do hot chocolate packets expire

Do hot chocolate packets expire? This is a question that many people have, especially around the wintertime.

When you're trying to get into the holiday spirit, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your hot chocolate will make you sick. 

Hot chocolate packets do not go bad or expire easily if properly stored, although the taste and quality diminish with time.

Don’t worry, in this blog post, we will answer that question and tell you everything you need to know about expiration dates for hot chocolate packets.

Keep reading!

What Is Hot Chocolate?

hot chocolate

Hot chocolate is a delicious drink made from cocoa powder, milk, and sugar. It is often served with whipped cream or marshmallows on top.

Hot chocolate can be made in various flavors, such as mint, orange, or raspberry.

It can also be made into a non-alcoholic version using water instead of milk.

Hot chocolate is a popular drink during the winter months and can be found in most coffee shops.

Do Hot Chocolate Packets Expire?

If it is appropriately stored, hot chocolate doesn’t truly go bad, even if it’s left out for a while.

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But as time passes, the chocolate’s flavor and quality may deteriorate, and this is likely to happen.

However, the use-by date printed on the hot chocolate packages might be affected by the following factors:

Shelf Life of Types of Hot Chocolate

the shelf life

Unopened Cocoa Powder

This Contains ingredients that may be stored for over two years.

However, once it has been opened, it must be used by the use-by date, which is normally within six months after the break in the seal.

Hot Chocolate Powder

It will not last even close to as long as pure cocoa.

This is because most instant hot chocolate mixes and hot chocolate mixes sold in powder form include powdered milk or some other kind of powdered dairy product.

Depending on the best-by or expiry date, they will get spoiled within a year or two at the very most.

Hot Chocolate Bombs

Are only valid for around two weeks after being opened.

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This is because they often include fillings such as chocolate ganache and marshmallows.

Also, the other components must be handled with care to prevent them from going bad.

How to Tell if Hot Chocolate Packets Have Gone Bad.

how to tell if its bad

Does hot chocolate packets expire? If you’re probably wondering if your hot chocolate packets are still good to use.

Here are some signs that your hot chocolate packets have gone bad:

1. Change In Taste

The overall flavor of the hot chocolate will undoubtedly diminish the longer you don’t use it.

This may happen in two ways: the taste and strength have dropped greatly, or there is an overpowering bitterness.

Your hot chocolate has gone nasty in either case.

2. The Smell Changes

Good quality hot chocolate packets will be aromatic, with a buttery and malty fragrance if your hot chocolate mix smells a little savory or bland.

It’s better to throw it away.

3. Hard and Lumpy Texture

hard texture

If you don’t keep the hot chocolate in a cool and dry place, moisture will likely get into the container, or when the hot chocolate mix gets old, the texture changes as well.

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The powder will become hard and clumpy and may not dissolve as easily in milk.

There is a good chance that bacteria will grow where there is water, which is a sure sign that your cocoa has gone bad.

4. Discoloration.

The color of the hot chocolate mix can also change over time. The powder may darken or become duller in color.

When it comes to chocolate chips, bars, bombs, and pellets, there will be a white-grey spot on the surface means that the chocolate is old and stale.

5. Check the date of Expiration

The most obvious way to tell if your hot chocolate mix is bad is to check the expiration date.

If it’s past the date on the package, then it’s probably not going to be very good.

What Happens If You Drink Hot Chocolate That Has Expired?

drink expired hot chocolate

Even while it is acceptable to drink hot chocolate after the “best before” date has passed, it may occasionally be very unhealthy for your body.

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The following are some of the consequences of drinking expired hot chocolate.

Allergic Reactions:

According to a study published in the “Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology,” drinking expired hot chocolate can cause an allergic reaction.

The study found that people who are allergic to milk and chocolate are more likely to react to expired hot chocolate than those who are not allergic.


Drinking expired hot chocolate can also cause stomach aches. This is because the milk in the hot chocolate can spoil and cause nausea and vomiting.


Drinking expired hot chocolate can also cause diarrhea. This is because the sugar in hot chocolate can ferment and cause diarrhea.


Drinking expired hot chocolate can also make you tired. This is because the caffeine in hot chocolate can make you tired.

How to Store Hot Chocolate Packets Properly

storing properly

Unfortunately, many individuals are unaware that there is a proper and improper manner to preserve hot chocolate.

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Consequently, they end up with a product that isn’t as excellent as it might be.

By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that your hot chocolate always tastes wonderful.

Cocoa Powder Should Be Kept in a Cool Place

Between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit and has less than 50% humidity.

Make sure the temperature stays the same, and you don’t move it from one place to another and mess with the temperature.

Note: Keep it out of the light, both natural and artificial.

If you damage the container, it comes in, reseal it, or better yet, locate another one with a tight top and transfer the hot chocolate into it.

To scoop out the hot chocolate, always use a dry tool.

Chocolate Bombs Should Be Refrigerated at Room Temperature

chocolate bombs

To keep the contents inside as fresh as possible.

Chocolate ganache and marshmallow fillings become rock solid when frozen, making your bomb fail to detonate.

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The Refrigerator Is Not the Best Place to Keep It

However, particularly during the summer, it may be prudent to carefully cover the container with an airtight seal and place it in the refrigerator to extend its life.

If you don’t wrap it before putting it in the fridge or freezer, the excessive humidity will cause your powder to clump.

Tip: However, keep in mind that keeping hot chocolate in the refrigerator will certainly reduce the taste.

FAQs About If Hot Chocolate Packets Expire.

questions about hot chocolate packet

Do you have any other questions about whether hot chocolate packets expire?

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about hot chocolate.

Can You Consume Hot Chocolate That is Three Years Old?

Hot chocolate is ideally consumed as soon as possible, although it may be consumed many months beyond the best before the date indicated on the box.

Some chocolate specialists feel that hot chocolate improves with age.

Does Mold Grow on Hot Chocolate?

Mold cannot grow on hot chocolate. The only things you’ll see occurring on chocolate are sugar bloom and fat bloom.

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This only happens when the chocolate is not properly tempered or kept. It may not be attractive or tasty, but it is not moldy.

Can Chocolate Contain Salmonella?

Undercooked or raw meat and goods manufactured from it, egg products that have not been heat-treated, and plant-based foods are all high-risk foods.

However, fatty foods infected with Salmonella, such as chocolate, may also induce Salmonella infection.

Read Next: Can You Freeze Chocolate Ganache?

Final Verdict.

So, do hot chocolate packets expire? While the answer may seem obvious, it depends on how you store them.

If you keep them in a cool, dry place, they should last for some time.

However, if you expose them to extreme temperatures or moisture, they will likely expire much sooner. 

When in doubt, check the expiration date on the packet to be sure. Either way, homemade hot chocolate is always the best!

Thank you for reading!