How Long Is Halloween Candy Good for?

Love to hoard treats after Halloween? Us, too. So how long is Halloween candy good for? It depends on the type of candy. Here are some guidelines to keep you safe, not spooked.

When I was growing up, my parents were strict about candy consumption. So when I came home with a pillowcase full of candy on Halloween, I hoarded the candy, eking it out little by little for months afterward. I never stopped to wonder…wait, how long is Halloween candy good for? This year, once our weird, different, but hopefully still fun Halloween is over, how long will we be able to enjoy our candy?

Does candy expire?

Yep, candy does expire, but the good news is that most types of candy keep well. Also, in general, the quality will decline before the candy truly expires or becomes unsafe. Most candies have low moisture content paired with high levels of sugar, which is a preservative. If you need help using the candy in time, check out these clever ways to use leftover Halloween candy.

How long does Halloween candy last?

Here’s a guide by type. (Note that this is for unopened candy. Once candy is open, try to eat it within a few months, regardless of type.) Also, if you keep chocolate in the freezer, it should last six to eight months past its expiration date. Speaking of type, can you guess what the most popular Halloween candy in your state is?

Six to nine months

Peanut butter cups, caramels, gum, and candy corn. Sensing a theme? Super soft, chewy candies, especially sticky ones, can go bad faster than others.

Eight to ten months

Soft chocolates, like white and milk chocolate.

Up to one year

Jelly beans and other jelly candies, and hard candies. Check out the fascinating way Smarties are made.

Up to two years

Dark chocolate. This bitter treat keeps very well.

Pro tip: You may see a white “dust” on the chocolate bar. That’s not mold, but “bloom,” which is caused by moisture evaporating from the chocolate. It’s still safe to eat! If the chocolate tastes very dry or the texture has changed dramatically, or if it just doesn’t taste good, those are signs to toss the bar. This is why we pass out candy on Halloween in the first place.

How to store candy

Whenever possible, store candy in its original, sealed wrapper. Once it’s opened, move the candy to a sealed jar or container, or fasten the original packaging with a clip. Keep the candy in a cool, dark place, like a pantry or even the basement. Didn’t know about this? Read on to learn some more surprising facts about Halloween candy.

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Originally Published on Taste of Home