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. 

Can you get sick from eating expired chocolate?

When it comes to chocolate, you do not get sick from eating expired chocolate.

Chocolate does not go bad in a conventional way (as it is practically impossible for molds to grow on chocolate due to the lack of moisture in chocolate) therefore eating a bar of expired chocolate does not make you sick as long as there is no mold or organic growth on it.

Moreover, when it comes to chocolate then with time, you will notice a change in the flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel of the chocolate but as long as it is properly stored, you can devour a bar of chocolate without the fear of getting sick.

So as long as you are okay with eating an old bar of chocolate having a faded aroma or flavor, you can go ahead and eat it.

If you notice a whitish coating/ layer on your bar of chocolate, you should remember that it is the “sugar bloom” or “fat bloom” that resulted from improper storage of chocolate but that does not mean that such chocolate has gone bad. You can devour the bloomed chocolate without worrying about getting sick but no doubt such chocolate will have a changed texture and mouthfeel. 

Now when it comes to the date printed on the package of chocolate then you will find a “best by” or “ best before” date written on the package of your chocolate instead of the “expiration 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 go bad immediately after the best before date. 

This date refers to 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 and has no signs of spoilage associated with it.

The shelf life of chocolate

Different variants of chocolate have different shelf life. 

Dark chocolate contains the highest amount of cocoa solids and its taste profile is inclined more towards the bitter one. Moreover, it does not contain any dairy items. 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. 

It is worth mentioning that these figures are the estimated shelf life of the chocolate and chocolate can last even longer than this provided that it is stored properly.

You can read how to make chocolate mousse here.

Tips to properly store chocolate

  1. 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.
  1. The ideal temperature to store chocolate is 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit 
  1. 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. Moreover, chocolate can pick up the odor of other foods therefore it is recommended to store it in an air-tight container. 
  1. Chocolate should be stored away from strong-smelling foods like fish, onion, garlic, etc.
  1. 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.
  1. When it comes to freezing chocolate, no doubt you can go ahead and store your chocolate in the freezer but you will notice a difference in the texture and mouthfeel of the chocolate when it gets thawed. Freezing has a more significant impact on the texture of milk and white chocolate as compared to dark chocolate. Moreover freezing chocolate can also result in sugar bloom or fat bloom on 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. 

Citations

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

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-24305902

https://www.livestrong.com/article/514556-is-expired-chocolate-edible/

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