If like most people with children, last night, your little ones have taken in way more Halloween candy than they should ever eat. You will probably be forced to put some back in a cabinet somewhere in order to keep them from getting sick.
Odds are, when you do your next round of spring cleaning you will find a piece of leftover Halloween candy tucked away somewhere but just how long will these candies be safe to eat?
After spending some time doing research, this is the best idea I can come up with for the shelf life of different Halloween candies.
Bubble Gum – Most gum is good for anywhere from four to six months. This guideline applies to bubble yum as well as Chiclets, Dentyne, and many others.
Candy Bars – The average shelf for a chocolate candy bar is anywhere up to six months.
Concession Candy – The same shelf life that hold true for candy bars would apply to Concession Candy as this is the same product except packaged bigger quantities.
Gummy Candy – Most gummy candies such as gummy bears are good for up to six months although they will diminish in quality much quicker if exposed high temperatures.
Jelly Beans – The shelf life for Jelly beans is up to eight months.
Jordan Almonds – The shelf life is said to be up to five months for Jordan Almonds
Lollipops – Most lollipops can last up to six months, but it is important that they are stored in cool environments as exposure to high temperatures can cause the candy to permanently stick to the wrappers.
M&M’s Chocolates – According to the manufacturer, the life span of M&M’s is up to thirteen months as long as it remains in its factory sealed package. Keep in mind that like any other chocolate product, exposure to high heat will melt them.
Wrapped Bulk Candy – Most wrapped bulk candy remains fresh for five to six months especially if it is a hard candy such as a Butterscotch Disc, Starlite Mint or Root Beer Barrel.
Softer candies such as Caramel Creams or Brach’s Royals have a shorter shelf life due to their consistency.
Certain candies such as Brach’s Ice Blue Mints, Jolly Ranchers or Sour Balls have a much longer shelf life and are ideal for long term use.
When it comes to guessing how long your Halloween candy will stay “fresh”, a good rule of thumb is the softer the candy, the shorter the shelf life. Also, when you unwrap any stored chocolate, you may notice a chalky white coating on the chocolate… this means that your chocolate has had a major change in temperature and that the fat content has separated from the chocolate. This coating is called bloom and does not affect the edibility of the chocolate.
Whether you are storing candy as a way to limit how much is eaten at a time or if you want to add it to your food cache as a nice treat should something happen and candy be made otherwise unavailable, the best thing you can do to store the candy is keep it in an airtight container at a controlled temperature. Your freezer or refrigerator may work best unless you have a root cellar or some other place in your house with a low, stable temperature.