Decoding the Safety of Expired Cookie Dough: Can You Still Indulge?

Can you eat expired cookie dough?

When it comes to cookies, many people like to have cookie dough on hand to satisfy their cravings. However, it’s not uncommon for people to forget about the dough they have in their refrigerator or pantry and wonder if it’s still safe to eat once it’s expired. In this article, we will explore whether or not you can eat expired cookie dough and provide some guidelines on how to determine its safety.

What is cookie dough made of?

Before we look at whether or not expired cookie dough is safe to eat, it’s important to understand what cookie dough is made of. Most cookie dough recipes contain raw eggs, which can pose a risk of bacterial contamination, such as salmonella and E. coli. Proper storage is essential to minimize these risks. Some homemade cookie dough recipes eliminate raw eggs altogether, and store-bought cookie dough typically contains preservatives to extend its shelf life.

Is it safe to use expired cookie dough?

The answer to whether you can eat expired cookie dough depends on the type of expiration date on the package. If the dough has an expiration date, it’s best to throw it away. However, if it has a “use by” date, it is more of a guideline for the optimal quality of the dough than a strict expiration date.
Expired cookie dough is safe to eat, but it’s important to use caution and inspect the dough for signs of spoilage. Some indicators of spoiled cookie dough include discoloration, changes in flavor, a rancid odor, or mold growth. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the dough.

How long is it safe to keep raw cookie dough in the refrigerator?

The shelf life of raw cookie dough in the refrigerator can vary depending on several factors:

  • Ingredients: The ingredients used in the dough, including preservatives and artificial flavors, can affect its shelf life.
  • Fillings: If the dough contains fillings, they may affect its shelf life.
  • Amount: Larger amounts of raw cookie dough can be more susceptible to environmental factors, so it’s best not to leave them out for too long.
  • Storage: Proper storage, such as refrigeration, can extend the shelf life of cookie dough.

Homemade cookie dough typically lasts 3-5 days in the refrigerator, while store-bought dough can last up to 3 weeks. It’s important to follow storage guidelines and practice food safety procedures to prevent dough spoilage.

How long does homemade vs. store-bought cookie dough last?

The shelf life of cookie dough can vary depending on whether it’s homemade or store-bought:
Store-Bought Cookie Dough: Store-bought cookie dough is designed for convenience and can last up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. If frozen, it can last up to 12 months.
Homemade Cookie Dough: Homemade cookie dough made with fresh ingredients usually has a shorter shelf life. It’s best to consume it within 3-5 days to ensure optimal quality.
Bake Sale Cookie Dough: Often used for fundraisers, this type of cookie dough falls somewhere between store-bought and homemade in terms of shelf life. Properly stored, it can last up to 1-2 weeks past its expiration date in the refrigerator and up to 9 months to a year in the freezer.
It’s important to note that these are general guidelines and that specific ingredients and storage conditions can affect the shelf life of cookie dough.

Bottom line

While it may be tempting to consume expired cookie dough, it’s important to prioritize food safety. Check the expiration date or “use by” date, inspect the dough for signs of spoilage, and follow proper storage guidelines. When in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw away any cookie dough that appears to be tainted. Enjoy your cookies safely and savor the deliciousness!


1. Can I eat cookie dough after the expiration date?

While it’s generally not recommended, cookie dough can be consumed up to 1-2 months past its expiration date if stored properly. However, it’s important to check for signs of spoilage before consumption.

2. How can I tell if cookie dough has gone bad?

Signs that cookie dough has gone bad include discoloration, a change in taste, a rancid odor, or the presence of mold. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw the dough away.

3. Is it safe to eat raw cookie dough?

Raw cookie dough carries a risk of bacterial contamination, especially if it contains raw eggs. It’s generally safer to eat cooked cookie dough to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.

4. How long will homemade cookie dough keep in the refrigerator?

Homemade cookie dough will typically last 3-5 days in the refrigerator. It’s important to store it properly in an airtight container to maintain its quality and safety.

5. Can I freeze cookie dough to extend its shelf life?

Absolutely! Freezing cookie dough can significantly extend its shelf life. It’s best to divide the dough into portions, wrap them tightly and store them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Frozen cookie dough will keep for up to 12 months.

6. Are there alternatives to raw cookie dough?

If you want to enjoy the flavors of cookie dough without the risks associated with raw consumption, edible cookie dough recipes are available. These recipes typically exclude raw eggs and are safe to eat without baking.