Dried egg noodles are a simple food with only a few ingredients -- flour, eggs, water and salt. Like most grain-based foods, they last a long time in storage. Although they're not likely to spoil if you store them correctly, their quality and flavor deteriorate over time. When in doubt, throw them out.
Most manufacturers place a "use-by" date on bags of egg noodles. Because egg noodles are low in protein and low in fat, they rarely spoil, but they may lose flavor or quality. The use-by date indicates the date to use them by for the best quality. Egg noodles can be used for at least one to two years after that date, although they might not taste as good.
How long egg noodles last depends almost entirely on your storage methods. If stored in a warm pantry, they'll lose quality quickly. Store them in a dark, cool location and they'll last a long time. When it comes to food storage, the enemies are light and oxygen. If you can remove those two components, food lasts much longer. If you store egg noodles unopened in their bags inside tin canisters with oxygen absorber packets in the cans, they can last up to 30 years.
Although egg noodles can normally be stored safely for long periods, certain conditions can render them unsafe. If the egg noodles have been exposed to moisture, they may develop mold. If you live in a humid climate, they won't last as long. Discard any egg noodles that are discolored or have an off-flavor or odor. When it comes to food safety, it's better to err on the side of caution.
Low in sodium and fat, dried egg noodles are a good source of carbohydrates. Add them to chicken noodle soup or stir them into creamy casseroles. Egg noodles form the base for traditional hearty dishes, such as beef Stroganoff, chicken paprika and beef Burgundy. Cook them in boiling water until they're tender and drain before serving. Once dried egg noodles have been cooked, they must be refrigerated and used within two days. Store fresh egg noodles in the refrigerator and use them by the sell date on the package -- typically a few weeks. You can also freeze fresh noodles for longer storage.
Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."