- How long does an unopened package of crackers last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions -to maximize the shelf life of crackers (including saltines, water crackers, rice crackers, oyster crackers and animal crackers) store in a cool, dry area.
Properly stored, an unopened package of crackers will generally stay at best quality for about 6 to 9 months.
Are unopened crackers safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided they are properly stored and the package is undamaged - commercially packaged crackers will typically carry a " Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before", or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the crackers will remain at peak quality.
Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the crackers' texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, they will still be safe to consume if they have been stored properly, the package is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
How can you tell if crackers are bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the crackers: if crackers develop an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, they should be discarded.
Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here