Do Chocolate Chips Go Bad?

We may earn affiliate fees for purchases using our links (at no additional cost to you). Learn More.

When was the last time you decided to bake chocolate chip cookies, and couldn’t remember how long you’ve had that bag of chocolate chips that’s been sitting in your pantry?

How long your chocolate chips last will depend on the type of chocolate chips you’ve purchased. Dark or bittersweet chocolate chips may last up to 2 years. White or milk chocolate chips or chocolate chips with fruit, nuts, or additives may only last up to 8 months to 1 year.

You probably won’t get sick by eating spoiled chocolate chips, but they won’t taste very good either. Read on to learn more about storing and checking your chocolate chips shelf life.

How Long Do Chocolate Chips Last?

Again, this depends somewhat on what your chocolate chips are made of. The more additives your chocolate chips contain, the faster they will spoil.

Variety of Chocolate Chips

On the other hand, pure dark chocolate chips last longer. So please take a look at the chocolate chips in your pantry, and determine what they are.

Shelf Life Of Chocolate Chips:

  • Milk chocolate chips: lasts up to 1 year
  • Dark or bittersweet chocolate chips: lasts up to 2 years
  • White chocolate chips: lasts up to 10 months
  • Chocolate chips with fruit or nuts: lasts up to 8 months
  • Peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, or mint chocolate chips: lasts up to 8 months

It’s not necessary to store your chocolate chips in the fridge. Chocolate keeps well at 60-75 degrees. However, you should store your chips in the refrigerator if your home temperature regularly gets above 75 degrees.

Related | Does Chocolate Go Bad?

How To Tell If Chocolate Chips Are Bad

There are several methods of testing whether your chocolate chips have spoiled.

Chocolate Chips Close-up
  • Do a quick visual inspection to determine whether the chocolate chips look dry and cracked. This is a sign that your chocolate has begun to go stale.
  • Spoiled chocolate chips will contain an off-putting odor. Do your chocolate chips smell sweet and savory? If they smell odd, they’ve likely gone bad. Toss them out.

On the other hand, you may look at your chocolate chips and see white spots. What you’re seeing is not mold.

These are called “sugar blooms,” and they are a normal sight on any piece of chocolate; white spots are not a sign that your chocolate has gone bad.

Related | How Long Does Sugar Last?

What to do if chocolate chips have gone bad? If you determine that your chocolate chips are past their expiration date, toss them in the trash and buy a new bag!

Can Bad Chocolate Chips Make You Sick?

In short, you probably won’t get sick if you eat expired chocolate chips, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be appetizing.

Spoiled chocolate chips are dry, brittle, and less flavorful, so you won’t necessarily enjoy eating them. Also, they likely won’t provide the desired effect if you bake with them or add to a fondue, either.

Related | Best Fondue Pots

If you eat chocolate chips that contain “sugar blooms,” as mentioned above, these will not make you sick. A study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science proved that these “sugar blooms” are harmless.

How To Store Chocolate Chips

In The Fridge

Should Chocolate Chips Be Refrigerated? Yes, as mentioned above, you may keep your chocolate chips in the refrigerator.

This isn’t entirely necessary unless you live in a warmer climate. In that case, follow these steps to store your chocolate chips in the refrigerator:

  1. Seal your chocolate chips in an airtight bag or container to ensure that the chocolate doesn’t pick up smells or flavors from other food in the fridge.
  2. Store milk or white chocolate chips in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a year, and dark or bittersweet chocolate chips for up to two years.

In The Pantry

Should you store chocolate chips in the pantry? You may also keep your chocolate chips in the pantry or countertop, as long as your home’s temperature doesn’t top 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow these steps for safe storage:

  1. Protect your chocolate chips from moisture by sealing them in an airtight bag or container.
  2. Store chocolate chips away from fluctuating temperatures. Again, this means: do not store your chocolate chips close to your oven or toaster oven!
  3. Storing your chocolate chips properly in this method will allow your chocolate chips to last for the duration mentioned in the first section of this article.

No matter where you store them, always use an airtight container to keep them fresh!

Final Thoughts

You need to know how long your chocolate chips last to ensure that your baked goods are of the highest quality.

If you’ve recently purchased a bag of chocolate chips, always remember to store them in an airtight container, whether you choose to place them in the fridge, in your pantry, or on your countertop.

Be sure to monitor your home’s temperature to determine whether your chocolate chips need fridge storage. And remember never to store chocolate of any kind near your oven!