Can you freeze chocolate candy bars?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze chocolate candy bars?”, and how to store chocolate safely?

Can you freeze chocolate candy bars?

Yes, you can freeze chocolate candy bars. Chocolate can be stored for long periods at temperatures below -18°C (0°F), as freezing is known to be one of the most effective ways to extend the shelf life of food (7).

Freezing can reduce the rate of microbial growth as well as the rate in which chemical and enzymatic reactions occur, which are responsible for the deterioration of food. However, freezing is not able to eliminate the preexisting microbial contamination.

The shelf life of frozen food has, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, an unlimited shelf life. However, the sensory quality of food can be severely reduced throughout extended storage (8).

How to freeze chocolate candy bars?

To freeze chocolate candy bars, use freezer bags to freeze-store your chocolate bars. They will stay fresh for about a year but will remain safe beyond this time. 

Chocolate candy bars must be totally safe from moisture. In the presence of moisture, sugar bloom can occur in chocolate. When chocolate is stored in high humidity environments, moisture may condense on the surface; this brings sugar from the inside to the surface, giving a gray or white appearance (3). 

What is the shelf life of frozen chocolate candy bars?

The shelf life of chocolate is 24 months. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, frozen food can be stored for an indefinite time, although chemical and enzymatic reactions occur, such as oxidation of lipids, resulting in the generation of off-odors and off-flavors (7,8). 

In the case of chocolate, extended storage causes the reordering of the fat crystals, which result in the loss of texture and sensory quality. 

However, the shelf life depends on several factors, such as the composition of the chocolate, the quantity and the quality of the ingredients used in the fabrication process, the packaging used and the temperature of the freezer (7).

What is the shelf life of chocolate candy bars in the pantry?

The shelf-life of chocolate depends on the composition of the chocolate. The presence of antioxidants in the cocoa liquor are said to reduce the susceptibility of plain and milk chocolate to oxidative rancidity. 

The lack of naturally present antioxidants in white chocolate makes it prone to rancidity and very sensitive to light, thus giving it a shorter shelf-life relative to that of milk and plain chocolates (2). After the best before date, there are visible changes in the appearance and detectable changes in the taste of the chocolate.

The shelf life (at 65°F in a dark and dry place) of typical chocolate products are listed below (2):

Typical shelf life at temperate conditionsMonths
Plain chocolate (dark)24
Milk chocolate bar16
White chocolate bar16
Milk chocolate-coated peanuts12
Chocolate bars with raisins12
Chocolate-coated wafer12
Chocolate-coated fondant18
Chocolate shells with soft caramel12
Chocolate shells with praline12

Keep the chocolate away from moisture, high temperature, temperature fluctuations, or unwanted odors. The temperature fluctuations and humidity will crystallize the sugar resulting in sugar bloom. It ruins the silky texture of the chocolate.

Similarly, exposing the chocolate at high temperatures (above 68°F) will result in fat blooms that happen when cocoa butter/fats separate from the sugar and crystallize (2).

When should you discard the chocolate?

The chocolate must be discarded if the chocolate appears discolored or develops white spots and a moldy appearance, discard it immediately as it is not safe for consumption. 

Xerophilic species of fungus are able to grow in cocoa products during storage, especially when the humidity of the environment increases (6). If the surface turns white or gray, it may be an indication of sugar or fat bloom. It does not mean the chocolate is unsafe. Instead, it is an indication of sugar or fat bloom (2). 

When it doubt and you are unsure, throw it away, because safety first!

Other FAQs about Chocolate that you may be interested in.

How long does chocolate last?

How to thin melted chocolate for drizzling?

How fast does chocolate melt?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze chocolate candy bars?”, and how to store chocolate safely?


  1. Poelmans, Eline, and Sandra Rousseau. How do chocolate lovers balance taste and ethical considerations?. Brit Food J, 2016.
  2. Kilcast, David, and Persis Subramaniam, eds. The stability and shelf-life of food. 2000. Woodhead Publishing Limited. 
  3. Singh, R. P., and B. A. Anderson. The major types of food spoilage: an overview. Understanding and measuring the shelf-life of food, 2004, 3-23.  
  4. Dias, João, et al. Evaluation of the impact of high pressure on the storage of filled traditional chocolates. Inn Food Sci Emerg Technol, 2018, 45, 36-41.
  5. Foodkeeper. United States Department of Agriculture.
  6. Copetti, Marina V., et al. Mycobiota of cocoa: from farm to chocolate. Food microbiol, 2011, 28, 1499-1504.
  7. Evans, Judith A., ed. Frozen food science and technology. John Wiley & Sons, 2009.  
  8. Freezing and Food Safety. United States Department of Agriculture