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.