Making Homemade Noodles Safely

“What is the best way to store homemade noodles?” was an AnswerLine question.  The caller related how her grandmother used to make large batches of homemade noodles, cut, and dry them on a clothes drying rack or on dowel rods between the kitchen chairs.  After the noodles were thoroughly dry, they were packaged in large tins and placed in the pantry for future use.

That was the method of yesteryear.  NOT today. The University of Illinois has a great publication on the ease of making homemade noodles and how to store them properly.  Here are some highlights from that publication that pertain specifically to homemade noodle food safety:

  • Noodles are pasta but different from other pasta because noodles contain eggs or egg yolks while other pasta does not. The FDA stipulates that a “noodle” must contain 5.5% of the total solids as egg solids which makes the raw egg ingredient a food safety concern.
  • Homemade noodles should be used right away or refrigerated for up to three days.
  • Fresh noodles may be dried.  At room temperature, they should only be allowed to hang for drying no more than two hours to prevent possible salmonella growth.  A food dehydrator may also be used to dry noodles; recommendations for drying in a food dehydrator are to dry for two to four hours at 135F.  Once noodles are dried, they should be packed in an airtight container or plastic bag and stored in the freezer for three to six months for best quality.  I usually add an extra step when I make noodles for the freezer; after allowing them to air dry for 2 hours, I scatter them on baking sheets and place them in the freezer for a couple of hours before packaging.  With the extra step, the noodles are easier to use as they usually don’t stick together.

Here are a couple of other food safety issues to consider when making homemade noodles:

  • As with any dough that contains raw eggs and flour, the dough should never be tasted.
  • Avoid contamination by having a clean working surface, clean hands, and clean equipment.  A cutting board that has been used for raw meat or poultry should not be used for noodle rolling and cutting.
  • Just like other foods that are left at room temperature for longer than two hours, cooking or reheating noodles may not make them safe to eat.  When food items are left out too long or not handled properly, some bacteria can form a heat-resistant toxin that cooking simply can’t destroy.

Homemade noodles are easy to make and are a delightful addition to soups and casseroles.  One only needs to practice a few food safety tips to avoid any potential risks.

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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49 thoughts on “Making Homemade Noodles Safely

  1. Thanks for the article, looks amazing! This is a very useful post for me. This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is a very nice one and gives in-depth information. Thanks for this nice article. SaranaPoker

  2. My noodles turned out superb! I was looking for a way to safely dry my noodles and was not sure if the food dehydrator would work. After reading this I gave it a go and it was perfect! I make all of my egg noodles from scratch and this article gave me confidence to prepare away without worrying about making my family ill. The only adjustment in the recipe was a slightly longer boiling time.

  3. Marie, I’m so pleased you have found the food dehydrator as a great way to dry your homemade noodles! Thanks for the positive feedback.

  4. Tamara, thank you for your inquiry. Once dried, the noodles keep very well in the freezer for 3-6 months, perhaps up to 8 months. There is a loss of quality with longer freezing times but not a food safety issue. In the refrigerator, they should be used within 3 days due to food safety concerns.

  5. Hello. Great article, but I’m a bit confused. How long can fresh noodles that have been dried in a dehydrator at 135 degrees F, and put in an airtight container last in the pantry? I see you keep referring to freezing or refrigerating but nothing about stored in the pantry. Thanks.

  6. Phillip, thank you for your inquiry. Despite being dry, homemade egg noodles should not be stored in the pantry. Even in a dry state, homemade noodles are still a ‘raw’ food having been made from eggs and flour. Raw eggs may contain a type of pathogenic bacteria called Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning. Flour is classified as a minimally processed agricultural ingredient and is not a ready-to-eat product. Through the growing process, wheat can come into contact with harmful bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella via wild animal waste. If pathogens get into the wheat plant, they stay with the seed head in the milling process. When flour is used in baked products, the baking temperatures will generally inactivate any pathogens in the flour. However, harmful bacteria remain active in uncooked flour and when ingested will cause illness or worse. For these reasons, the noodles need to be frozen or refrigerated as the blog directs.

  7. Hi! I left homemade egg pasta dough in fridge 3 days… didn’t roll it or eat it.

    Ok to freeze the n defrost and roll out same day I eat? Or do I risk salmonella

  8. Hi Ellen, thank you for contacting AnswerLine. The USDA recommends that any recipe including raw eggs be cooked within 24 hours. Both the raw flour and eggs are potential risks for salmonella.

  9. Despite being dry, homemade egg noodles should not be stored in the pantry. Even in a dry state, homemade noodles are still a ‘raw’ food having been made from eggs and flour. Raw eggs may contain a type of pathogenic bacteria called Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning

  10. Question: I would like to make the dough and freeze it prior to rolling and cutting it, which seems possible given I can freeze dried noodles. Can I make the dough, freeze it, then thaw to roll out and cut the day I plan to cook it without issues?

  11. Melissa, thank you for contacting AnswerLine. Great question! You can store pasta dough in the freezer for later use. To do this, form the pasta dough into a ball, dust with a bit of flour, and wrap tightly in a zip freezer bag. Frozen pasta dough will keep in the freezer for 3-6 months when wrapped well.

