Can Halloween Candy Go Bad?   

Can Halloween Candy Go Bad?

Halloween candy, ghost candies, pumpkin bowl, Jack O lantern and decorative set up.
Clinical Contributors to this story:
Kaitlin McKenzie, RDN

The spookiest time of year is upon us, and with it comes piles of candy. We all love to hoard candy after Halloween is over, but how long are these candies good for? Do they expire?

“Yes, candy does expire, but the good news is that most types of candy are good to eat for six to 12 months,” says registered oncology dietician, Kaitlin Mckenzie. The shelf life of a candy also depends on the type of candy and where you store it. 

Here are some guidelines from the National Confectioners Association on how long to keep various candies and how to keep them fresh:

How long is Halloween candy good for?

  • Soft chocolates, like milk and white chocolate, last eight to 10 months.
  • Dark chocolate lasts the longest, up to two years. People might see a white coating on the dark chocolate when it’s older, which is called “bloom.” Bloom is not harmful and it’s safe to eat.
  • Hard candy like lollipops can last up to a year when stored at room temperature or in a cool, dry location.
  • Gummies last for six to nine months from the date of purchase.
  • Soft candies like caramel and jelly beans last six to nine months if the package has been opened and left at room temperature. If unopened, they can last up to one year. 
  • Candy corn can last three to six months if the package is opened and stored at room temperature. If unopened, it can last for nine months. 

“An easy rule of thumb is to toss any remaining Halloween candy by the time Easter comes, and vice versa - that way, any excess candies are never around longer than six months or so,” adds Kaitlin.

How to Store Candy So It Stays Fresh and Safe to Eat

  • Keep all candies in their original packaging whenever possible and, once it’s opened, keep them in a sealed jar. 
  • The pantry is a safe place to store all the candy. If you store them in an airtight container, that’s even better. 
  • Freezing is a popular method to keep candies to last long, but remember not all candies are to be frozen. Avoid freezing candies with fruits and nuts. Toffee and truffles can be frozen for up to two months. 
  • Avoid mixing candies in the same jar as some candies absorb moisture (such as caramel, mints and hard candies) and some lose moisture (such as fudge and creamy candies). Storing these in the same jar will cause hard candies to become sticky and lose their texture.
  • For the safety of pets and young children, store candy on a shelf that is out of reach. Chocolate candy is toxic to dogs, and many small candies can be a choking hazard.

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.



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