Can you get sick from eating expired chocolate?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Can you get sick from eating expired chocolate” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired chocolate. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of chocolate and the proper way to store chocolate.

Can you get sick from eating expired chocolate?

When it comes to chocolate, you do not necessarily get sick from eating expired chocolate as long as it was stored appropriately. But you will feel a change in its texture and flavor so as long as you are okay with it, you can eat the expired chocolate, it won’t make you sick.

Chocolate that is past its prime age will be dry and will have a bitter taste owing to the oxidation reactions.

What is the shelf life of chocolate?

Different variants of chocolate have a different shelf life. Dark chocolate has the longest shelf life because it does not contain any dairy ingredient. An unopened bar of dark chocolate lasts for about 2 years if properly stored while the opened bar of chocolate lasts for about a year. 

White chocolate has milk, sugar, and other additives present in its formulation along with cocoa butter. The shelf life of an unopened bar of white chocolate is about a year while the opened white chocolate stored in an air-tight container lasts for about 6-8 months.  

Milk chocolate has cocoa butter, cocoa solids, milk, sugar, and other additives present in its formulation and it has the same shelf life as that of white chocolate. Thus, an unopened bar of milk chocolate lasts for about a year while the opened milk chocolate lasts for about 6-8 months when it is properly stored. 

There are some things that you should always keep in view while storing your favorite chocolate. Chocolate should always be stored at a low temperature to preserve its freshness and quality for a long time. Chocolate should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Therefore you can safely store the chocolate in a cool and dry corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

Open chocolate has to be stored in an air-tight container, plastic zipper bag or it can be stored by wrapping it in plastic wrap. It is necessary to store the chocolate this way so that no air and moisture will find their way to the chocolate and degrade its quality. Another reason for storing the chocolate in air-tight containers is that chocolate can pick up the odor of other foods therefore it is recommended to store it in an air-tight container. Moreover, chocolate should be stored away from strong-smelling foods like fish, onion, garlic, etc.

In case you want to store your chocolate in the fridge, it is recommended to keep it in an air-tight container or wrapped in a plastic bag so that the moisture present in the fridge won’t mess up with the quality of the chocolate. Refrigeration prolongs the shelf life of chocolate and thus refrigerated chocolate will have its shelf life prolonged by 2-4 months more.

You can also freeze chocolate but care should be taken in this regard and you should store your chocolate in a plastic freezer bag or heavy-duty freeze container. Freezing really prolongs the shelf life of chocolate but care should be taken in this regard or else the high moisture content of the freezer can mess up the texture of chocolate. When it comes to thawing or defrosting the frozen chocolate, you can do so by letting them thaw in the fridge overnight.

Can I eat chocolate after the best-before date?

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the pack of chocolate refers to more of quality rather than safety so the chocolate doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. It is the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of the chocolate but you can still eat chocolate that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

How to spot bad chocolate?

If you notice some off-flavor or something that does not quite taste like the fresh, creamy chocolate itself then it is the indication that your chocolate has gone bad. Moreover, if you feel a more waxy taste in your chocolate then it means your chocolate is past its prime age. 

If you notice something off about the smell of the chocolate while taking a sniff test then it may be an indicator of the bad chocolate

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Can you get sick from eating expired chocolate” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can get sick from eating expired chocolate. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of chocolate and the proper way to store chocolate.

Citations

https://www.thechocolatejournalist.com/blog/real-expiration-date-chocolate-bars

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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