How Long Do Chocolate Chips Last?


Blue Arrow
Green Arrow
2 years (best quality)


Shelf Life Tips

  • How long do chocolate chips last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions - store chocolate chips in a cool, dry area.
  • To maximize the shelf life of chocolate chips, store at a room temperature between 60°F -75°F and keep chocolate chips tightly closed after opening.
  • How long do chocolate chips last at room temperature? Properly stored, chocolate chips made from dark, bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate will generally stay at best quality for about 2 years at normal room temperature.
  • Chocolate chips made from milk chocolate will generally stay at best quality for about 1 year at normal room temperature.
  • Are chocolate chips safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided they are properly stored and the package is undamaged - commercially packaged chocolate chips 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 chocolate chips will remain at peak quality.
  • Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the chocolate chips' texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, they will still be safe to consume if they have been stored properly, the package is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
  • If chocolate chips have white spots or white film on the surface, are they still safe to eat? Yes when chocolate chips are exposed to overly warm or humid conditions, whiteness can develop on the surface --this affects appearance only and the chocolate chips will still be safe to eat.
  • Should you refrigerate chocolate chips? Chocolate chips should ideally not be refrigerated, as doing so may cause the chocolate chips to absorb odors from other foods and they may also develop a moist surface when brought back to room temperature.
  • In very hot, humid environments (consistently above 75°F), chocolate chips can be refrigerated; keep the chocolate chips tightly wrapped or place in a covered airtight container or plastic freezer bag.
  • Can you keep chocolate chips in the freezer? Yes, it is fine to store chocolate chips in the freezer, although doing so will not significantly change the shelf life; to freeze, place the chocolate chips inside covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
  • How long do chocolate chips last in the freezer? Chocolate chips will maintain best quality for about 2 years in the freezer or 1 year for milk chocolate chips.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only — chocolate chips that have been kept constantly frozen at 0° F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How can you tell if chocolate chips are bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the chocolate chips: if the chocolate chips develop an off odor, flavor or appearance, they should be discarded.

About Our Authors

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

Today's Tips