Can Chocolate Chips Go Bad?

Can chocolate chips go bad? Simply put, YES, but your chocolate chips are most likely fine as they can last for up to 2 years if stored correctly!

If like me you like to dabble in home baking you may well have chocolate chips in your pantry right now.  And if you’re even more like me, you’ll have gone through a baking craze for a week or so – banana loaves and chocolate chip cookies galore – but then put down the spatula and became quite distracted from it. You may now be looking at those chocolate chips, wondering if they’re quite alright, and I’m here to put your mind at ease!

Do Chocolate Chips Go Bad?

The higher the percentage of cocoa, the more extended the time the chocolate will remain fresh. Milk chocolate chips begin to stale somewhat around 8 months, whereas chocolate which is around 60% dark, can last for up to two years without turning dated.

Chocolate chips containing fruit or nuts will degrade more quickly, which means you may experience a rancid taste within 8-10 months. Still, typically home bakers don’t buy or store the same amount of these as classic chocolate chips.

In this article, we’ll talk about how to tell if chocolate is deteriorating and how to store your chocolate chips to make them last as long as possible, as well as what you should do if you notice that your chocolate has started to appear to be a bit white on the edges.

How Do I Tell If My Chocolate is Bad?

Chocolate can last for an extended time, particularly when properly stored. However, it is also susceptible to going bad. The chance of it going bad will be increased if there is a number of additives used in the chocolate, specifically, those more vulnerable to spoiling, like dairy, fruits, or even nuts.

Simple chocolate chips can become stale, dry, and lose their taste. The first signs of stale chocolate include a musty smell when opening the container and visible cracks within the chocolate. Chocolate cracks as it gets dry, and if it’s drying out a lot, it’s likely to lose taste as well.

Stale chocolate shouldn’t harm you, but you should taste and test it to determine whether it’s suitable for baking or snacking.

Is There Such Thing As Mold On Chocolate?

It’s not true that mold doesn’t develop on chocolate, but it is incredibly difficult. If you notice streaks of gray or a white chalky layer, the chocolate may have experienced what’s known as a ‘fat bloom’ or a ‘sugar bloom.’

This isn’t the most appealing image for chocolate, but it’s not a sign of mold and is still safe to eat or use!

Can White Chocolate Chips Go Bad?

Some chocolate connoisseurs will claim white chocolate is not chocolate at all, but it’s made of cocoa butter and has its origins in the bean that produces cocoa. And it’s irresistible and utterly delicious as with milk or dark chocolate!

The other ingredients are mostly milk and sugar products. The sugar can keep the chocolate chips from deteriorating for a long period, but just like milk chocolate, white chocolate can begin to stale somewhat or lose flavor after 8-10 months, even if it is stored correctly.

Can You Eat Chocolate Chips After the Expiry Date?

In most cases, it is safe to consume chocolate chips that have been appropriately stored, even if they’ve reached their best before date.

A best-before date is a recommendation made by the manufacturer to represent an estimated length of time until the chocolate loses its flavor or becomes stale. It does not mean the product becomes harmful or unsafe after this date!

If you adhere to the storage guidelines below, your chocolate chips will last for about two and a half years without becoming stale, based on the type of chocolate.

How To Store Chocolate Chips

As a rule of thumb, you should ensure that the chocolate chips are stored in a dry and cool area. The optimal temperature is 60 to 75F, and they are best stored in an airtight bag or container. You’ll want to safeguard those chocolate pieces from fluctuations in temperature and moisture to prevent staleness or blooms.

If you store your chocolate in a cupboard close to your oven, the fluctuating temperatures can cause condensation within and on the chips, which could cause the sugar to bloom. Also, it puts your chocolate chips at the risk of melting accidentally and re-setting.

The best location would be a pantry in a temperature-controlled space.

How Long Will Chocolate Chips Last After Opening?

There’s a variance in the lifespan of chocolate chips depending on the percentage of chocolate that is derived from cocoa beans. The more milk that is present in your cocoa, the less the life span.

If stored correctly, milk chocolate chips remain fresh for about one year after being opened.

Chips with a higher amount of dark chocolate, 60% or more, last longer. If they’re stored with care semi-sweet, the bittersweet and dark chocolate chips could last up to two years.

Should I Keep Them In The Fridge?

Chocolate chips and chocolate stored in the refrigerator have the potential to have a prolonged lifespan as it keeps them at a more consistent temperature.

For instance, in the middle of summer, if your home frequently exceeds 75 degrees, your chocolate could melt if stored in the pantry or the cupboard. You do not want the chocolate to melt and re-set multiple times as it will impact the quality.

A cool, consistent environment prevents condensation from building on the chocolate. It could still bloom but will retain its excellent taste. Chocolate is likely to take on a strong flavor from other products stored in your refrigerator, so make sure you use a zip-loc bag and/or a Tupperware container that is airtight, too.

If stored in this manner, the white or milk chocolate chips can be kept fresh for up to one year. Dark chocolate chips are safe for up to 2 years.

Can You Freeze Chocolate Chips?

Yes! It is possible to freeze your chocolate chips, but it can impact the visual appeal of your chocolate. It will not significantly alter the life span your chocolate will enjoy in terms of lasting longer, so perhaps it isn’t the best choice.

Placing chocolate chips in the freezer will make them more likely to suffer a sugar explosion, and once released from the freezer, they could be covered with white. This is the result of crystallized sugar – should you go on to melt this chocolate it will be perfectly fine to consume and lose the white coating. Chocolate that’s been frozen can also exhibit a rough texture – after thawing. It won’t have the same as it was when it was fresh.

The flavor will remain the same if it’s properly sealed and shielded from absorbing flavors and odors from other food items within your freezer.

So Does it Help To Freeze Chocolate Chips?

Dark chocolate chips frozen in the freezer can last up to two years. Likewise, white or milk chocolate can last for about one year. That’s about the same amount of time they’d stay fresh in your fridge appropriately sealed and wouldn’t be at risk of developing the sugar bloom.

The freezing of chocolate chips is an alternative however it’s not ideal.

Type of Chocolate ChipsHow You Should Store ThemHow Long They’ll Last
Dark, Bittersweet,
and Semisweet Chocolate
In a sealed, air-tight container in a dark location with a consistent temperature of 60-75FUp to 2 years
Milk Chocolate8 months to 1 year
White Chocolate8 to 10 months

I hope this guide has been helpful and has answered your questions about storing chocolate chips! Read on below to discover more questions and answers.

Other Questions Asked

Do chocolate bars have a shelf life?

Yes, most chocolate bars have an expiry date or “best before” date. It doesn’t mean that the chocolate will go poor after the date, but it’s the longest period that the manufacturer believes their product will keep its freshness or quality.

If you own an unopened chocolate bar that’s been kept in its original container in a dark, cool pantry past its expiry date, it’s likely safe to eat.

When Do I Need To Pay More Attention To The Date?

If the bar contains additives such as nuts, fruits, and caramels, these may go sour or alter the bar’s taste once it reaches the expiry date. Each product and manufacturer is different, though.

Is It Okay To Use Chocolate With Blooms?

Absolutely! Tempering or melting the chocolate and then using it in recipes or re-setting it in molds is actually the most effective way to deal with the appearance of blooms. Depending on how advanced the blooms were, there’s unlikely to be much change in taste.

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