Can candy canes go bad?

In this brief study, we will answer the question, “can candy go bad?” Additionally, we will explain the shelf life and storage of candy canes.

Can candy canes go bad?

The shelf life of a candy cane is about five years. Candy canes can last for such a long time because they contain a high concentration of sugar and do not absorb much moisture.

A box of candy canes should never be left alone in a heated environment or exposed to direct sunlight for a prolonged length of time. Additional freezing options are available, but this is not required due to the long shelf life of candy canes themselves.

How Long Do Candy Canes Keep Their Freshness?

Providing that the candy cane is maintained in immaculate condition and that the wrapper is not punctured or broken, a candy cane has a shelf life of five years.

There is no need to throw away any leftover candy canes at the end of the holiday season. Most likely, all of the candy canes were fully edible at the time of consumption.

What Makes Candy Canes So Long-Lasting?

When it comes to shelf life, there is no other treat that comes close to a candy cane. The question is, how can candy canes manage to last so long?

This is since it contains certain components. A candy cane is composed of sugar, corn syrup, flavoring, food coloring, and water, among other ingredients.

The mixture of sugar, corn syrup, and water results in a sugar solution that is very concentrated in flavor. The sugar solution contained inside a candy cane is very concentrated; bacteria cannot live in such a sweet environment.

Signs that your candy canes have reached the end of their lifespan

When determining whether or not your candy cane has gone bad, there are many signs to watch out for.

  • Sweet canes are well-known around the world for their mild to medium peppermint flavor, so it’s a big disappointment when you rip off the wrapper and put the candy into your mouth only to find that it’s completely flavorless.
  • The wrapper of the candy cane should easily pull away from the cane. As a result, if you are having trouble removing the wrapper off the candy cane, this is a signal that you should avoid eating it.
  • A hot candy cane is the most likely cause of a sticky wrapper that will not come loose from the candy cane. During storage in its box or bag, if the candy cane becomes too hot, the candy within the plastic wrapping loses moisture and becomes sticky.
  •  Never eat a sticky sugar cane since it will make you sick. Candy canes that are dry and crisp are excellent. A wet candy cane implies that moisture and heat have been mixed, with the result that the sugar content may have been affected.
  • Unless you ripped the candy cane accidentally while taking it from the box or putting it on the table, avoid consuming one that has a torn wrapper or has been pierced. Because of the broken wrapper, the candy cane has been exposed to elements, bacteria, and even insects.

Is it OK to eat a candy cane that has expired?

No, you should not eat it after expiration. It’s impossible to tell which insects chewed their way through the plastic and downed this very tasty and tempting treat. It’s also possible that a tiny hole has been punched in the wrapper at some point over the previous two weeks, enabling germs to enter. Even if it seems to be in great shape, it should be thrown away. Eating expired candy won’t kill you, but it will have bad side effects.

The Most Effective Method of Storing Candy Canes

Candy canes are very easy to preserve since they are packed in their original packaging. You may just store them in their box or bag in the back of the refrigerator or your car’s trunk when you get them home. To avoid insects from chewing through the plastic wrap and spoiling this delicious delicacy, store them in a cupboard with the lid firmly closed.

Because sugar constitutes the bulk of the ingredients in a candy cane, this confection is particularly attractive to ants, roaches, mice, rats, and silverfish, among other insects. If you have a bug problem in your house, keeping the candy canes in the refrigerator is a better option.

If you don’t have enough shelf space in your refrigerator, place the package of candy canes in a heavy-duty freezer-grade ziplock bag. Pests will be deterred from smelling the sugar and munching their way through the freezer-grade ziplock bag because of the thickness of the plastic.


In this brief study, we answered the question, “can candy go bad?” Additionally, we explained the shelf life and storage of candy canes.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.