Does Hot Chocolate Expire?

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Does hot chocolate expire? Maybe. As with most things, the answer to this question hinges on a few factors. Anxious to know what might cause hot chocolate to expire and what might not? Join us as we explore the multifaceted topic of expired hot chocolate. 

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hot chocolate with mashmallows

Does Hot Chocolate Really Expire?

Does Hot Chocolate Actually Expire?

Yes, hot chocolate does expire.

But that also depends on what kind of hot chocolate we’re talking about. 

If you’re referring to hot chocolate made from scratch i.e. from cacao powder vs cocoa powder, then most likely, your cocoa or cacao powder won’t technically expire. It’ll just taste funny and won’t be as fresh as when you first bought it.

If, however, you are referring to whether or not hot chocolate bombs, packets, and powders expire, then stay tuned. We’ve got the answers you need!

Does Instant Hot Chocolate Expire?

Yes, it does.

Because instant hot chocolates, like Swiss Miss, typically contain milk-derived products, you need to know that your hot chocolate mix can and will eventually expire.

To be sure, check the expiration date on the package.

Does Powder Hot Chocolate Expire?

Yes, powder hot chocolate expires, assuming that you mean the kind that you only have to add water to.

Again, powdered cocoa is not the same thing as a powdered hot chocolate mix, just as cocoa powder vs baking cocoa isn’t the same thing. If you simply add water to pure powdered cocoa, you’ll be sorely disappointed!

melted chocolate in a pot

Does Hot Chocolate Packets Expire?

Yes, hot chocolate packets expire.

Hot chocolate packets have everything you need already mixed in the instant powder making it possible for you to only add hot water before drinking it. This makes instant hot chocolate pockets easy and convenient. 

The downside is that because these hot chocolate packets contain the milk byproducts that make your hot chocolate creamy and luscious, your hot chocolate is also at risk for expiry. 

Does Hot Cocoa Mix Expire?

Yes, hot cocoa mix does expire.

Hot cocoa mix, whether it comes in a packet, canister, or other container-type, will typically expire within a year or two. Check the printed date on the label to know for sure.

If you receive homemade hot cocoa mix from a friend or family member, your cocoa may still expire. Consume it as soon as possible, and whatever you do, don’t leave the homemade cocoa mix in your cupboard for ages. It will likely contain powdered milk which means your jarred homemade cocoa mix can still expire. 

Does Hot Chocolate Expire After Adding Water?

Yes. In fact, you’ll want to refrigerate your cocoa once you’ve added water if you aren’t going to drink it right away. Be sure to store it in the fridge for no more than three days, though. You can still get sick from drinking hot chocolate that has sat in the fridge if it’s been in there too long. 

What Happens If You Drink Expired Hot Chocolate?

Can You Get Sick From Expired Hot Chocolate Powder?

Yes, you can get sick from expired hot chocolate

That’s because hot chocolate powder typically contains dairy, and as such, you can become very sick from drinking expired hot chocolate. 

Drinking spoiled milk or dairy products can lead to a whole host of negative digestive symptoms including: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe Abdominal Pain

Can Expired Chocolate Make You Sick?

Remember, drinking anything expired has the propensity to make you sick; otherwise, there would be no need to pay attention to expiry dates on labels!

To avoid the possibility of developing a foodborne illness, you should abide by the date on your hot chocolate label and throw out any remaining hot chocolate after this date. 

Recall also that even if you do consume old hot chocolate, you likely won’t like the taste as much. It won’t be nearly as delicious tasting as it was when it was fresh. 

Hot chocolate with big marshmallows

Expired Hot Chocolate Death

While there are a few dramatic stories on the net about food poisoning and expired hot chocolate, thankfully, there aren’t many stories about the consumption of old hot chocolate causing death.

Still, we’d advise you to err on the side of caution and only drink fresh hot chocolate so that you aren’t running the risk of poisoning yourself by drinking hot chocolate that is too old to be consumed. 

How Long Does Hot Chocolate Last After Expiration Date?

How Long Does It Take For Hot Chocolate to Expire?

Hot chocolate will typically expire within 1-2 years or by the printed expiry date. 

When Does Hot Chocolate Expire?

Past the printed expiry date, you may be able to get away with consuming hot chocolate mix 6-12 months past the date on the label, but be careful. If it tastes funny or upsets your stomach, be sure to throw it out.

When Does Powdered Hot Chocolate Expire?

Powdered hot chocolate will go bad within a year or two, or by the date printed on the label.

When Does Hot Chocolate Powder Expire?

Always check the label for expiry when it comes to hot chocolate powders and mixes. Not all powdered mixes are the same, so using the expiration date as a guideline is always best practice. 

How to Tell If Hot Chocolate Is Expired

Hot cocoa that has gone bad may not have the traditional signs of spoilage such as mold growth, sliminess, and the like, but you will notice degradation in quality and taste. 

Moreover, fresh chocolate is usually pleasantly fragrant, while expired hot chocolate will likely smell bland or may have no smell at all!

white and black mug with hot chocolate

Can You Drink Expired Hot Chocolate Powder?

You could technically drink expired hot chocolate powder, but depending on how long after expiry it has sat, we might not recommend it.

Because the hot chocolate powder has powdered milk, you run the risk of food poisoning when consuming it after expiry.

If you do choose to consume your hot chocolate powder after expiry, make sure you don’t do it any more than 6-12 months after this date. Otherwise, you run the risk of food poisoning. 

Does Hot Chocolate Expire? Yes, It Does! 

Still, it may take a while for this to happen.

Our best advice is to simply use the expiration date as a guideline and to stop consuming your hot chocolate after that. You may even want to try out a homemade hot chocolate recipe that you can do on your own–you may find that it tastes better and that you already have all the ingredients you need on hand! Happy sipping! 

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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