Do Chocolate Chips Go Bad? How to Store Them?

Do Chocolate Chips Go Bad

Chocolate chips are considered the best chocolate selection currently for baking. Among other chocolate types, all companies offer plenty of chocolate chip selections. However, sometimes the package of those products can be extensive, so it’s better to know all the tricks to store the chocolate chips in the right way and under the right conditions. So the question of today is: do chocolate chips go bad? 

Chocolate chips can go bad like every other food product has its life shelf and cycle. However, if stored properly, chocolate can last more. The ways to store them are room temperature, refrigeration, or freezing. To have the best result, you need to keep the chocolate chips in airtight containers. 

Since the due date of chocolate does not mean that the chocolate cannot be consumed after that date, I will show you some tricks on how to be sure if the chocolate is spoiled. So every time you doubt chocolate chips, you can use those steps to have a better conclusion. As Ghirardelli is one of the most well-known brands today, I will also explain how to store them more safely. 

Do Chocolate Chips Go Bad in the Fridge?

One of the best ways to keep the chocolate chips fresh and in good shape is to store them in the fridge. The fridge helps it extend the shelf life, so if you are thinking of keeping it in the refrigerator, don’t worry; it will stay good, and the spoilage risk will be reduced.

Still, there is a particular condition called sugar bloom that is caused due to the moisture in the fridge. If you leave the chocolate in the refrigerator for a very long time, there is a risk that sugar blooms will eventually happen.

How Long Do Chocolate Chips Last in the Fridge?

If stored properly, you can keep the chocolate safe and in good shape from 6 months to 1 year in the fridge. 

You have to put it in a cold part of the fridge and avoid places like the fridge door. In this way, the chocolate won’t have a lot of contact with warmer temperatures. Usually, I intend to put food that I will consume faster in 2 or 3 days in the door fridge, like milk or fresh juices. 

Package it well, maybe in a jar or covered in aluminum paper. By covering it you keep the chocolate safe from all the smells in the fridge. 

Do Chocolate Chips Go Bad in the Freezer?

Freezer can extend the shelf life even more. But still is just a way of preserving the food and not a way to keep food forever safe. Compared with other refrigeration, the freezer assures a longer shelf-life, but if you leave the chocolate for a long time in there, it will probably lose all the qualities like color, texture, and taste. 

Even though it is eatable, if food goes to this point, there is no point in consuming it anymore.

How Long Do Chocolate Chips Last in the Freezer?

If they are fully frozen, the chocolate chips can last up to 18 months, more or less. This is the maximum time the freezing process can give chocolate chips. In addition, the airtight container has a crucial part: it keeps the chocolate safe from all the meat and fishy smells.

Do Chocolate Chips Go Bad at Room Temperature?

Chocolate can be kept at room temperature if the temperature is not very warm. However, it is better to put it in the fridge for the summer season and not risk melting. Otherwise, for as long as you keep it in the dark place, it can stay out for around 3 weeks. 

After this time, it will start losing the organoleptic attributes like taste and texture. I prefer to keep the chocolate at room temperature rather than in the fridge. Maybe it is a personal choice, but I think the chocolate chips stay fresher this way. 

ConditionOpened PackageUnopened Package
Room temperature3 weeks 2 years
Fridge6 months2 years
Freezer8 months2 years

How Can You Tell If Chocolate Chips Are Bad?

Considering that the due date does not indicate the actual shelf life of chocolate, you have to train yourself to see if the chocolate is or is not suitable to be consumed.

For this matter, I will give you some tips to understand better how to tell if chocolates are wrong or not. 

Fat bloom

Fat bloom is the process happening as a consequence of temperature changes that causes some changes in the chocolate fat crystals. You can notice the fat blossom as grey or white spots. To avoid fat bloom, you have to be careful not to change the temperature or the environment of the chocolate very often. 

Do Chocolate Chips Go Bad

If you have been keeping it in the fridge, don’t get it out for long and put it back again. That is the fundamental mistake that causes fat bloom in chocolate, leading to total spoilage. Fat bloom can also cause some spots on the surface of the chocolate. 

If you notice fat bloom in small quantities, then it is okay to be consumed, but if the fat color is massive on the surface of the chocolate, then I would avoid consuming it. The taste by this point will be almost completely destroyed, so there is no actual point in consuming it. 

Sugar bloom 

Another type of process that can happen to chocolate is sugar bloom, which is caused by the humidity in contact with the chocolate while you store it in the fridge. The moisture on the surface of the chocolate draws out the sugar and when it evaporates, what is left behind are some sugar crystals.

In this case, the sugar bloom may affect the viscosity and turn the chocolate uneatable anymore, so you have to be careful. Besides the visual part, a small test that you can do is to pass your finger on the surface of the chocolate to see if you feel the sugar’s presence or not. That can help to perceive better the sugar bloom.

Smell 

The smell can also be an essential significance that can show if the chocolate is spoiled or not. Chocolate is not the type of product with a strong taste, but you can still understand some details from it. 

Firstly, if before the chocolate had a pleasant smell and now does not have any scent, this is a sign that it is starting to lose its freshness. But if you feel like the smell is weird, it probably is not that good anymore. Its difficult to describe how chocolate has gone wrong and can smell, but what helps is to compare it with the smell of the chocolate before.

