What Happens If You Eat Expired Instant Mashed Potatoes?

Does your pack of instant mashed potatoes smell terrible and taste weird? Are you worried about what happens if you accidentally take expired instant mashed potatoes in your meal? Don’t worry if you have taken a spoon full of these expired mashed potatoes, as it will not be deadly for you.

However, it would be great to be cautious while using any readymade food past the due date. Eating expired instant mashed potatoes can cause severe food poisoning or mild nausea because of the presence of pathogenic bacteria. The invisible growth of bacteria on the product is the primary reason you get sick. And if you are wondering what happens if you eat expired instant mashed potatoes? There’s more in the article related to this.

So continue reading to know more about instant mashed potatoes and the side effects of eating an expired pack of these potatoes.

What are instant mashed potatoes?

Firstly, you should know what instant mashed potatoes are? Instant mashed potatoes are a product produced on an industrial scale by mashing, dehydrating, and packing potatoes in sealed packages to let people avail maximum taste within a minimum time. 

Potato flakes, potato flour, and other specific additives are used to create a pack of instant mashed potatoes. You can quickly make a bowl of them at home by adding water or milk.

Is Eating expired instant mashed potatoes Bad for your health?

Yes, eating a pack of expired instant mashed potatoes can cause severe food poisoning or other problems. It is never suggested to take a product after it has expired because there can be side effects. If you take expired mashed potatoes, it results in diseases like:

  • Nausea or Food poisoning
  • Flaccid or Muscle paralysis

These diseases are caused by Clostridium Botulinum bacteria that grow on the surface of expired instant mashed potatoes. Here is a brief detail of these above-discussed diseases to help you understand the severity of the situation.

● Nausea

Nausea is the mildest side effect of accidentally eating expired instant mashed potatoes. If you feel vomity or sudden sickness after taking these potatoes, it may be because the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria infected the mashed potatoes.

The symptoms of nausea or food poisoning include vomiting, improper digestion, abdominal pain, etc. The symptoms never appear early; instead, they take 18-30 hours to appear. That’s why you are not using an expired or uncovered pack of these potatoes to avoid any serious medical condition.

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Flaccid or Muscle paralysis

Muscles allow you to move freely and are in charge of all the flexible movements of your body. When you take instant mashed potatoes polluted with the highly toxic Clostridium Botulinum, it causes stiffness in all body muscles.

This stiffness in muscles working is caused by botulism, and all the brain’s information gets blocked. The breathing muscles in the diaphragm also stop working, resulting in difficulty breathing.

It would be best not to take this thing lightly because you can be putting your life at risk using these expired instant mashed potatoes.

For how long can I store instant mashed potatoes?

You can store the pack of your favorite instant mashed potatoes for 3-5 days or a week in your refrigerator. However, placing them at room temperature for a long time isn’t recommended due to degradation. Mashed potatoes stay safe and secure in a cold and dry environment.

If you keep the instant mashed potatoes inside your refrigerator without any ounce of moisture, there are high chances that the mashed potatoes will last a little longer and can be used for serving.

By following the proper storage techniques, you can easily store your instant mashed potatoes for up to a year without being worried about the expiration or growth of bacteria.

How to enhance the life span or storage life of instant mashed potatoes?

Instant mashed potatoes look and taste delicious when served with dinner or breakfast. These are quick to cook and a perfect product for working people who don’t get enough time to make mashed potatoes at home properly.

Many people ask how to preserve or store instant mashed potatoes for a long time because they are vulnerable to room conditions. Here are a few tricks to follow for storing instant mashed potatoes efficiently.

  • Try not to open or place your instant mashed potatoes above 40 degrees F or above. Because bacteria and other toxic organisms find the best suitable temperature for growth between 40 degrees to 140 degrees F. Cold and dry places are the best place to store your instant mashed potatoes.
  • Never place your instant mashed potatoes in the refrigerator door; instead, put them on one of the shelves. There will be fluctuations in temperature at the door of the refrigerator, and instant mashed potatoes need consistent low temperature for perfect storage.
  • The instant mashed potatoes last for 5 days or a little longer in your refrigerator. If you are looking for a robust preservation method for keeping these potatoes, freeze them.
  • Once you heat or reheat your instant mashed potatoes, don’t freeze or store them again. The heating increases the temperature providing optimum conditions for the growth of bacteria. And when you restore them, the bacteria on their surface doesn’t die but grows more.
  • Also, use a no air, tightly sealed container to place the instant mashed potatoes. No oxygen and moisture also increase these potatoes’ life span and storage life
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It would be helpful if you considered all these things while trying to store the pack of your instant mashed potatoes for a long time.

Can I reuse or eat the leftover instant mashed potatoes after some time?

If you have a few quantities of instant mashed potatoes left and want to save them for later use, you can do it by using a parchment paper sheet. Place your potatoes over this sheet with clean or gloved hands, and keep them in your freezer until it gets hard.

When they get hard, please place them in a significant-high-quality, tightly sealed container to avoid any interaction of bacteria with the mashed potatoes.

A plastic bag is also an excellent option to keep your leftover potatoes. You should perform this process on leftover mashed potatoes as quickly as possible because leaving them for a long time will spoil the quality.

How do you know if your instant mashed potatoes have expired?

You can quickly get a suggestion about the expiry of your instant mashed potatoes by smelling or tasting them. If you experience an off or unusual smell or taste with small moldy outgrowth on the surface of these potatoes, then your mashed potatoes have expired. 

When do instant mashed potatoes get bad apart from the expiry date?

The quality and lifespan of instant mashed potatoes depend upon the conditions they are kept in. If you carelessly place them in an open environment at room temperature, they will hardly last for more than 2 hours. However, a sealed package of instant mashed potatoes lasts 12 to 18 months at room temperature.

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Can I freeze instant mashed potatoes after adding milk?

Yes, you can freeze instant mashed potatoes after adding milk and water and mixing well. Once the eating mixture is ready, seal the mixture in a plastic bag or air-sealed container to avoid any possible lump formation or bacterial growth. If there is no moisture and air present inside, your mashed potatoes are perfectly saved and can be used later.

Are instant mashed potatoes good for your health?

Although instant mashed potatoes are suitable for people who get significantly less time out of their busy schedule, this isn’t the complete healthy choice for many. Many factors make instant mashed potatoes quite unhealthy. These are:

●  High caloric content

Instant mashed potatoes have high calories, and when you add milk or butter, the caloric content increases to a specific alarming limit. A simple cup of mashed potatoes has more than 200 calories; adding cheese,  milk, or other creamy products will increase calories. Anyone facing issues dealing with or controlling their cholesterol level should not opt for instant mashed potatoes more often.

●  High sodium quantity

The instant mashed potatoes have a high sodium quantity; a ½ cup contains around 500 mg of sodium. This quantity is way high for people who are intolerant to excess sodium. Also, this quantity rises when you apply more salt on these potatoes during the preservation or other processes.


Instant mashed potatoes have made life easier for potato lovers who don’t get enough time to make some. However, have you ever thought to yourself, what happens if I eat expired instant mashed potatoes?

Well, you can get sick because of the growth of highly toxic bacteria on the surface of these potatoes.

Don’t eat these potatoes if you detect any smell, color, or texture changes. If you want to store your instant mashed potatoes, carefully follow the techniques and guidelines. I hope this article helped solve queries related to the expiry and storage of instant mashed potatoes.