Can eating expired candy kill you?

In this article, we answer the following question: Can eating expired candy kill you? We also talk about the food that can be eaten even if their expiration date has passed.

Can eating expired candy kill you?

Eating expired candy cannot kill you. Most sweets are good and you can eat them after their expiration date; however, its quality, flavor, and texture will decrease after a while. So you can enjoy them without affecting your health (unless you break a tooth).

The shelf life of candy is related to its ingredients. Jelly Belly, the largest producer of candy in the US, cautions that “if your colored beans are difficult to bite into, chances are you have old beans on hand.” Similar candies with chewy, sugary centers, like gummies, also dry out over time and become brittle and difficult to eat. 

Given this, the general recommendations suggest placing them in the pantry, away from light and moisture. Although certain sweets like chocolates can be fine in the refrigerator, except for those with nuts and dried fruits.

Any product that contains a large amount of sugar, such as jars of jam or honey, is safe if eaten after the expiration date. Even jelly beans tend to spoil.

Is it true that chocolate does not have an expiration date?

Chocolate can last a long time. In fact, in some foods, the expiration date indicates only the end of the freshness of the food plus there is a health risk from that moment. 

However, it will always be necessary to take into account the specific components of each food and the conditions in which it is stored, as well as whether the food has already had contact with the environment since it can become contaminated with microorganisms and spoil prematurely.

In the case of chocolate, in order for it to retain its organoleptic characteristics and therefore remain pleasant to consume, it depends mainly on 4 factors to consider: Time, heat, humidity, and smell. It should not be allowed to grow old. The ideal temperature to store it is 13 to 18 ° C at a relative humidity of 60%. 

At a higher temperature, although it does not influence its nutritional value or health safety, it causes changes in the texture and appearance of the chocolate. Excessive humidity causes loss of shine and a white tone appears on its surface, due to the fact that the chocolate fat comes to the surface. Also stay isolated from strange odors, since the chocolate fat absorbs them easily, making the product inedible.

The chocolate is prepared from cocoa beans, cocoa mass, cocoa powder, or lean cocoa powder and sugar, with or without the addition of cocoa butter.

What foods can be eaten even if their expiration date has passed?

Foods that cannot be consumed after the expiration date are those in which pathogenic microorganisms are likely to grow and/or to produce short-term physical-chemical alterations that can be harmful to health and/or that can hardly be detected by the consumer. It is the case of:

  • Eggs
  • Fresh cut or peeled fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh milk, fresh cheese, and fresh cream
  • Fresh fruit squeezed juices
  • Fresh fish and seafood
  • Fresh meats and charcuterie (except cured products)
  • Dairy desserts (except yogurts)
  • Fresh pasta

Food that you can eat up to 15 days later:

They are those in which it is probable that microbiological and/or physicochemical changes will occur in the short term, but which will not be harmful to health and / or will be easily detectable by the consumer:

  • Yogurts
  • Sliced bread

The ones you can eat 1 month after the expiration date:

Microbiological alterations are unlikely to occur, but physicochemical alterations are likely to take place in the medium term, which in any case will not be harmful to health and will be seen easily by the consumer.

  • Sweet cupcake pastries
  • Nuts
  • Sliced cured meat products

With 3 months of consumption extension:

They are foods in which it is unlikely that microbiological alterations will occur, but that long-term physical-chemical alteration will occur, which in any case will not be harmful to health and/or will be easy to detect. Among others:

  • Oil
  • Cereals known as ‘breakfast’
  • Stuffed dry pasta
  • UHT drinks (ultra-pasteurized)
  • Cookies and dry pastries
  • Packaged sauces
  • Filled chocolates and bonbons
  • Butter and margarine
  • Uncut cured meat products
  • Toasted bread

The ones you can eat up to 1 year later:

Foods in which it is very unlikely that microbiological or physicochemical alterations will occur in the very long term. Among others:

  • Salt and sugar
  • Dried legumes in grain and cereals in grain
  • Dry pasta
  • Coffee and infusions
  • Powdered milk (non-maternal and infant), condensed and evaporated
  • Chocolate
  • Honey
  • Canned food and canned food in a glass jar
  • Mineral water

Food Safety and Inspection Service: FSIS confirms that as long as the storage instructions are respected and the packaging is not damaged, the food remains safe even if its preferred consumption date has passed. 

And it indicates that, in any case, before throwing away a product for having passed that date it is convenient to check if it looks good if the packaging is intact, as well as if it smells and tastes good. 

And of course, you have to follow the specific instructions for each product. If a bottle indicates, for example, ‘once opened consume in three days’, it must be done this way to ensure that its contents are consumed in good condition. 

The bottom line

In this article, we answered the following question: Can eating expired candy kill you? We also talked about the food that can be eaten even if their expiration date has passed.

Eating expired candy will not kill you, however, its quality, flavor, and texture will decrease after a while. 

When eating expired food, it will always be necessary to take into account the specific components of each food and the conditions in which it is stored, as well as whether the food has already had contact with the environment since it can become contaminated with microorganisms and spoil prematurely.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

References

WebMD.com

Who.int

Foodsafety.gov

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.