What Happens if You Eat Expired Chocolate?

You’re digging around your kitchen pantry for a late-night snack and find a chocolate bar hidden in the depths of the shelves. You’re surprised and elated – until you notice that it’s well beyond the “best by” date. What now? You likely can still eat without getting sick!

Hello, hello! My name’s Michelle, and I believe that chocolate is one of the best things ever invented. It’s oh so delicious, whether eaten in a German chocolate cake or mixed with peanut butter to make yummy PB cookies.

Aside from chocolate being incredibly delicious, another perk to this food item is that it really doesn’t ever truly “expire” because there is no water content. So, you’re almost always a-okay to eat expired chocolate. Just double-check for other signs of spoilage!

Let’s learn more, shall we?

What Happens if You Eat Expired Chocolate?


Okay, thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

Just kidding.

To be perfectly honest, nothing will likely happen if you eat expired chocolate. You may get a slight stomach ache, but that is few and far between. Unless the chocolate has other signs of spoilage like mold or an off-putting odor, it’s safe to consume.

However, keep in mind we’re discussing strictly chocolate – such as chocolate bars and chocolate chips. We’re not talking about highly perishable items like chocolate cake, syrup, cupcakes, etc.

Does Chocolate Go Bad?

You can safely consume expired chocolate? I get it. That statement might leave you stumped, considering eating “old food” is not typically recommended. And with the fear of illnesses like food poisoning, it’s no wonder why this might be confusing. 

But there’s a reason why it’s safe to eat expired chocolate: chocolate never really goes bad. There is no water in the ingredients, which means it won’t harbor harmful bacteria that would otherwise cause the food item to go bad.

Now, this doesn’t mean that all chocolate is immune or that it’s a good idea to eat chocolate ten years past the expiration date. There are some things to consider.

  • Chocolate can go bad – although it’s unlikely. Chocolate typically goes “bad” due to poor packaging, moldy cocoa beans from original development, or add-ins like fruits and nuts.
  • Chocolate won’t taste good as time goes on. I wouldn’t recommend eating chocolate that’s ten years old. It’s not that it’s unsafe, but that it won’t taste good. The texture and flavor will alter at some point.

How Long is Chocolate Good For?

Chocolate has an incredible shelf life. In fact, milk and white chocolate can easily last up to two years before the quality starts to deteriorate. Dark chocolate tends to last a bit longer, reaching the three-year mark without losing quality.

Keep in mind that older chocolate will likely develop a white coating named bloom. A white, chalky film does not indicate that the chocolate has gone bad. It’s simply sugar or fat bloom, which occurs from temperature fluctuations and contact with moisture.

The white coating is safe to consume. However, it will alter the flavor and texture a bit. It should still taste mighty delicious, though!

3 Signs That Chocolate Has Gone Bad

Needless to say, chocolate can be a little tricky. It doesn’t typically go bad, but it can. And if you can’t rely on the white, chalky film to determine whether or not chocolate has gone bad, what can you rely on?

To add insult to injury, you shouldn’t rely on the expiration date, either. Most chocolates come with a “best by” date anyway, which states the date on which the chocolate is at the peak of quality – not when it goes bad.

To ensure you don’t accidentally consume rotten chocolate, look out for these signs of spoilage.

1. Mold

White film on the chocolate? Safe and yummy. A green coating that may or may not be fuzzy? Not safe or yummy.

If you notice any colorful or fuzzy spots on your chocolate, it means it’s growing mold, and you do not want to eat it.

While eating a moldy chocolate bar likely won’t make you too sick, there is the chance of severe reactions. Why risk it? Nobody wants to eat mold, anyway.

2. Odd Odor

One of the easiest ways to determine whether or not your chocolate is still good is to smell it. Chocolate that’s gone bad will have an odd odor (sometimes a sour smell) rather than the delightful cocoa aroma it once emitted.

Keep in mind that an odd odor doesn’t necessarily mean the chocolate’s bad, either. Chocolate absorbs scents around it. So, if you store your chocolate next to a potent ingredient like tuna or chili powder, it may take on those scents eventually. 

Does this mean the chocolate is bad? Not exactly. Does this mean you should eat it? Probably not – it likely won’t taste very good.

3. Strange Flavor

Speaking of taste, your tongue can be your guide to determining whether or not chocolate is bad. Give the chocolate a small bite. If it’s anything but delicious, toss it all out. A strange or unpleasant flavor is a sign of spoilage.


Eating expired chocolate? Yup, not a big deal – at least 99% of the time. Keep learning with some of the most commonly asked questions below.

Can you eat chocolate 2 years out of date?

Most of the time, two-year-old chocolate is still safe to consume. Double-check for other spoilage signs, like mold, a weird odor, or an off-flavor. 

How long can you eat chocolate after the expiration date?

Most chocolate will be safe and delicious for up to two or three years past the expiration or “best by” date as long as it has been stored properly. Check the chocolate for any signs of spoilage before consuming it. 

What does expired chocolate taste like?

Expired chocolate does not taste delicious. It will have taken on the odors surrounding it, such as onion or cilantro. Or, if stored by itself away from potent aromas, it will have a bitter and disgusting flavor that you likely will want to spit out.

Can you eat 10-year-old chocolate?

While it’s probably safe to consume 10-year-old chocolate, it doesn’t mean you should. Chocolate that is this old will have lost most of its quality. It will taste bad but shouldn’t cause adverse side effects like stomach aches.

Final Words

Chocolate never truly “expires,” so nothing will happen if you eat it past the expiration date. As long as it’s stored properly and not exhibiting any other signs of spoilage, most chocolate will remain edible and yummy up to two or three years past the listed date.

Have you ever eaten expired chocolate? What did you think and what happened?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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  • Sohail

    I have eaten A TON of expired chocolates and till now, nothing bad has ever happened to me….