A solid sign to throw it away is if it smells like sour cream or the moldy smell. However, the chocolate may also absorb the odor of other products in the fridge, so be careful. 

Taste 

If you are brave enough, you can always taste it a little to be 100% sure that the quality is still good. If you are an adult with a stable metabolism, a small bite won’t hurt your stomach or body. 

You can chew it and see if you feel any weird taste like moldy, drier than before, and more astringent, probably, the chocolate is already spoiled, and you need to stop using it. 

Another thing to consider is that high-quality chocolate has a higher chance of lasting longer and resisting time than other cheap or low-cost varieties. So the better the quality, the longer the life. This is because high-quality chocolate has some natural preservatives called flavonols, which help extend shelf life. 

It is not good quality chocolate. I would not risk consuming it for a long time. So before deciding to finish it or put it in the trash, follow those four steps and give time to inspect the chocolate. 

You can get surprised by the result that different types of chocolates can react differently towards the environment they are being stored. 

How Long Do Chocolate Chips Last After Expiration Date?

To determine how many times chocolate chips last after the expiration date, we need to consider two essential factors

Firstly, the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate chips. The rule is simple: the higher the rate, the longer the shelf life is. This is because cacao has a low moisture level, which reduces the risk of bacteria growth. 

Dark chocolate, if stored properly, can be used three more years beyond the expiration date. In any case, please consider going through all the steps above to make sure that the chocolate is in good condition to be consumed. 

Secondly, While milk chocolate chips have the shortest shelf life, milk is the reason. Milk increases the moisture level in the chocolate; thus, this type of chocolate is more likely to get worse sooner. 

I would suggest using milk chocolate chips for six to eight months. Consuming them after more than eight months can be a bit risky. 

How Long Are White Chocolate Chips Good for After Expiration Date?

The good news is that chocolate can last forever. Okay, maybe forever, no 😛 but a longer time than you expect or compared with the expiration date. In products like chocolate and vinegar, expiration dates show the time in which this product can stay within the perfect parameters.

It does not mean that the chocolate cannot be consumed anymore after this date. Even the white chocolate type is the same, as you don’t notice any mold or holes in the chocolate.

Although you have to keep in mind white chocolate is composed of cocoa butter, so the shelf life is a little shorter. Therefore, I would advise you not to keep the white chocolate for more than six months from the expiration date. 

What to Do With Expired Chocolate Chips?

As a principle, you have to check the surface of the chocolate carefully and examine it for any mold on the surface. If you can see the mold or feel that the chocolate is not good anymore, then throw it away.

In case chocolate is old but still can be used, I prefer to put it in the recipes. One option is to do a simple ganache with heavy cream. In this way, the heavy cream gives an extra sweet flavor and neutralizes the taste of the chocolate that does not feel that fresh anymore.

Another good way is to melt it and put it in brownies or cupcakes if you don’t feel like chewing it raw anymore. You can mix it a piece from this chocolate and some more from a fresh one, to have a little bit of everything

Avoid consuming it raw, as some of the organoleptic attributes of the chocolate probably have changed, and it won’t taste that delicious anymore. Also, please don’t use it to prepare chocolate-covered strawberries as you may not obtain the best final result. 

How to Properly Store Chocolate Chips?

The first thing to do is to change the packaging. Remove them from the plastic or cartoon bag you bought and transfer them to an airtight glass jar to keep them in a safer and cleaner environment. 

Then depending on your purpose, you can choose to store them at room temperature, fridge, or freezer. I prefer to keep them at room temperature in a dark environment as I buy small packaging to consume them for some months. This way, I reduce the risk of my chocolate chips having sugar bloom. 

But it is summer; then the fridge is the best place as the in-room environment, there is a change they naturally melt due to their small size and lose their shape.  

How Long Do Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips Last?

Ghirardelli is one of the best and the most well-known chocolate companies in the United States. They are considered a leading company because they have created their cocoa farming program in which they have invested USD 10 million every year. 

Do you remember when I said that some high-quality chocolates could last a reasonable amount of time? This is the case with Ghirardelli. 

An unopened package of Ghirardelli can last for up to three years, and in case you open it and keep it safe, it can last one-year maximum. There is enough time to use it, and I don’t see a point in maintaining chocolate for more than that in your kitchen.

Where Is the Expiration Date on Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips?

Ghirardelli company, like most companies, applies a due date of two years to be used. But this brand has at least fourteen chocolate chips with different characteristics like cocoa concentration or milk presence. 

So depending on this, it is better to check the package to confirm the expiration dates, but usually, they produce chocolates that can be used for up to two years. 

Can You Freeze Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips?

Yes, you can freeze the Ghirardelli chocolate chips. No evidence shows that Ghirardelli needs or should be treated differently from other types of chocolates. As long as you store them in the right way in airtight packaging, it should be fine. 

This brand has proved to have some good quality products, so in case you want to buy a large quantity on sales or for better prices, you can freeze them for up to six months. 

How to Store Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips?

Treat Ghirardelli chocolate just the same as every other type. Remember those tricks: get the chocolate chip out of the packaging and put them in an airtight glass jar. Then, depending on the season, the temperature of the room, and the period you expect to use the chocolate, choose if you will put it in the fridge or at room temperature

Avoid changing forms of storage from time to time: for example, from fridge to room temperature for a couple of days, and then again in the refrigerator. When using the chocolate chips again, check the quality before consuming them. 

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!