During the manufacturing process, the chips are dried, riding off moisture. They are packed in bags with low humidity air that helps keep them fresh and crispy. When exposed after opening the bag, they quickly absorb moisture, making them lose their crispness and freshness. The oil used to fry the chips can get putrid when exposed to moisture causing the chips to become stale.
Can You Eat Stale Chips?
Yes. Stale chips are safe for consumption up to 2 to 3 months after expiration. There will be a change in texture and taste, but that does not mean they are not safe to consume. When sealed, the chips could last for several months after expiration. Unopened bags allow air and moisture that alters the quality of the chips making the texture and taste get to your nerves. Stale chips will not make you sick. They contain a high amount of salt, which is a natural preservative.
Signs Of Stale Chips
The first sign that your chips are stale is when they are passed the best before date. You might notice manufacturers don’t put an expiry date on the packaging of the chip. The reasoning is that even after the best before date, the chips are safe for consumption, but they cannot guarantee freshness and quality. Stale chips will also change crispiness, taste, texture, and in some cases, color changes.
When To Discard Stale Chips
If you can not tolerate the texture and taste of stale chips, it’s okay to trash them. When you notice any of these changes, it’s time to let your chips go;
- Color changes to black, yellow, or gray.
- Foul smell
- Unpleasant taste
How To Enhance Shelf Life
The safest way to enhance the shelf life of your chips is by preventing them from getting exposed to moisture. You could try the below tips for a longer shelf life;
Store them in a cool, dry place.
For a long time, we have believed the best way to store chips in their original bags, but the best way to store chips is in an airtight mason or plastic jar.
Use chips clips. If you still want to store your chips in their packaging, you can get chips clips specially designed for keeping the bag airtight. The clips come in different sizes, from mini to jumbo sizes. You can always get one suitable for your bag.
Use Rubber Bands. This is an easy, cheap way of keeping your chips fresh. Tie a rubber band on the top of your opened chips bag and store the chips bag in a dry place.
If you have a bag re-sealer, you could use it on your chips bag. If they have lost crispiness, put them in the oven or microwave and let them cool. Place them back in the bag, ensuring you remove excess air. Reseal the bag, ready for the next snack time. A vacuum sealer is preferable for chips.
You may discover that your chips will still lose crispness even after folding the bag. There is a probability that you have been doing it the wrong way. Start by removing excess air from the bag of chips. Fold both corners inwardly and then roll the fold over to the center such that the seams are wrapped in the center. Clip the bag at the center. Proper folding prevents humid air from ruining your chips.
As odd as it may sound, chips are frozen for longer shelf life. Put the chips in an airtight container and place them in the freezer. You could also freeze them in their original bags. The chips may get crispier and colder but won’t get soggy if well sealed. If you need a cool snack during summer, you could toss your chips into the freezer and enjoy the cooling sensation! However, avoid refrigerating chips. A refrigerator has high humidity and may make your chips soggy and lose crispness.
How To Re-Crisp Chips
You could make your chips crispy again after losing their freshness. You could use an oven or a microwave. When using a microwave, put the chips in a microwave-friendly container and heat them for 20 seconds. Do not heat chips in their bag in a microwave. It is a fire hazard. When using an oven, bake them in a lined baking pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Keep on checking them out to prevent burning.
Side Effects Of Excess Consumption Of Chips
Too much of anything is poisonous, so it is with chips. A 100-gram pack of chips contains 500 gms of salt and a high level of saturated fats that are harmful to your health.
Some of the health disorders associated with chips are;
- High blood pressure could lead to cardiovascular complications such as heart failure and stroke.
- They might lead to weight gain.
- They could lead to an increased risk of the growth of cancer cells. Processed food contains a chemical known as acrylamide, which is carcinogenic, and may lead to cancer when consumed in large quantities.
- Trans Fat in the chips could lead to infertility.
- They might lead to poor mental health and aggravate stress and symptoms of depression such as anxiety, insomnia, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts.
- Too much salt may lead to hypothyroidism and increase the risk of thyroid cancer.
In conclusion, you can eat stale chips long after the best before the date to 2 to 3 months. They could lose their crispiness, flavor, quality, and taste, but they are still safe to consume. However, if you notice molds, change in color to black, gray, or yellow, foul smell, and foul taste, your chips are no longer safe for consumption and could cause food poisoning.