Breakfast cereals can become stale, develop odors, lose flavor and even develop mold if improperly stored. Storing your cereal in a proper manner can ensure crisp, fresh cereal for a longer period of time. The 'best by' dates are manufacturer estimates of how long the product will remain at peak quality. Most cereals will be safe to consume for a period of time longer than the recommended date. Any cereal that develops mold or a like substance should be discarded for health reasons.
Store previously unopened boxes of cereal in a pantry or a like location that is cool and dry. Factory sealed cereal can be stored this way for up to a year.
Store opened cereal in a pantry or like location that is cool and dry after having folded the top of the open bag and clipped a chip clip over the top. Cereal can be stored this way for up to a week and maintain optimal freshness.
Store larger boxes of opened cereal in a plastic cereal storage container with an air-tight seal. Look for containers with a pour spout for easy access and resealing. Cereal stored in these containers maintain freshness for up to a month. Label the storage date on a piece of tape placed on the container.
To restore crispness to your cereal, spread the stale cereal on a baking pan and bake for five minutes at 350 degrees.