Ramen Exposed: Does Ramen Expire?

Whether you are someone who is preparing for the apocalypse or a natural disaster or a college student strapped for cash, you have probably asked the question “does ramen expire?” Before you get the answer, you need to learn first a little background about this type of Asian noodle. Ramen noodle is made of wheat and just like most kinds of noodles, it has the four basic ingredients namely, wheat flour, water, salt, and a kind of alkaline mineral water. These days, you can buy instant ramen noodles in a plastic package that you can easily find in your local supermarket. This is the kind that most survivalists include in their list of survival food items.

Ramen Expiration

To answer your question “does ramen expire?” yes it does, but nothing bad would happen to you if you eat expired ramen noodles. When you buy a small plastic pack of ramen noodles, check out the print that indicates the expiration or best before date. This information only tells you that the food is best consumed on or before this date.
So the expiration date of ramen noodles is not really related to safety reasons but to the taste and texture of the noodles. For example, the noodles may have a stale taste and instead of long strands of noodles, you will get several small broken pieces of ramen noodles. The flavoring will also taste a little different, but it does not mean that it is bad for your health.

In case of a crisis or emergency when there is a big chance of starving, the stale taste of expired ramen noodles will not matter. Of course, some people’s taste buds are more sensitive than others so it is all up to you whether you want to eat a packet of expired ramen noodles or not.

Why Ramen has a Long Shelf Life

There are a number of things why ramen noodles last for a long time, some even go as far as to say that they last forever. For one, instant noodles undergo a dehydration process wherein moisture is removed from the food item to prevent the growth of microorganisms that can lead to spoilage, giving dehydrated food a longer shelf life.

Another factor that contributes to the ramen noodles long shelf life is the preservatives added. These are chemicals used to make any food item last for a long time. This is the reason why many people do not like to eat instant ramen noodles unless absolutely necessary, like in a natural disaster or emergency situation.

Nutritional Value of Ramen

Ramen noodles are high in sodium, which is why you should avoid adding salt when cooking ramen. What you can do to make the expired ramen noodles tastier and more nutritious is to add other ingredients like canned vegetables, beans, or meat. This will surely prevent your sensitive taste buds from recognizing the stale taste of the expired ramen.

Many people associate instant noodles with foods that are bad for the health. This is true if you eat instant noodles every day, but if you do it a few times in one year, nothing bad would happen to you. Moreover, being in a dire situation often leaves you with no choice. In the event of a natural disaster or emergency, you should always choose to eat if you want to survive even if the food tastes bad and does not have any nutritional value.

Final Thoughts

Ramen noodles last for a very long time. It is a good survival food item but on a day to day basis, avoid eating instant ramen noodles as much as you can or just keep your instant ramen noodle consumption to a minimum. Read about the best machetes for preppers.


  1. I just ate ramen that expired in 2015. Taste and texture was perfectly fine.

  2. Been puking and pooping all night after eating a packet of ramen that expired a year ago

    1. I’m gonna go with “anything’s possible” but I’d say your experience is unusual. I have product over 10 years old that has been consumed as though brand new. It’s always possible there could be tiny mites or other exterior influences that compromise its integrity, but as a rule, it’s always best to get new product. It’s not so expensive that you can’t replace the old with the new and store it as best you can away from possible infestations, etc.

    2. LOL absolutely rekt, lad. Did you survive the ordeal or is there a grave I can visit and lay these expired noodle packets that I’m definitely not going to eat now?

  3. Ramen is healthy as long as you don’t use their flavor packet. Throw it away. Make them in chicken or beef broth, preferably with stock you made, add some ginger, cayenne, black pepper, onions, and mixed veggies. Call it a day. They can be very healthy if done right.

    1. I don’t feel bad about the 3yr old Ramen we ate now lol! Did prep them by boiling a lil longer. Just gotta wait n see now. If I don’t hit this thread back soon. Make your own conclusion…

  4. My mom taught me to boil them first and toss out the first batch of hot water and replace them with a new batch of water. This will rinse out the palm oil.

  5. I ate Ramen that expired in 2014, now 2016, and a day later, I suffered with multiple cases of vomiting and severe diarrhea. I suggest that expired ramen noodles should not be eaten.

  6. I just ate some that expired two years ago… Aye some from the same batch last night too… I’m fine so far… Haha

  7. So I made a pack for school the next day. I was wondering if since they where made, that they would go bad over night? Any one know?

  8. I just ate a pack that expired almost a year ago…. tastes like shit, but if i were desperate, no problemo….

  9. Just ate 4 years old pack but without seasoning onion oil and I fell just fine. They did have a bit different taste, like you could feel a liiiiitle bit of that plastic packace it’s been kept in. Other than that they were just fine.

  10. I only have some ramen noodles going on 3 month nd just wanna know it’s still good?

  11. After all the jabber above, they never do tell you what a reasonable max expiration date should be. If 18 months is for freshness, you must be able to keep them for years as an emergency backup. That would be my question. What is a usable length of time for planning a disaster packet?

    1. I’ve had ramen over six years past exp and they’re fine. Just make a note to cook them a wee bit longer than normal.

  12. In adding Ramen to your you kit is it best to break the case up and put them in zip lock bags, say two or three packages to each bag. Or just pack them away in the case?

  13. Ramen noodles are currently a big portion of my every day food consumption because of my personal economic situation. I like them because they are convenient and I eat them more as a snack than a meal. It only takes a few minutes to heat a small amount of water, just enough to start rehydrating the noodles. I just eat them with a fork. The manufacture official website gives Ramen noodles an 18 month shelf life. Healthy eating is lower on my priority list than simply getting enough calories to make it thru the day. I’ve lived thru Hurricane Katrina and 18 months in military combat zones with ramen so I’m comfortable with eating them. Hope this is helpful to you.

    1. Wow I too lived through Katrina. Been in Ga 3 months after. I stayed in a couple of schools day after til 3 months I moved here. Biloxi MS area I’m from. Hope you are doing well. Seems due to health I find myself in my situation with a packet of pho bo 2 years out of date. I ate one yesterday. Not sure if I’m sick or just from my recent issues lol. May have to eat another. I parked my camper here at parents property dont want to wake them and here I am looking up expired noodles. Hahaha. Be well.

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