Can Expired Skittles Make You Sick?

I’ve been there. Trust me. You’re there, sitting at home. It’s late, and the stores have closed. All of a sudden, your mind reminds you of the glorious delights that are Skittles. You need some right now. You can’t wait for tomorrow; you want to taste their strong, sweet, fruity flavors at this moment. But you don’t have any…or do you?

You rush to the fridge, pantry, or candy drawer, open it up and start desperately looking for that distinctive Skittles packaging. And there you see it! Hiding at the back.

A bag of Skittles. But they’re old. In fact, really old. Past their supposed ‘expiration date.’ What do you do? Can you eat them? Or will they make you sick? It’s time to find out.

So, can expired skittles make you sick? Expired skittles are unlikely to make you sick. This is due to the high sugar concentration and little moisture; two factors preventing skittles from being able to harbor and grow mold. Thus, skittles will typically last much longer than the date stated on the packaging.

Good news, I assume.

That old packet of Skittles may not have to be thrown away just yet.

As we shall see by exploring in the next few sections!

Is It Okay To Eat Out-of-date Skittles?

It is okay to eat out-of-date Skittles as they can last much longer than the date indicated on their packaging. They will, therefore, not make you sick when you eat them.

Relax. You can now eat your expired Skittles…probably. Everything does go off at some point, and we’ll talk about when Skittles do later on.

But the main point that you should take away from today’s lesson is that it is okay to eat out-of-date Skittles.

However, if they are left for really long periods, then their quality and flavor will lessen.

In fact, the biggest issue to worry about when it comes to out-of-date Skittles is their outer shells hardening.

This does happen, particularly if Skittles are left in the fridge for too long. And if you bite into one of these overly hard Skittles, you could chip a tooth.

But when it comes to going ‘off,’ Skittles generally don’t mold or rot. This is because they don’t contain any microorganisms. 

A lot of expired candy has been reported to carry microorganisms. If you eat these, then they can make you sick.

HOWEVER! And this is a big, however, hence why I wrote it in capitals.

Expired candy usually carries these microorganisms because something entered the candy before the packaging was sealed on the factory line.

So getting sick from eating expired candy can happen in rare instances.

Skittles don’t carry these microorganisms, so you’re safe to enjoy well after the expiry date.

Again, that doesn’t mean your Skittles won’t eventually go ‘off.’

How long your Skittles last until they go ‘off’ will depend on their storage environment. We’ll talk more about that soon.

Now, you might be wondering why Skittles put an expiry date on their packaging if we can eat them well after this time anyway. 

You’re right to query this because the expiry dates on some foods should be adhered to. This is the case for meat products and milk products.

However, when it comes to candy, it’s a different ball game.

The expiry date on a bag of Skittles is more about advising you to eat them before this date because that is when they are at their best.

After this date, the quality of the Skittles might not be as good. But they are still fine to eat without you getting sick.

So that expiry date on a bag of Skittles is more of a ‘best before date! Like a guideline. 

How Long Are Skittles Good For After The Expiration Date?

Skittles can be good for a whopping 5 years after they have been opened. But for them to last this amount of time, they would need to be stored properly.

Yikes! More than 5 years?? That’s a long, long time. That’s actually a ridiculous amount of time for candy to last. But it is the truth.

So, if you’ve opened your bag of Skittles and you decide that you don’t want any after all, you can just put them back.

In fact, you’ve decided you don’t want to eat any Skittles for a while. No problem. You have 5 years to decide whether you want to finish that bag of Skittles.

This will vary per bag of Skittles and will be dependent on other factors, especially those to do with storage.

For example, if any moisture and water got into the bag of Skittles, then bacteria and mold could start to grow here.

If this happens, then not only will your Skittles go ‘off’ much quicker, but they will also be dangerous to eat.

This is when you risk getting sick from eating expired Skittles.

Ultimately, your Skittles will last as long as they last after the expiration date. 

It could be less than 5 years. It could, dare we say, be even more than 5 years.

Whether or not they have gone ‘off,’ well, only you will be able to tell. 

I’ll be teaching you how to tell if your Skittles have gone ‘off’ and are not safe for consumption soon.

Why Do Skittles Last So Long?

Skittles last so long because they have all the moisture sucked out of them and they contain preservatives.

As we briefly mentioned earlier, moisture getting into your Skittles can cause them to grow bacteria, which isn’t what we want when it comes to Skittles’ longevity.

Skittles actually contain very little moisture at all originally. This lack of moisture helps give them that famous hard and chewy texture they have.

But more importantly, in this case, it’s what gives the Skittles such a long shelf life because it means they can keep bacteria away.

How do Skittles achieve this feature? It’s through a process called Osmosis.

When Skittles are made, moisture will be sucked out of each piece of candy, killing any microbes living there, thus helping the Skittles to live a long and happy life before they are finally eaten.

Preservatives are another factor to consider here. Preservatives, which are used in Skittles, are exactly what they say they are. They persevere the Skittles.

When Should You Not Eat Expired Skittles?

You should not eat Skittles if they taste, look or smell off. You should also chuck them away if they’re showing signs of rotting or mold.

Time for some important information, so listen up!

As we know, you can eat Skittles well after the date stated on their packaging. 

However, there is a point where you should not eat a batch of really old Skittles.

And you will have to judge when this is.

Your decision will determine whether you get sick from eating Skittles or not. So no pressure.

To be honest with you, I’m not sure why you’re in this situation where you have Skittles that are near being past safe to eat.

But, hey, we all have our reasons for the things we do, I guess…

First of all, it’s worth mentioning that Skittles do lose their flavor a bit as time goes on. But this doesn’t mean they have gone ‘off.’

They will eventually taste ‘off,’ and trust me, if you eat them, you’ll know when this has happened.

Please try to spit them out, as you could be sick.

The best and safest way to form this judgment is to take a good look at the Skittles and also to give them a big whiff.

If they look like they’re starting to discolor or even turn white, it’s probably time to say goodbye to these Skittles.

If they smell odd and no longer like Skittles, then it’s also probably time to say goodbye.

Also, look for signs of rot or mold. These are obvious indicators of when it’s time to chuck your Skittles.

How To Maximize How Long Your Skittles Last

You can maximize how long your Skittles last by storing them correctly at the right temperature. 

You want to extend how long your Skittles can last. I’m not asking any questions; as I’ve said before, it’s your life. But I will give you some tips on how to achieve this.

Let’s get into them!

Store At A Cool Temperature

Where you store, your Skittles is important. The fridge is good, although you will need to be careful when you take your Skittles out after a long time in there because they’ll be really hard. 

Somewhere dry and cool is also a good bet, especially as they won’t harden too much here.

What you need to keep your Skittles away from is sunlight and heat exposure. This is when they will melt and potentially go ‘off’ quicker.

Keep Them Properly Sealed

Make sure they’re sealed properly when you store them whether that be in their original packaging or a sealed plastic bag. 

They need to be airtight for the best preservation!


If you do eat out-of-date Skittles and you feel sick, you might want to contact your doctor.

The best thing to do is to just keep to the fresh packs of Skittles.

Not only is this when they’re safest to eat, but it’s also when they taste the best!!

Related Questions

Can skittles get moldy?

Skittles cannot get moldy if they are kept in a cool dry place.

How long can unopened skittles last?

Unopened skittles can last for a year or longer, depending on where and how they are stored.

Related guides you may want to check out: