Home Featured Articles Ramen Exposed: Does Ramen Expire?

Ramen Exposed: Does Ramen Expire?

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.

While I’m not a health freak, I still like my own food (and yes, Ramen is a part of it!) to be a non-damaging to my body as possible.  To that end, I strongly suggest organic ramen if you can fit it into your budget.  Here’s a great starter pack from Amazon.


Check Lowest Price

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 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. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. Today is July 18 2017. I cooked a pack of ramen noodle and thought to myself that it was tasting different. I looked at expiation date and it said 4-29-2015. I was concerned, but was told Ramen noodles can last way beyond expiration date. I was glad because I really like them. I was fine and I learned to check the expiration dates to rememdy the taste.

  8. I just ate a pack that has been sitting in my filing cabinet for almost 3 year. Mixed it with a can of tuna that was also sitting in there and sriracha . Tasted amazing.

  9. 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.


  11. 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.

    • 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…

  12. Just ate a pack that expired in 2013 about 5 minutes aside from being rather tasty they caused me to grow large antlers out of my butt making it very difficult to sit down and totally ruined the leather on my sofa.

    • 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.

    • 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?

  13. I just had ramen noodles that were in storage for a year and a half. They didn’t seem to cook right. Normally that white texture goes away after cooking for four minutes but this stayed white and something tasted off. Only reason I’m on this site to look it up is because I’m drunk and haven’t bought new groceries yet or thrown the old ones away and I kinda wanna try it again except cooking them longer…

    • I have ramen noodles that expired a year ago, still fine, I make oriental cole slaw with them plus heat with water for a quick soup – Nothing wrong with them – they taste fine and have never gotten sick.

  14. It seems a lot of the people who post about ramen consumption on this website were male so I wanted to share my experience as a female (if that makes a difference) . Visited my dad, he didn’t eat any ramen we sent him (shinramen) marked to expire April 2016. I took the whole packet home. Eating my second packet (after a couple months) – I’m fine. (Almost 4 years later). I add blue cheese and a glass of wine. The end. Yepp long ass message when I could’ve been straight to the point. Ha.

  15. Ok…I bought cases of Ramen for shtf situations. I don’t know why this is…..some are good and some were bad. The bad one smell rancid..even unopened..so I threw them. As long as they don’t smell bad…they are good. .mine expired 2 years ago (2017)

  16. Okay, it’s 2/11/2020. I came here after cracking open a couple of Maruchan beef ramens that had expired in 20-frigging-14!!!!! I had no idea these had been lying around here so damn long! But when I opened the packs, they smelled NASTY inside! The only thing I can figure is the residual oil went bad (they’re fried, right?) and they just smelled like seriously old vegetable oil. So I tossed those packets and opened a “new” box that had expired in July of 2019. Those still smelled fine, although after smelling truly bad ones I thought I could detect the beginnings of that bad oil smell. I ate two packs anyway, but I am not confident that the freshness is there. So now I want to buy a new box to compare and be sure before I decide if I should chuck this current box. I haven’t had ramen in awhile and just had a craving for it tonight. Now, for those who say you can eat ten-year-old ramen noodles, I think that has to come with a caveat… IF they smell right!!!! Not all ramen is fried. Some is heat dried. Perhaps those CAN keep for a decade, but not fried ones! It smelled like the inside of an antique wood cabinet or something, and was not at ALL appetizing. YMMV! Happy eating!

  17. I tried a Neoguri Udon that expired 2 plus years ago in 2018 . My son cooked 2 packages during the quarantine period just for the heck of it.

    No insect infestation and the udon was structurally sound. The udon tasted and smelled musty like old books. I masked the taste with a healthy dose of chilli flakes. We both survived with no upset stomach.

  18. expiration of a product has nothing to do with the date printed on food packaging . that date is an industry scam to make gullible consumers waste food and buy more . but ramen DOES go rancid after a while because of the content of frying oil and the poor sealing of the package, envelope or cup . if ramen is spoiled, it does smell rancid when opening the package . seasoning pouch becomes hard after only a few weeks, which indicates oxydation/hydrolization, and i wouldnt use it .

  19. I ate 2 years out of date Ramen last week and tonight. I found nothing wrong either time. I will advise though, if the pack is swollen like a can toss it. If there is no air in it look for holes in the package. It may be torn or invaded by bugs. This is personal experience. As with anything out of date use your eyes, nose and taste buds. I’ve eaten 2 1/2 year old canned Soup without a problem. I won’t say which brand.

Leave a Reply to Harold Swift Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here