Does Chocolate Syrup Go Bad?

You haven’t made ice cream sundaes in forever, but somehow there’s a bottle of chocolate syrup in your fridge. And there’s a spare bottle that’s sitting on the bottom shelf of your pantry for almost two years. When that happens, the question “does chocolate syrup go bad?” becomes highly relevant.

Fortunately for you, chocolate sauce has a long shelf life and doesn’t go bad quickly. In this article, we’ll go through storage, shelf life, and signs of going bad of chocolate syrup. If that’s what you’re looking for, read on.

Chocolate syrup bottles
Image used under Creative Commons from Daniel Oines

How To Store Chocolate Syrup

Let’s start with store-bought chocolate syrup since that’s what you most likely have on hand.

Storing it is not rocket science, you just need to make sure it sits in a dry place where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate much. Bonus points if the place is pretty cold. The pantry is the best option here, but a cupboard in the kitchen is fine too.

Once you open the bottle of that chocolate goodness, you should keep it tightly sealed in the fridge when not in use. This way, it will retain its taste for longer.

If you don’t put it into the fridge, but back in the pantry, nothing bad will really happen. Just the process of quality loss will proceed faster.

So if you forgot to put the syrup into the fridge after your last dessert, no worries. Just chuck the bottle into the refrigerator and it will be fine. That is, of course, if your previous dessert was a few days or weeks ago, not on your birthday 2 years ago.

Generally, store-bought chocolate syrup has some preservatives that make it shelf stable and last quite a long time. Because of that, freezing store-bought chocolate syrup isn’t really that great of an idea. It has a long enough shelf life for you to use it.

Now let’s touch upon homemade chocolate syrup. There are many recipes out there, and pretty much all of them are healthier than what you buy at the store. If you’d like to test out a simple 5-ingredient recipe, check out this one.

Since homemade chocolate syrup lacks all the preservatives added in the commercial ones, it should be kept in the fridge.

Chocolate cheesecake with syrup
(credit: Ella Olsson)

How Long Does Chocolate Syrup Last

As I already mentioned, store-bought chocolate syrup has a pretty long shelf life. Each bottle comes with a best-by date, which informs you for how long, at the very least, the product will be of best quality.

Of course, it won’t go bad a few days or even weeks after that date, quite on the contrary. An unopened chocolate syrup should last at least a year or two after the date on the package. It will probably last even longer with only minimal changes to its taste.

Once you open the bottle, the syrup still lasts quite a long time and you can easily store it in the fridge for a year.

Chocolate strawberry pancakes
(credit: Whitney Wright)

When it comes to homemade chocolate syrup, it still lasts pretty long. Its main ingredients, such as cocoa powder and sugar, have a pretty long shelf life, and in most recipes, there aren’t any perishable ones.

Because of that, the syrup they make lasts two months or even longer. If you’re following a recipe and want to make a bigger batch, always look for the author’s guidelines related to shelf life.

Chocolate syrup (Unopened)Best By + 2 years 
Chocolate syrup (Opened) 1 year
Homemade chocolate syrup 2 – 3 months

The periods are approximate and for the best quality only. This ice cream topping will likely last safe to consume for much longer, but maybe not as good in terms of flavor.

Does chocolate syrup go bad?

You already know that chocolate syrup lasts a long time, even after the date on the package. That means that your bottle of Hershey’s or Fox’s U-bet chocolate syrup that’s a week after the date on the label is almost certainly fine.

However, chocolate syrup, like other toppings such as caramel or strawberry syrups, degrades in quality over time. The process is slow and takes a lot of time, which is months and years for the store-bought variety.

But one day, you might pour some syrup over your ice cream dessert and find its flavor lacking. When that happens, it’s time to get rid of the topping for quality purposes. It’s still safe to consume, but if it doesn’t taste as great as it used to, cut your losses and throw it out. A new bottle will be so much better.

Of course, like most foods, chocolate syrup can spoil, especially if any contaminants get into the bottle. There are a few signs of spoilage to look for.

First one is if it develops an odd or funny smell. If that happens, discard the product. The second sign is a noticeable change in texture. That might mean clumping or separation. Any signs of mold also indicate the syrup is done for and you should get rid of it.

If it looks and smells okay, it’s almost certainly safe to consume. Now what remains is to taste it and based on that decide if you’re going to use it or throw it out. When in doubt, stay on the safe side and discard it.

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