Shelf Life Tips
- How long does an opened package of cocoa powder last? The precise answer depends to a large extent on storage conditions -to maximize the shelf life of opened unsweetened cocoa powder store in a cool, dry area.
How long does opened cocoa powder last at room temperature? Properly stored, an opened package of unsweetened cocoa powder will generally stay at best quality for about 3 years at room temperature.
To maximize the shelf life of opened cocoa powder, keep package tightly closed.
Is opened cocoa powder safe to use after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the package is undamaged - commercially packaged unsweetened cocoa powder 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 powder will remain at peak quality.
Storage time shown is for best quality only - after that, the unsweetened cocoa powder'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 unsweetened cocoa powder is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the unsweetened cocoa powder: if unsweetened cocoa powder develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if mold appears, it should be discarded.
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Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here