Is it OK to eat expired Lindt chocolate?

Eating expired chocolate is generally not recommended, but with high-quality chocolate like Lindt, it may still be safe to eat if it has only been expired for a short period of time. Here are some quick answers to common questions about eating expired Lindt chocolate:

Is it ever OK to eat expired chocolate?

It’s usually not recommended to eat chocolate past its expiration date. However, chocolate that has only been expired for a few months and was stored properly may still be safe to eat. Very old or improperly stored chocolate is more likely to develop harmful molds.

How can you tell if expired Lindt chocolate is still safe to eat?

Look for signs of bloom, fat separation, mold growth, or an off smell or taste. If the chocolate looks intact and smells normal, it’s likely still safe within a few months past its date. Lindt chocolate in particular is high quality and less prone to going rancid quickly.

Will eating slightly expired Lindt chocolate make you sick?

Eating Lindt chocolate that is recently expired is unlikely to make you sick if has been stored correctly. The best before dates are very conservative. However, eating chocolate that is years old or shows signs of spoilage can potentially cause illness.

Now let’s dive deeper into the details around eating expired Lindt chocolate and whether it’s really OK to indulge in that forgotten candy bar hiding in the back of your pantry.

How to Tell if Expired Lindt Chocolate is Still Safe to Eat

The most important signs to look for when determining if expired chocolate is still safe are changes in appearance, texture, smell and flavor. Here are some things to check for:

  • Bloom – This whitish coating happens when poor storage causes the cocoa butter to separate. It won’t make the chocolate unsafe, but indicates lower quality.
  • Mold – Check carefully for fuzzy spots or unusual colors. This signals spoilage and the chocolate should be discarded.
  • Rancid smell or taste – Old chocolate can start to smell and taste unpleasant. Trust your senses.
  • Fat separation – Look for liquid oozing out of the chocolate. Throw it away if you see this.

If the Lindt chocolate still looks normal, smells and tastes fine, it should be safe to eat even past its date. Lindt uses high quality ingredients that help its products stay fresher longer compared to cheaper chocolates.

How Long Does Lindt Chocolate Last After its Expiration Date?

How long chocolate remains edible after its best before date depends on factors like the ingredients, packaging and storage conditions. Under optimal storage, high quality chocolate like Lindt can often last:

Chocolate Type Time After Expiration Date
Milk chocolate 5-8 months
Dark chocolate 10-18 months
White chocolate 4-6 months
Truffles 2-3 weeks

Keep in mind these are general guidelines and you should still inspect the chocolate closely for signs of spoilage before eating it.

Does Chocolate Go Bad?

Yes, chocolate can go bad eventually. The oils in chocolate can become rancid over time. Chocolate is also prone to absorbing off odors and flavors. Mold growth is another sign chocolate has spoiled and become unsafe to eat.

The shelf life depends on factors like:

  • Cocoa content – Dark chocolate lasts longer than milk or white.
  • Ingredients – Preservatives and emulsifiers extend shelf life.
  • Storage temperature – Chocolate lasts longer when properly stored in a cool, dry place.
  • Packaging – Well-sealed packaging protects against odors and humidity.
  • Exposure to air – Opening and resealing packages allows air to degrade chocolate.

With optimal storage conditions, most chocolate lasts approximately 1 year past its production date before quality begins to decline. Beyond 2 years, spoilage becomes more likely.

Can Eating Expired Chocolate Make You Sick?

Consuming spoiled, moldy chocolate could potentially cause illness. Chocolate contaminated with mycotoxins from fungal growth can cause issues ranging from digestive upset to allergic reactions.

However, chocolate that has passed its expiration date but shows no signs of spoilage is unlikely to make you sick. Shelf life dates on chocolate are very conservative to account for less-than-ideal storage conditions. The “best by” date does not mean the chocolate is necessarily unsafe to eat after that time.

People with sensitivities should take more care to avoid expired chocolate that may have higher microbial contamination. For others, eating recently expired chocolate that looks and smells normal is unlikely to cause illness.

How To Store Lindt Chocolate Properly

Proper storage is key to maximizing the shelf life and preserving the quality of chocolate like Lindt. Here are some tips for storing chocolate:

  • Keep chocolate tightly wrapped in its original packaging until you are ready to eat it. This prevents moisture, odors and air from degrading the chocolate.
  • Store chocolate at temperatures between 15°C and 21°C (59°F to 70°F) for optimal freshness.
  • Place chocolate in a cool, dark place like a pantry. Avoid warm, humid places like above the oven or fridge.
  • When refrigerating chocolate, allow it to come to room temperature before unwrapping to prevent condensation.
  • Divide large bags of chocolate into smaller portions to limit air exposure when opening.
  • Wrap opened chocolate tightly in plastic wrap or place in a resealable bag.

