Q: What determines the shelf life of candy?
A: “The shelf life depends on the type of candy, packaging and storage conditions,” Blakeslee said. “Shelf life can vary anywhere from two weeks to a year.”
Q: Can you do anything to prolong the shelf life of candy?
A: Keeping candy in a cool, dry and dark place is the best way to store it, Blakeslee said.
Q: Do some candies keep longer than others?
A: In terms of safety, Aramounis said the shelf life of some candy, like hard candy, may be indefinite; however, he said there have been cases of salmonella poisoning from the consumption of expired chocolate.
Q: Can you be more specific?
A: For more specific information Aramouni and Blakeslee recommend the following guidelines from the National Confectioners Association regarding the shelf life of various types of candy:
• Chocolate: Dark chocolate can be kept for one to two years if wrapped in foil and stored in a cool, dark and dry place. Milk and white chocolates last no more than eight to 10 months.
• Hard candy: Lollipops, roll candy and butterscotch candies can last up to a year when stored at room temperature or in cool, dry conditions.
• Jellied candies: Upon opening the packaging and storing at room temperature, jellied candies can last six to nine months.
• Gum: Most gum products can last six to nine months as long as the packaging remains sealed.
• Caramel: When stored properly at room temperature and away from the heat and light, caramel candy can last six to nine months — and even up to a year in some cases.
Q: What if I’m not sure how old candy is?
A: “It is OK to throw away old candy,” Aramouni said. “Don’t feel compelled to eat it. It’s mostly empty calories after all.”