Hot chocolate is one of the most popular winter time drinks. No matter what type of diet you and your coworkers have pledged to do for the next month, there is a type of hot chocolate drink that fits perfectly into your meal plan.
But what if we reach for the hot chocolate mix and find that it is past its “best before” date? Can we still eat it? Can hot chocolate expire?
Hot chocolate can expire in two to three days, depending on if there is dairy in it. Also, if a hot chocolate mix is past its “best before” date, that does not mean the mix has gone bad.
Read on to learn more about how long hot chocolate can last.
Does Hot Chocolate Powder Go Bad?
The taste of hot chocolate is delicious to millions of people around the world. We all love the delicious and velvety taste. Many people have boxes and bags of hot chocolate powder, ready to be made on a rainy day.
But, for some people, a steaming hot cup of hot chocolate on a rainy day is not in their future. The powder does last a long time, but it can expire.
Usually, hot chocolate powder lasts at least six months in the panty. Some powders can last up to two years.
You have plenty of time to make yourself a delicious cup of hot chocolate. And if you ever find yourself wondering if the hot chocolate powder in your pantry is old, check the “best before” date.
Hot chocolate packages will have a “best before” located somewhere on the package. But, contrary to what most people believe, this date does not mean the food will go bad after the date passes.
The “best before” date means a food product will taste its best if eaten before the date. It does not mean the food will go bad by that specific date.
Making and drinking a hot chocolate mix that has passed its “best before” date might not have a strong flavor or the powder might not mix as well. But it will still be safe to drink.
It is important to remember that some higher quality hot chocolate powders have dairy in the mix. Hot chocolate powders with dairy will have a shorter shelf life than powders without dairy.
Hot chocolate mix that is prepared with milk will last up to three days in the fridge.
How To Know When Hot Chocolate Powder Expires
Now that you know hot chocolate powder expires and that it is safe to drink a hot chocolate mix that has passed its “best before” date, you need to learn the signs that show when hot chocolate powder is no longer safe to drink.
Here are signs that show when a hot chocolate powder is not safe to drink, no matter its “best before” date.
- The powder is lighter
- The chocolate mix has an unfamiliar smell.
- The powder is clumping together
- You can see moisture in the package of powder
- If the hot chocolate powder has marshmallows, the marshmallows are crumbling or have turned yellow.
- When the hot chocolate mix is prepared, it has a weird sour taste to it.
If you do not know these signs and you consume rotten hot chocolate mix, you could get sick.
Is It Bad To Drink Expired Hot Chocolate Powder?
It may or may not be bad to drink expired hot chocolate powder. It depends on how long ago the hot chocolate expired.
If the “best before” date passed about a week ago or even a month ago, then it should be fine.
But if the date was over 6 months ago, then you should think twice about drinking expired hot chocolate.
How Long Does Hot Chocolate Powder Last Once Opened?
Once you open a package of hot chocolate powder, it will last between 6-12 months. Reseal the package and store it in a dark, dry space.
Do not leave it open and exposed to the air or place it somewhere where the sun can reach it. Air can dry out the mix and the sun will break down or bleach the powder.
Storing an opened but resealed package of hot chocolate powder in the fridge will keep it safe and preserve the powder for longer, possibly 16 months.
Can You Freeze Hot Chocolate Powder?
Technically, you can freeze hot chocolate powder. Store the hot chocolate powder as you would if you were to store it in the refrigerator.
Make sure the container you place the hot chocolate powder in is sealed tightly and there is no moisture in the package.
Frozen hot chocolate powder will last about 12 to 18 months in the freezer.
Does Cocoa Powder Go Bad?
As long as the cocoa powder is not mixed with any other ingredient, it can last up to five years or more. There will be a “best before” date printed on the package of hot cocoa.
But as you know, the “best before” date does not mean that the product will rot after the date has passed.
The food based laws of the United States require that a “best before” label must be printed on every package of food.
So the “best before” label has to be there. But cocoa powder can last for a long time if it is sealed in an airtight container and stored in a dark place.
Conclusion to Hot Chocolate Going Bad
Hot chocolate powder can last anywhere between 6 months and 2 years, depending on if there is dairy in the mix, how well the package is resealed, and if it is stored in the pantry or in the refrigerator.
Do not consume hot chocolate mix that looks off or has a weird smell or is clumping in the package.