Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat! Just make sure it hasn’t been sitting around for too long. Some candy has limited shelf life–something for parents to think about before hiding and storing Halloween candy meant to be doled out to the kids later.
According to Karen Blakeslee, an extension associate for food safety at Kansas State University, shelf life can vary anywhere from two weeks to a year, depending on the type of candy, packaging and storage conditions. Hard candy may last indefinitely, but chocolate can go bad. Oh boo hoo…I know. People have suffered from salmonella poisoning from eating spoiled chocolate.
Some signs to look for are extreme stickiness and/or graininess in chocolate. Sound pretty nasty to me, so I can’t imagine anybody failing to catch that. Also look out for an unusual flavor, as well as a change in color. With chocolate candy containing fruits or nuts, be on the look out for mold.
Look, why not ration out a week’s worth, and then toss the rest? That’s the safest and easiest way to approach things. You might need to check the individual candies, since there’s no way of telling which misers kept their candy from last Halloween to hand out this year. But saying that, if most people are like me, that candy’s not lasting more than a week no matter what the amount. Darn Halloween.