Rancid Saltine Crackers


Endlessly Groovin'
We bought a big box of Saltines and were keeping them in the pantry in our basement. The sleeves of crackers were unopened. I had several of them with a can of sardines over a week ago, and something tasted off, but with the strong taste of the sardines I wasn't sure what.

Today when I was out my husband had a couple with peanut butter, and he couldn't eat them because they had a strong chemical odor. I brought the box upstairs when he told me, and they were over a year old, but still, they were just plain saltine crackers, they should have never smelled like chemicals/paint thinner....or???

Opened up two more sleeves and the smell was bad, had to put them in the trash in the garage so the kitchen wouldn't stink up. I never had a cracker smell like that. I looked around online and there were sooooo many complaints about bad chemical smelling saltines, dating back to 2009 and as late as 2017, but I found no site saying exactly why this rancid odor was there. Some people said their crackers were not expired, they were in good dates to eat.

Has anyone here had any bad smelling Saltines or any other type of Nabisco crackers that had to be tossed? Some people said they actually got physically sick from them. Won't be buying them anymore, I used to eat them as a kid, but they've lost their charm. :p :sick:


Redneck Hillbilly
I've never had any of them smell rancid but I have opened some that were very stale. I used to stock up on them when they were on sale, but not any more. I think it may have something to do with what they wrap them in these days. Plastic scares me... I think it's falling into wax as well. Wax paper is not what it used to be. Be careful....


Endlessly Groovin'
I don't know for sure, I thought the most would be they would be stale and not crisp anymore. But it may be something about the waxed paper sleeves like Seeker suggested. :confused:


Well-known Member
Interesting to see this, I didn't realize there were so many people out there posting complaints to the net about saltines till reading this thread and I looked around, there are loads of issues it appears. I'm finding every brand of crackers I buy to be hit or miss these days. I haven't experienced the chemical taste so much, but, something to the affect of stale and rancid, or also at times not crisp. I just never know what I will get when I buy.

Many complaints about he chemical rancid issues in link below.

My issues have been a lot like the poster from the link below not in any one brand, but for me in many brands.

Below is a post from one of the people who is feature in the stories in the link:

"Premium Saltine Crackers
Dear Sirs,

I am a most frequent buyer of your products. One item in particular,
“Premium Saltine Crackers”.
After years of eating Saltines with my King Oscar Sardines, I have now encountered an issue with the Saltine crackers consistency as noted in the following.
Item #1: These crackers have a strange consistence on the top of the cracker. Not sure of the problem but please note crackers and the box id’s.
Item #2: Crumbles, yes Crumbles! I try to snap these crackers in half, in most attempts they just crumble in to small uneatable pieces or too small to place a sardine on! This is causing me to eat more crumbs, eat more crackers which defeats the purpose of eating the sardines…..Trying to get a Saltine piece big enough to Support a Sardine. So, this brings me to next marked sleeve of Saltines….
Item # 3: Same Item as stated on attached package label, Premium Saltine Crackers but a totally different tasting Saltine and packaged differently. These Saltines snap in half and maintain their consistency! Why? What is the issue in making the same Saltine? Why not the same cracker in every pack?
I have purchased Premium Saltines in every supermarket in Mt Pleasant, SC that carries your product and all in the 40 counts, 4-sleeve box have the same crumbling affect. Yes, they crumble into small pieces, whereas the Walmart’s Fresh Packs snap in half and are totally different. Why?

I would appreciate a response this letter and to the reason why the name is the same but the consistency of the Saltine is different. They are not the same cracker!"
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Ruth n Jersey

Well-known Member
I had that happen with oysterettes. I think Nabisco puts them out also. I now keep all the leftover crackers etc. in a plastic or glass container with a tight fitting lid. To be fair to Nabisco,the same thing happened with La Choy Choy mein noodles.


Well-known Member
Batavia, NY
I do not usually buy saltines, but now that I think of it, had the same issue with a box of store brand Ritz -type crackers. Not as bad as what you describe, and I just put it to them being a different brand of the cracker.


New Member
Holy cow! I know this thread is old but tonight put peanut butter on saltines. Realized when taking a bite they smelt like petroleum. Means to say I threw them out and went and opened a new bag. Same thing a petroleum awful smell. I have never come across this with crackers before. These were the Kroger brand. 🤮🤢