0canucksgirl 7 years ago ReplyUpvoteHow long is "a long time"? and where was the container stored?Flour is best kept in a cool, dry place. The freezer is the best (1-2 years), followed by a refrigerator (1 year) and lastly a pantry or cupboard (up to 8-9 months). Whole wheat flour has a shorter shelf life because it contains more oils than an all-purpose or self-rising flour and should not be kept in a pantry or cupboard. The best thing to do is check the flour for any "flour bugs". (Sift through it and look for anything that doesn't look like flour). Then smell it for any signs of spoilage. Flour should have a fresh, mild smell.If you use flour thats too old, it won't rise as well as a fresher flour, so if you're baking bread or a cake, you won't have as good results.In this case I would use the saying, "When in doubt, throw it out".