Food Storage - How long can you keep...

CHOCOLATE - MILK CHOCOLATE

Pantry
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1 year (best quality)
Freezer
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1 year (best quality)

Tips

  • How long does milk chocolate last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - store milk chocolate in a cool, dry area.
  • To maximize the shelf life of milk chocolate, store at a room temperature between 60°F -75°F and keep milk chocolate tightly wrapped after opening.
  • How long does milk chocolate last at room temperature? Properly stored, milk chocolate will generally stay at best quality for about 1 year at normal room temperature.
  • Is milk chocolate safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the package is undamaged - commercially packaged milk chocolate will typically carry a " Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before", or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the milk chocolate will remain at peak quality.
  • Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the milk chocolate's texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, it will still be safe to consume if it has been stored properly, the package is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
  • If milk chocolate has white spots or white film on the surface, it is still safe to eat? Yes when milk chocolate is exposed to overly warm or humid conditions, whiteness can develop on the surface --this affects appearance only and the milk chocolate will still be safe to eat.
  • Should you refrigerate milk chocolate? Milk chocolate should ideally not be refrigerated, as doing so may cause the milk chocolate to absorb odors from other foods and it may also develop a moist surface when brought back to room temperature.
  • In very hot, humid environments (consistently above 75°F), milk chocolate can be refrigerated; keep the milk chocolate tightly wrapped or place in a covered airtight container or plastic freezer bag.
  • Can you keep milk chocolate in the freezer? Yes, it is fine to store milk chocolate in the freezer, although doing so will not significantly change the shelf life; to freeze, place the milk chocolate inside covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
  • How long does milk chocolate last in the freezer? Milk chocolate will maintain best quality for about 1 year in the freezer.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only — milk chocolate that has been kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How can you tell if milk chocolate is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the milk chocolate: if the milk chocolate develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, it should be discarded.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here

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