What's the shelf life of Halloween Candy?

Plenty of people purchase too much candy in anticipation of trick-or-treaters. Others take advantage of post-Halloween sales to stock up their pantries. But how long does all of that candy last? Here are some guidelines on your favorite treats, courtesy of Eater:

  • Chocolate: The shelf life of chocolate varies based on type. 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. Store chocolate away from sunlight and humidity, just below room temperature. Avoid putting it in the fridge, which can lead to condensation on the surface of the chocolate.
  • 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. If such candies do spoil, they’ll appear sticky or grainy as a result of temperature changes or sugar crystallization, and may experience changes in flavor. 
  • Marshmallows: Marshmallows are a sugar-based confection with a shelf life of roughly six to eight months. By nature, they contain more moisture than many other candies, so depending on how they’re stored, they’ll either lose moisture or become more sticky. They are best stored in dry, cool places or at room temperature. 
  • Caramel, nougat, and candy corn: Caramel and nougats last six months to a year at room temperature and away from heat and light, while candy corn can make it as far as nine months if kept sealed. (So that open bag you used to top your Halloween cupcakes should probably get tossed around January.) 
  • 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, according to the National Confectioners Association. 


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