With proper storage, most Lindt chocolate will retain quality and be safe to eat for at least a few months past its printed expiration date. However, optimal storage conditions can extend shelf life even longer.

Will Eating Expired Chocolate Make You Gain Weight?

Eating expired chocolate will not directly cause weight gain. Chocolate that has gone stale or rancid may even be less appetizing and contain fewer intact nutrients. However, consuming chocolate in general does tend to promote weight gain, especially in excess.

A 100g bar of Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate contains:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 600
Fat 43 g
Saturated Fat 27 g
Carbs 51 g
Sugar 48 g
Protein 8.6 g

The high amounts of calories, sugar and saturated fat can promote weight gain if consumed in large amounts. But an occasional indulgence of expired chocolate within your calorie needs is unlikely to have a major impact on your weight by itself.

Does Chocolate Expire?

Yes, chocolate does eventually expire and has a limited shelf life. The oils in chocolate can go rancid over time. Cocoa solids can also absorb off odors and flavors that degrade quality and taste. Mold growth is also common in expired chocolate.

Milk and white chocolates have shorter shelf lives around 10 months. Dark chocolate can last 1-2 years if stored properly. And quality chocolate like Lindt tends to have better preservation than cheap candy bars.

But no chocolate lasts forever. After enough time, the quality and safety become compromised. Always inspect chocolate closely before eating if it is past its date, even if just by a few months.

Will Eating Old Chocolate Kill You?

Eating very old, spoiled chocolate is unlikely to kill or seriously harm an otherwise healthy adult. However, it can potentially cause illness.

The greatest risk is from mold growth which can produce harmful mycotoxins. Very high levels of mycotoxins could potentially be fatal, but this serious outcome is extremely rare from simply eating chocolate.

Symptoms from eating moldy chocolate are more likely to include digestive upset, vomiting, headaches, and allergic reactions. Those with sensitivity to molds should take particular care to avoid expired chocolate.

So while very old chocolate probably won’t kill a healthy person, it certainly can make you feel lousy. Best to avoid anything that looks or smells off.

Can You Get Food Poisoning from Expired Chocolate?

You are unlikely to get food poisoning from eating recently expired chocolate. Illness is more likely from chocolate that is old enough to grow dangerous molds and bacteria.

Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, and stomach cramps. It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 48 hours after exposure to develop symptoms.

To avoid food poisoning, inspect chocolate closely for signs of spoilage like white spots, fuzzy texture, or an off smell or taste. Immediately discard anything that looks or smells unusual.

Properly stored chocolate that is just passed its expiration date often remains safe. But very old or poorly stored chocolate runs a higher risk of harboring illness-causing contaminants.

Will Expired Chocolate Give You Diarrhea?

Eating spoiled, moldy chocolate could potentially cause diarrhea. Some molds that grow on stale chocolate produce toxins that can irritate the digestive tract.

However, chocolate that is recently expired with no visible mold is unlikely to cause diarrhea by itself. Most people can tolerate it without issues.

Those with sensitivities to ingredients like caffeine or cocoa may experience diarrhea ordigestive upset more easily. Children and people with chronic gastrointestinal issues should also take care with expired chocolate.

But for most healthy adults, moderate amounts of chocolate that is slightly past its date will not automatically make you sick or cause diarrhea if it was properly stored.

How Long Can You Safely Eat Chocolate After Expiration Date?

It’s generally safe to eat chocolate up to:

  • Dark chocolate: 1 year past printed date
  • Milk chocolate: 6 months past printed date
  • White chocolate: 3-4 months past printed date
  • Chocolate truffles: 2-3 weeks past printed date

However, these guidelines assume proper storage at cool temperatures between 15°C and 21°C. Chocolate that experienced temperature extremes may spoil faster.

Safety depends heavily on visually inspecting and smell testing chocolate before eating. If it looks or smells odd, it’s best to discard it. But chocolate stored under optimal conditions can often last longer than many people expect.


Eating Lindt chocolate that is recently expired does not automatically pose serious health risks. The best before dates on chocolate are very conservative. Lindt chocolate in particular can often remain tasty and safe to eat for weeks or months past its printed date.

However, consuming chocolate over 2 years old or showing signs of bloom, fat separation, odor changes or fungal growth can be dangerous and should be avoided. Proper storage conditions greatly impact expired chocolate’s safety and shelf life.

Use your best judgment when evaluating packaging dates versus how the chocolate was stored. With optimal conditions and careful inspection, enjoying some expired Lindt chocolate from your pantry can still be an indulgent treat and not a health hazard.

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