Commercial banana bread, packed with preservatives, may last longer than the loaf you make at home, but it doesn’t taste as yummy. Although moist, homemade banana bread has a shorter shelf life than commercial bread; it remains safe to eat for a longer period of time when you store it in the refrigerator or the freezer. To enjoy homemade banana bread safely, follow the storage guidelines of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a public health agency.
Storage at Room Temperature
At room temperature, banana bread stays safe to eat for about two days, when you store it wrapped loosely in foil or plastic to keep it from drying out. If you plan to send a loaf through the mail, use the shipping option that guarantees the bread arrives at its destination within the two-day time period, and let your recipient know that the bread needs refrigeration once it arrives.
Storage in the Refrigerator
Cold temperatures slow down the growth rate of bacteria in foods if your refrigerator registers between 40 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature range recommended by Foodsafety.gov. At those temperatures, banana bread stays fresh and safe to eat for up to seven days when you wrap it in a plastic bag, foil or any air-tight container. Let the bread sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving it so you can fully taste and smell the bread.
When wrapped well, banana bread stays good for up to six months in a freezer set to 0 degrees F or below. Wrap the bread tightly in foil, and then put the foil-wrapped loaf in plastic to prevent as much air as possible from reaching the bread and drying it out. If you slice the bread before placing it in the freezer, you can take out individual slices as you want them — the slices come apart easily once they’re frozen.
Whether you store banana bread on your kitchen counter, the refrigerator or the freezer, let it cool completely before wrapping it. If you rush the wrapping, the residual heat from bread will condense into drops of water and cause the bread to become soggy. If the bread dries out after a few days or months of storage, moisten it after thawing by pouring on a glaze, made from orange juice, lemon juice or peanut butter to add both moisture and flavor.
References and ResourcesStill Tasty: Banana Bread -- Freshly Baked
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Mail Order Food Safety
Foodsafety.gov: Refrigerate Promptly
The Kitchn: Quick Tip: Slice Loaves of Bread Before Freezing
Cooking Light: How to Make Banana Bread