Do M&Ms go bad?

They melt in your mouth and not in your hand! You are in good company if you like peanuts or just regular M&Ms. You may wonder why M&Ms are called M&Ms it’s been debated for a long time. The answer is they are the initials of the founders of the product. Mars & Murrie. Mars from the famous confectionary family, and Murrie, the grandson of the founder of Hershey’s.

Did you know that Ronald Reagan made M&M the official presidential candy? There are special packs of M&Ms with the white house seal and President Reagan’s signature today. The boxes are worth more than the contents.

This article will unveil M&ms, let you know if they are as good as they should be, and answer frequently asked questions to improve your knowledge of this wonderful candy-covered chocolate.

Do M&Ms expire?

Yes, M&Ms do expire, and there will be a best-before date or an expiry date printed on the bag. But how long will an M&M last? It’s a hotly debated question, so here is an accurate answer.

It will Depend on what they are filled with and how they are stored. M&Ms survive 6–12 months after their “best by” date if stirred correctly.

The best before date and how the chocolates are stored are just two variables that affect the shelf life of M&Ms. They are in a class of their own because of their distinctive flavor and aesthetic, particularly the “melt in your mouth, not in your palm” quality.

M&Ms are tiny bits of chocolate wrapped in a candy shell that can even be personalized with your name; they come in a variety of colors and flavors, including M&M Almond, M&M Peanut, M&M Peanut Butter, M&M Mint, M&M Pretzel, M&M Coconut, and Dark Chocolate M&M.

Here is a general guide for how long the varying filling of M&Ms last past the expiry date.

Past Printed DatePast Printed Date
M&M’s last for12 Months12-16 Months
M&M Peanut lasts for6 Months12-16 Months
M&M Peanut Butter lasts for6 Months12-16 Months
M&M Almond lasts for6 Months12-16 Months
M&M Mint lasts for12 Months12-16 Months.

Do M&Ms need to be stored in the refrigerator?

Chocolate does not react well to extreme temperature variations, and being a relatively stable product wrapped in a stable product, the centers of M&Ms have an excellent shelf life outside the refrigerator.

The best way to store M&Ms is to place them in an airtight container and place them in a cool pantry or a kitchen cabinet away from the oven and hob.

Storage is essential for M&Ms. Even open packs of M&Ms have a stable shelf life and can last for an incredibly long time if placed in an airtight container such as a Ziploc bag.

However, storing M&Ms in the fridge is not a bad idea if you live in a hot climate. If nothing else, it will keep the bugs away from these sugary treats.

How long can M&Ms sit out?

It will depend on the environment to some extent, but there is a rule for perishable foods from the USDA, and applying this rule to all food will put you in a good state regarding foodborne illnesses.

The USDA states the perishable foods can only sit out for hours before being considered garbage.

However, it is hard for bacteria to flourish on sugary surfaces so you could extend the sitting bout time at room temperature for maybe four or five hours.

But these yummy candies are so delectable that they will not sit out for long before being consumed entirely.

Do M&Ms go bad if left out?

If you leave any food product out, be it candy or anything else, it will eventually degrade and succumb to bacteria indefinitely if left on the side.

When dealing with anything that is going to be consumed by kids and adults, you will always need to use common sense.

M&Ms are fine stored at room temperature of around 60 to 65℉, which is a little over 18℃. If this is too cool for your living room, place the M&Ms in an airtight container and consume them at your leisure.

The word bad for M&Ms may be a misnomer, M&Ms, when not stirred correctly, will crack and dry out, and they become unpleasant to eat but are they bad? No, not at all.

How long do M&Ms last in the fridge?

Here is the rub, refrigerating M&Ms will not extend the shelf life. In fact, it may make the candies degrade slightly.

Let’s assume you live in a hot climate and the ambient temperature in your home exceeds 86℉. You may want to store your chocolate products in the fridge, including your M&Ms, so you have a good texture to the product, but will it extend the life of the product?

The official line from Mars is that you need to eat M&Ms within 13 months of the packet being opened, but that will not take into account extreme temperatures.

However, you know the shelf life of M&Ms and the different centers, so the answer will be either six months or 12 months, depending on the filling.

Do Melted M&Ms go bad?

M&Ms will start to melt at around 90℉, becoming gooey and not pleasurable to eat. It is not recommended to store M&Ms in the fridge, but if they are melting, you may need to store them somewhere cool in an airtight container. Like the fridge.

Does it go bad? It takes candy and chocolate a long time to go bad unless it’s being eaten by  bugs, which at such time the product should be tossed in the garbage.

Meted M&Ms make an excellent topping for ice cream. Shatter the chocolate and sprinkle it over ice cream for an extra indulgent treat.

Melted M&Ms make a great addition or accessory for banking, the M&Ms can be mixed in with your cake batter, and the gooey yummy chocolate will thread throughout your baking, adding an extra sweet deliciousness to your baked product.

Do frozen M&Ms go bad?

Yes and no. It depends on the variety of the M&M. It’s safe to freeze M&Ms chocolates for up to two years without compromising the product. The flavor will remain the same, and the crunch from the candy shell will be present.

However, if you love to eat M&Ms with crispy filings like crisp rice, it’s only going to last for three months in the freezer before it degrades.

The best way to freeze M&Ms is simple, use Ziploc bags and place the M&Ms in the bags, expel as much air from the bag as possible and then place the Ziploc bags in an airtight container.

At this point, you may wish to decide to store the different varieties in different bags and mark the bags the date of freezing so you can maximize the life of the product.

Can expired M&Ms make you sick?

Logically the first answer to the quest has to be no. Why? Because M&Ms last for at least six months to a year after the expiry date, or best before. So, in theory, M&M’s can make you sick after they have expired.

But It depends. If M&Ms were all chocolate, then the answer would be it’s improbable unless the product is very old.

From the small table above, a peanut M&M only lasts for six months after expiry. It could be losing peanut oils, becoming moldy, and if you eat it, you become sick.

Milk chocolate M&Ms use milk powder which has a definitive life before it goes bad.  It is possible that M&Ms could make you sick if you eat them after the expiry date?

But in most cases, with candy such as M&Ms, it’s a food quality issue rather than a food safety issue. If you are concerned about the longevity of your M&Ms, it makes sense to discard them and buy a fresh pack.

Can M&Ms get moldy?

Mold spores cannot establish themselves in high concentrations of sugar.

M&Ms and other chocolates cannot go moldy. But other ingredients, such as peanuts can and crispy rice.

If there is a problem with chocolate products, it’s typically sugar or fat blooming. This does not make the product bad; it does not look appetizing, but it tastes the same.

Final thoughts

M&Ms are a fantastic product with a terrific heritage in the confectionery industry. They have a long stable shelf life, and spending on the filling can last six months or 12 months past the expiry date.

If you have an open pack of M&Ms, it is recommended that you consume the pack within 13 months from opening, according to Mars.

Refrigerating M&Ms does not extend the product’s shelf life and is not recommended.

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