Can You Eat Expired Hard or Soft Taco Shells? The Truth Revealed

Have you ever wondered if it’s safe to eat expired Taco shells? Have you found a pack of taco shells that’s been sitting at the back of your pantry for months and wonder whether they’re still good to eat? If so, this article is for you. In this blog, we’ll explain everything you need to know about eating expired hard or soft taco shells. We will also discuss the risks associated with consuming expired food items and give some tips on how to extend their shelf life.

Can You Eat Expired Hard or Soft Taco Shells?

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a pack of expired hard or soft taco shells and wondering if it’s safe to eat them, the answer is very simple – it depends on how long they’ve been expired for.

What Are Expired Taco Shells?

Taco shells typically have a shelf life of several months. However, like any other food item, they do expire once their best before date has passed. An expired taco shell is one that is no longer fit for consumption and can cause digestive problems.

The Risks of Eating Expired Taco Shells

Eating expired taco shells can put you at risk for food poisoning due to bacteria growth. The bacteria in stale or molding tacos can produce toxins such as Salmonella or Staphylococcus aureus that can cause vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.

In some cases, eating expired taco shells could also lead to botulism- a severe form of food poisoning caused by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium that releases harmful toxins in your body leading to muscle weakness or paralysis, dizziness or blurred vision.

How To Tell if Taco Shells Have Gone Bad

When considering whether taco shells are still good enough to be eaten after their expiration date, there are some signs you need to look out for which include:
  • A change in color from yellowish to white,
  • Bitter taste when chewed,
  • Mold growing on the shell
  • Foul smell

To play safe always inspect your pack first before consuming them even though they might still be within the expiration date.

In conclusion, it’s best to avoid eating hard or soft taco shells that have gone past their expiration date no matter how long or short the time length, and instead opt for fresh ones to avoid any health risks associated with consuming expired food items.

What Are the Risks of Eating Expired Taco Shells?

If you are a fan of tacos, you may have wondered whether eating expired taco shells is harmful or not. The truth is that consuming expired taco shells can pose serious health risks to your body.

Dangers of Consuming Expired Taco Shells

The primary danger associated with eating expired taco shells is the potential for food poisoning caused by bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli. As food ages, it becomes a breeding ground for pathogenic microorganisms that can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Additionally, expired taco shells can lose their integrity and break easily which increases the risk of choking hazards.

Foodborne Illnesses from Eating Expired Taco Shells

  • Salmonellosis: This is a common bacterial infection that results from consuming contaminated food products including tacos made from expired taco shells. Symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea or loose stools accompanied by headache and malaise
  • E. coli Infection: This type of bacterial infection leads to severe intestinal discomforts resulting in dehydration due to frequent diarrhea and vomiting
  • Clostridium botulinum: Clostridium botulinum produces toxins causing muscle weakness and respiratory issues in severe cases leading to death.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning Caused by Expired Taco Shells

If you consume an underlying stale taco shell inadvertently exposed to environmental pathogens without realizing it was past its expiration date symptoms might take some days before being visible so be on alert when experiencing flu-like symptoms after having eaten any source protein-heavy meal. These symptoms include stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea/bloody diarrhea, headache and sometimes fever.

To sum it up, eating expired taco shells poses serious health risks due to potential foodborne illnesses. Always check the expiration date of your taco shells before consuming them to avoid any health complications. If you notice symptoms that may be related to food poisoning after consuming an expired taco shell or any other food speak with a medical professional immediately.

How to Tell if Taco Shells Have Gone Bad

If you’re a taco lover, you know that the quality of your taco shells can make or break your meal. It’s important to check for signs of spoilage before consuming them. Here are some ways to tell if your taco shells have gone bad:

Signs of Spoilage

  • Appearance and Texture – One of the most notable signs is changes in their texture and appearance. Expired or stale taco shells can become discolored, or they might start turning yellow, brown, or even black in color.
  • Funky Odor – Another sign that your taco shells have gone bad is by smelling them. Expired food usually has an awful pungent smell similar to moldy bread. If it gives off any strange smells like this avoid consumption immediately.
  • Taste- Try looking for these hard shells softening from their crispiness after they came out from storage for more than three weeks. Also, as soon as you notice a funky flavor while eating the tacos then stop because of its risk factors towards health issues.

If you ever find yourself unsure about whether your hardshell tacos have expired, don’t take chances with your health; it’s always safer to throw them away instead of risking an upset stomach.

How to Store Taco Shells to Extend Their Shelf Life

If you love tacos, then you know how important it is to have fresh and crispy taco shells. However, storing them can be quite tricky. Here are some tips on how to properly store hard and soft taco shells so that they can last longer:

Best Ways to Store Taco Shells

  • Airtight Container: Keeping taco shells in an airtight container protects them from moisture and air which can make them stale or chewy. You can store both hard and soft taco shells in an airtight container.
  • Foil Wrap: Alternatively, you may also wrap the tacos in foil before placing them inside an airtight container. This helps prevent any crushing of the shell during storage.
  • Paper Bag: When storing hard-corn tortillas, using a paper bag works best as it allows air circulation while keeping moisture out. Do not use plastic bags for storing your taco shells.

Ideal Temperature and Humidity for Storing Taco Shells

The ideal temperature range for storing taco shells is between 50°F -70°F (10°C-21°C), while humidity levels should be kept below 70%.

  • Avoid Refrigeration: Avoid refrigerating your taco shells as it will cause them to become moist and chewy due to condensation inside the packaging.
  • Avoid High-Temperature Exposure: Do not store your taco shells near heat sources such as stoves or ovens as this will cause the shell’s texture to change by becoming rubbery or soggy.

Storage Duration for Hard and Soft Taco Shells

The storage duration of hard taco shells is usually up to 6 months if stored in a cool and dry place using an airtight container or paper bag. However, soft corn tortillas have a shorter shelf life of about 1-2 weeks if kept at room temperature.

In conclusion, storing your taco shells properly helps maintain their flavor, texture, and overall quality. Follow these tips so that you can enjoy fresh and crispy taco shells any time you want without worrying about them going stale.


In conclusion, it’s better to be cautious when it comes to eating expired Taco shells. Consuming them after their expiration date could lead to some unpleasant consequences such as stomach ache or food poisoning. By keeping an eye out for signs of spoilage and properly storing them, you can extend their shelf life up to a certain extent.


How long do taco shells last past their expiration date?

Ans: It depends on the type of shell and how well it was stored; in general, soft tortilla wraps may last longer than crispy corn shells.

Can I freeze taco shells?

Ans: Yes! Taco Shells can be frozen easily but defrosting should be done carefully.

What are the signs that indicate bad taco shells?

Ans: Mold growth or discoloration, stale smell or taste, and appearance changes like cracks or chips are all indications that your taco shells have gone bad.

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