The Shelf Life of Halloween Candy

In the unlikely event that seasonal candy lingers in the house beyond November, it’s important to know when said sweets are past their prime. Here’s a handy guide to just how far past Halloween you can enjoy the fruits of all that trick-or-treating labor.

 ·        Chocolate: Dark chocolate will last one to two years in foil if kept in cool, dark, and dry places, while milk and white chocolate will last up to 10 months.

 ·        Hard candy: Hard candies essentially have an indefinite shelf life, provided they are stored properly. Items like lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, and other individually wrapped candies do best without exposure to moisture.

 ·        Marshmallows: Marshmallows are a sugar-based confection with a shelf life of roughly six to eight months.

 ·        Caramel, nougat, candy corn: Caramel and nougats last six months to a year at room temperature, while candy corn can make it as far as nine months if kept sealed.

 ·        Jelly candy: Soft jelly candies can last up to a year unopened. Once opened, they can be kept in a covered candy dish for six to nine months.

 What if I eat old candy? It’s unlikely that eating a sugar-based confection, like hard candy or candy corn, past its prime will affect your health. It’s simply an issue of quality decline, not health.

 When should I throw out my Halloween candy? A good rule of thumb is to simply toss it when it stops tasting good. You probably won’t get sick – unless you eat all of it in one sitting, that is.