- How long does an unopened package of cocoa mix last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions -to maximize the shelf life of unopened cocoa mix store in a cool, dry area.
Properly stored, an unopened package of cocoa mix will generally stay at best quality for about 3 years.
Is unopened cocoa mix safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the package is undamaged - commercially packaged cocoa mix will typically carry a " Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before", or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the cocoa mix will remain at peak quality.
Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the cocoa mix's texture, color or flavor may change, but in most cases, it will still be safe to consume if it has been stored properly, the package is undamaged, and there are no signs of spoilage (see below).
How can you tell if cocoa mix is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the cocoa mix: if cocoa mix develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if insects appear, it should be discarded.
Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here