  12. With homemade noodles can you cook them then fry them to store in the pantry or do they still have to be frozen? Can they be sold at farmers markets? Thoughts please.

  13. Hi Margaret, I see that you have two questions related to homemade noodles. It appears that the link to the University of Illinois publication in the blog is broken and likely has been taken down so the link is no longer valid. I suspect that the recipe may have been in that publication as I am not finding it in the replies. The University of Illinois Extension has since taken a new stance on the issue of freezing noodles in a publication dated 2/21 based on a Better Home and Gardens recipe. The author of this piece, in reference to dry noodles, states: “Store noodles in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month.” This is the only resource that indicates this. All other resources still say, as does the blog, that homemade noodles should be stored in the freezer. The Illinois Extension piece references a recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, 2021. As for the question of farmers market–please check with your state agency regulating farmer’s markets as to their stance on the issue and requirements.

  14. Marlene my Mom and Dad made homemade noodles all the time. They made them, rolled them out and cut them and then left them to dry overnight and we never got sick from eating them. They were even dried on newspaper! I don’t do that because of the ink but I don’t understand how people sell noodles at craft sales safely.

  15. Hi Karen, you raise a very valid concern. We talked to our food safety specialist about that very issue recently. She said that it is regulated by the various health departments of individual states. My grandparents and mother also did as your parents did hanging them on a wooden clothes drier. Times have changed and we’ve learned much about food safety.

  16. The recipe handed down to me has white vinegar in it. Does the vinegar effect both the raw egg and flour in a way that negates the concern on Shelf stable storage?

  17. Hi Cyndi, there is not sufficient vinegar used in a noodle recipe to insure shelf safe storage. Some older noodle and pie crust recipes include a small amount of vinegar. The acidic properties of vinegar inhibit gluten. Once liquid and flour are combined, gluten starts forming and with manupulation, the dough toughens. Adding an acid hinders the gluten making the dough easier to handle or roll out. Because vinegar may hinder strong gluten development, it may also make egg noodles them slightly more absorbent; when used in a soup or casserole, the vinegar allows them to take on more of the flavor of whatever they are cooked in.

  18. I’m confused. My noodles are dry. Can I leave them on a cookie sheet until tomorrow when I plan to cook them?

  19. Is there a safe way to store on shelf. Cook then dry then airtight containers? After dehydrating airtight container?

  20. I have noodle dough I put in a plastic bag, I didn’t make the noodles yet. The dough has been in the refrigerator for 6 days in a hefty plastic bag. Is it safe to use the dough to make noodles?

  21. Hi Elizabeth, Per the Cornell University Fresh Food Guide, fresh noodle dough can be safely refrigerated in a closed container for 2 days.

  22. This is very interesting, Thank you for sharing your article. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further post thanks once again.

  23. It’s an interesting article, and I am now going to put my fresh noodles in the fridge tonight for tomorrow. But I keep thinking about frosted cakes which are left out all of the time. All the frostings that I make contain raw eggs and it’s never been an issue for anyone in decades and decades!

  24. Hi Tonia, Glad to know that the blog encouraged you to refrigerate your homemade noodles. Thanks for reading. In regard to frostings–anything with egg or dairy in it really should be refrigerated. Due to the various ingredients and quantities that may be incorporated into a homemade frosting, many frostings require refrigeration to be unquestionably safe. Acidity (pH), water activity (Aw), and percent of soluble solids (%Brix) play a big role in determining the safety of a frosting.
    The pH of a frosting is affected by the ingredients used. Frostings made with dairy or eggs tend to increase pH making them more basic than acidic. Therefore, frosting made with cream cheese and whipped cream or eggs require refrigeration as they can spoil and mold despite the fact that they are laden with sugar known for its ability to inhibit microbial growth.
    Water activity (Aw) is the measure of available water found in a food product. The FDA has established that a water activity (Aw) value greater than 0.85 (scale of 0.0-1.0) is an indicator of a high-risk food product capable of facilitating the growth of microorganisms in the product. Sugar may lower the Aw while the addition of water or dairy can increase the Aw; fat has no effect on Aw.
    Percent soluble solids (%Brix) in a frosting is determined by the amount of sugar available to bind up the water to reduce bacterial growth. As %Brix increases, Aw decreases.
    Due to these factors, frostings are considered TCS foods, foods that require either temperature or time control for food safety. TCS foods may allow pathogens to grow and possibly produce toxins when held at temperatures between 41-135 degrees F. To be considered a non-TCS Food, the percent soluble solids (%Brix) must be above 65% and the Aw value less than 0.85.1 To calculate these values and learn more, see Safety of Frostings and Fillings>>>> by KState Research and Extension.

  25. Thank you for the informative article! I am looking forward to trying the homemade noodle recipe.

  26. Thanks for the tips!
    My girlfriend’s mama always let the cooked food at room temperature all day long, I know its not correct but I could never change her habitats. Now its once again confirmed my concerns, what I can do is eating less food kept in such ways.

  27. Without knowing what specific allergies or dietary restrictions are problematic, the question is hard to address. Since homemade noodles are largely eggs and wheat flour, those with allergies to such should avoid pasta made with those ingredients. There are recipes for gluten-free and eggless noodles; with some additional searching, there is likely a recipe for gluten-egg-free noodles as well.

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