’t too expensive, especially potato chips with brands like Lays coming up with new affordable variants in chips every few months, it’s still not a good idea to spend too much of your hard-earned money on buying chips packets that won’t last for a long time. 

Also, considering that no one wants to go to the mart every time they crave chips to have as snacks, most people prefer getting a full carton of them whenever they visit the mart. You are at the right place if you also like stocking up the chips in your kitchen pantry but are worried about how long it could last. 

Typically, an unopened chips packet can stay good for around 2 to 3 months after the “best by” or expiration date on the packet. However, this time period also greatly varies depending on the storage conditions and the kind of chips you are concerned with. 

I have compiled a detailed guide for you explaining the shelf life of an unopened chips packet. I will also take you through the lasting limit of different types of chips and will highlight the main differences between stale and expired chips. 


For How Long Do Unopened Chips Stay Fresh? 

If you have not opened the chips packet you have bought from the market yet, you can expect it to stay good for around 2 to 3 months, even after the expiration date mentioned on the packet. 

Fortunately, chips are not among the products that can only be used until the “Best by” date and can stay harmless even months after expiration. This storage time of unopened chips packet also depends on the storage conditions

Note: You can check out this guide to learn more about the storage conditions under which chips should be stored. 

If you want your chips to stay fresh for a long time without going stale, it’s best to keep them in a cold and dry place. Though some people also recommend storing chips in the fridge, that’s generally recommended in case of fresh chips bought straight from bakeries.


How Long Do Tortilla Chips Last? 

Tortilla chips are one of the most loved chips types and go with a wide range of recipes and ingredients. If you have never tried tortilla chips with cheese dip, you are missing out on a lot of taste. 

Though nothing is as good as tortilla chips when it comes to taste, you can’t expect much regarding the shelf life of an opened chips packet. Depending on the storage conditions, an unopened pack of tortilla chips can typically stay good for 6 to 8  months. 

On the other hand, if you have already opened up a pack of tortilla chips and can’t seem to finish it up, you can expect it to last for 1 to 2 weeks. This time can increase to around 3 weeks if the packet is properly wrapped and sealed before keeping it in the pantry. 


How Are “Expired” Chips Different From “Stale” Chips?

Now that you roughly know about the shelf-life of an unopened chips packet, another confusion about chips that need to be cleared up is the difference between expired and stale chips. Though most people use expired and stale chips synonymously, they are not the same. 

As the name suggests, expiration is used for chips that have exceeded their expiration date. Stale, on the other hand, are the kind of chips that have lost their freshness due to excessive storage. 

Note: Here is a guide you can check out if you want to know more about chips going stale. 

The main difference between the two is that, though expired chips are all good and safe to be eaten, stale chips are usually not consumable. 

As far as the taste is concerned, the chips won’t become rancid right after the expiration date and can stay fresh for at least 2 to 3 months, as I have mentioned earlier. However, once the expected storage time passes, they won’t be palatable any longer, and you might feel a weird smell coming from them. 

Stale chips, on the contrary, aren’t as good in taste as normal, fresh chips; they are still better than expired chips. This happens because, once the shelf life of the stored chips is completed, the fats in them start getting rancid, affecting the chips’ taste and smell. 

Another thing about stable and expired chips that you must keep in mind is that, over time, both these chip types lose their nutrients. However, expired chips are pretty much less nutritious than stale ones.



Can You Get Sick From Eating Expired Chips? 

No, fortunately, eating chips that have passed just a month from their expiration date won’t make you sick. However, you can expect it to taste bad and stale, which isn’t something you would typically expect to eat. 

How To Read the Expiration Date On Chips? 

If you see a letter followed by some digits on your chips packet, this is what the expiration date of the chips looks like. However, to be able to interpret it, you have to pay heed to it. For instance, if you see something like “C2023” written on a packet of chips, this means that the chips you have can stay good till the 20th of March 2023. 

Conclusion – How Long Do Chips Last Unopened?

In this guide, I have provided a simple answer to most people’s questions regarding chips, i.e., “How long do chips last unopened?” This write-up also explored the shelf-life of tortilla chips and the main differences between expired and stable chips. 

Lastly, I tried to answer some of the commonly asked questions regarding chips and their expiration. Hopefully, all your queries regarding chips and their expiration are now cleared. 


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