Do you find hot chocolate your go-to drink when you need comfort and warmth, regardless of the weather condition outside?
It’s incontestable how relaxing and relieving a hot chocolate drink is when you feel hungry, unwell, or simply need something to uplift you when feeling tired and down.
Stocking your most preferred chocolate drink is practical, so you can have it anytime you want.
However, is it okay to buy more and stock it in your pantry? Does hot chocolate expire or go bad?
Flip through the post below to learn about its expiration date and how to properly store it.
Does Hot Chocolate Go Bad Or Expire?
Unfortunately, your favorite hot chocolate drink will eventually expire, just like other food items stored in your pantry.
It’s likelier to go bad without proper storage if you did not consume the drink on or before its “best before date”.
Hot chocolate drinks generally don’t have a particular expiration date; however, they have the “best before date” indicated in their bottles.
Hence, if you want to fully enjoy the hot chocolate mix’s fresh taste and rich flavor, we highly recommend drinking it within the specified “best before date”.
How Can I Determine If the Hot Chocolate Drink Has Expired?
The best method to ensure that your hot chocolate drink is suitable for safe consumption is to check its expiry date.
Alternatively, you can tell if it has gone bad if you notice something strange in its color, taste, and smell.
Nevertheless, it can be tricky to tell if your hot chocolate has gone bad since you won’t see significant changes in how it looks, unlike with fresh produce.
Here are a few methods to find out if it’s high time to discard your hot cocoa drink:
1. Strange and Bitter Taste or Flavor
You can easily notice a remarkable reduction in the flavor of expired hot chocolate.
You can either taste something bitter or realize that the drink’s potency and rich flavor have notably reduced.
Either way, these signs signify that your hot cocoa drink is not safe to consume.
2. Unpleasant Smell
Top-quality instant chocolate powder or cocoa comes with a pleasant and inviting smell similar to something buttery and malty.
Therefore, you can tell that the drink has gone bad if the smell of the powder has gone bland and a little pungent.
It’s best to keep your hot cocoa from storage places prone to getting wet, as moisture can get into the drink’s container immediately and promote bacterial growth.
Incorrect storage can make the hot chocolate lumpy. For this reason, you must ensure that you store the drink in a dry and cool spot.
Once you observe some changes in the color of your hot chocolate drink, it’s safer to throw it out.
An expired hot cocoa’s rich brown color tends to fade, transforming into a gray-white tinge over time.
When you notice discoloration, this sign means that the chocolate drink is already used-up and stale.
READ MORE: The Best Hot Chocolate Mixes
How Long Does Hot Chocolate or Cocoa Drink Last?
A chocolate drink prepared from melted chocolate bars is safe to consume for about two to three days at its peak quality.
Meanwhile, fresh hot chocolate drink produced from cocoa powder remains fresh for approximately three days.
Surprisingly, it may sometimes be safe for consumption until five days if stored inside the fridge.
Lastly, the hot chocolate powder mix will stay fresh from six to twelve months, at maximum.
Important Note: Cocoa powder can remain usable for about two years, provided you strictly followed all the storage requirements.
Is Drinking Hot Chocolate Healthy? What Are the Upsides of Drinking It?
Hot chocolates produced from the cacao bean are healthier options than powdered versions.
The best hot chocolate drinks, especially those made from unsweetened chocolate, are jam-packed with antioxidants, making them perfect for lowering blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
Here are a few of the upsides of drinking true hot choco drink:
- Does a great job of combatting inflammation when consumed pure
- Helps promote excellent blood flow or circulation
- Great for improving heart health
- Significantly lowers cholesterol levels
Important Note: You can only gain all these benefits if you consume 100% additive-free and 100% pure drink produced from the cacao bean.
Due to this, we strongly advise reviewing the product’s label before purchasing a packet of powdered hot chocolate drinks in supermarkets.
Why Do I Need to be Extra Careful Storing My Hot Choco Drink?
Did you know that proper hot chocolate storage is vital in extending its shelf life and preserving its fresh and tasty flavor?
That said, it’s a must to store your hot chocolate drink in a dry, cool, and dark storage place, preferably inside the pantry or kitchen cabinet.
Avoid placing the product in areas with direct sunlight and where the hot choco is exposed to water, as this condition may double its tendency to get moist.
Keep the hot chocolate powder leftovers in a sealed container if you have already opened the packet.
Check if the container comes with an airtight lid, as this helps keep other external factors, like moisture and heat, from infiltrating and accelerating the deterioration process.
Apart from adhering to correct storage instructions, make it a habit to use a clean and dry spoon when scooping out hot chocolate powder from the packet.
Otherwise, the potentiality of cross-contamination is likelier to take place. Remember to store the hot chocolate in a storage place at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition, make sure that you store the product in a spot with less than 55% humidity. Meanwhile, you can keep the opened bottle of hot chocolate inside the fridge at 38.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Please note that you can safely consume the refrigerated hot chocolate within one to two months.
Can Drinking Expired Hot Chocolate Drinks Compromise Your Health?
Drinking an already expired hot choco drink can make you feel sick. In general, drinking spoiled hot chocolate can make you suffer from digestive problems.
And, if your case worsens, your condition may even lead to food poisoning, which can be fatal if not treated immediately.
To sum up, it’s critical to know when your hot chocolate expires, the signs it has gone bad, and the methods of storing it properly to ensure it’s safe for consumption.
Again, let’s review the bottom line of this post:
Hot chocolate comes with an expiration date indicated on their bottles or packet. The powder version used to make this drink is safe to drink for roughly two years, with correct storage procedures.
It’s a must to store the hot choco drink in a dark, cool, and dry location, away from direct sunlight and extreme humidity.
Once the chocolate powder packet is opened, place the chocolate powder in a tidy and tightly-sealed canister to impede bacteria buildup.
If the hot choco drink has gone bad, discard it immediately, as consuming it in that condition can cause food poisoning and digestive problems.