Eating Expired Candy: What will Happen?

Short Answer: If you accidentally ate expired candy, you may not get sick, but you may feel some discomfort in your stomach or mouth.

Candy is a type of sweet food that is made from sugar, syrup, chocolate, fruit, nuts, or other ingredients.

Candy can have different shapes, colors, flavors, and textures.

Some examples of candy are chocolate bars, hard candies, gummies, marshmallows, and caramels.

If you accidentally eat expired candy, you may not experience any serious health problems, but you may feel some discomfort in your stomach or mouth.

This is because the candy may have lost its freshness, quality, and taste over time.

It may also have been exposed to heat, moisture, or bacteria that can cause it to spoil or become rancid.

The effects of eating expired candy depend on the type of candy, the ingredients, and the storage conditions.

Some candies may last longer than others, and some may have more preservatives or antioxidants that can prevent them from going bad.

For example, dark chocolate can last up to two years, while milk chocolate can last up to one year.

Hard candies and lollipops can last up to one year, while gummies and jelly beans can last up to 18 months.

However, these are only general guidelines, and the actual shelf life of candy may vary.

Some signs that candy has gone bad are changes in color, texture, smell, or taste.

For example, chocolate may develop a white or gray coating called bloom, which is caused by the separation of cocoa butter from the chocolate.

This does not mean that the chocolate is unsafe to eat, but it may affect its flavor and texture.

Hard candies may become sticky or soft, while soft candies may become hard or dry.

Candy may also develop an unpleasant odor or taste, or grow mold or bacteria.

Eating expired candy can have some negative effects, such as:

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. This can happen if the candy has been contaminated with harmful microorganisms, such as salmonella, E. coli, or mold. These can cause food poisoning or infections in the digestive system.
  • Tooth decay or cavities. This can happen if the candy has a high sugar content, which can erode the enamel of the teeth and cause plaque and bacteria to build up. This can lead to tooth decay, cavities, or gum disease.
  • Allergic reactions. This can happen if the candy contains ingredients that you are allergic or sensitive to, such as nuts, milk, soy, or gluten. These can cause symptoms such as hives, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

It is quite uncommon to eat expired candy, as most people tend to consume candy within a reasonable time frame.

However, some people may forget about the candy they have stored in their pantry, closet, or bag, and find it after a long time.

Some people may also buy candy in bulk or on sale, and not be able to finish it before it expires.

Some people may also be curious or adventurous, and want to try eating old candy.

You can prevent or treat the effects of eating expired candy by following these tips:

  • Check the expiration date, sell-by date, or best-by date on the candy package. These dates indicate when the candy is at its peak quality and freshness, and not necessarily when it is unsafe to eat. However, they can give you an idea of how old the candy is, and whether it is worth eating or not.
  • Look for signs of spoilage, such as changes in color, texture, smell, or taste. If the candy looks, smells, or tastes bad, do not eat it. Throw it away or dispose of it properly.
  • Store candy in a cool, dry, and dark place, away from heat, moisture, and sunlight. These factors can speed up the deterioration of candy, and make it more prone to spoilage. You can also store candy in an airtight container or a resealable bag, to prevent air and insects from getting in.
  • Eat candy in moderation, and brush your teeth after eating. Candy can be a delicious treat, but it can also be high in calories, sugar, and fat, which can have negative effects on your health. Eating too much candy can also cause tooth decay or cavities, so it is important to limit your intake and practice good oral hygiene.
  • Seek medical attention if you experience severe or persistent symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or difficulty breathing. These could indicate a serious case of food poisoning or an allergic reaction, which may require medical treatment or intervention.

To avoid accidental eating of expired candy, you can:

  • Label your candy with the date of purchase or expiration, so you can keep track of how old it is.
  • Organize your candy by type, flavor, or expiration date, so you can easily find the ones you want to eat, and avoid the ones that are expired or close to expiring.
  • Donate or share your candy with others, such as friends, family, or charity, if you have too much or do not want to eat it. This way, you can reduce waste and make someone else happy.

Finally, remember, candy is a type of sweet food that can last for a long time, but it can also go bad or lose its quality over time.

Eating expired candy may not harm you, but it may not taste as good or make you feel good.

It is best to check the date and condition of the candy before eating it, and to store it properly and eat it in moderation.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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