Today I had planned to make a project using my Wilton candy melts. I pulled out all of my bags of candy to see what colors I had available to use. I was actually quite surprised at how many bags I had stored in my baking area. I knew I had not bought all of the bags recently, which got me wondering if any of them had expired.
I looked all over the bag, but did not see an expiration date. I did see each of the bags had a code in the lower left hand corner of the bag. The date posted though did not make a lot of sense. I was pretty sure that 14 was the year 2014, but I was not sure about the other numbers. Well it turns out that it is a date, but you have to do a little research to know what it means. ''
The numbers are not the expiration date, but the date the candy is made. It also is not based on the calendar that every one is used to, but the Julian calendar. Here is what the code 14071 means.,
The 14 means it was made this year. Yea! This is a newer bag. The next number indicates what day of the year it was made based on 365 days. 071 means it was made on the 71st day of the year. While I knew that it was would mean sometime in mid March, I wanted an easier way to figure out dates without pulling out the calendar each time. I found a Julian calendar online and copied down these numbers.
The numbers for March are days 60-90, with 60 being March 1st and 90, March 31st. Day 071 turns out to be March 12. This bag of candy was made on March 12, 2014. Unopened bags of Wilton candy melts are freshest 18 months from the date they are made, which means this bag is good until September 2015.
I went through all of my bags and about half were still in the 18 month window. I put large stickers on the bag, so I could see at a glance the date I needed to use it by. A few are getting close to their date, so I marked them to make sure I used them first.
Opened bags of candy should be stored in a air tight container or sealed plastic bag.. Some of my bags were past the 18 month window and just folded over. The rest were in plastic bags. I will be throwing those away, and buying new. I had only a couple of unopened bags that are past 18 months. According to Wilton's website unopened bags past 18 months are still okay to eat, but may be harder to melt, and not their freshest. If you have older bags, it really will depend on what you are making and what you feel most comfortable with using. If it is for an important project or party, it will not taste it's best. so in that case I would throw it out.
I am so excited to learn how to date my candy melts. It will definitely make it easier to know what to use for future projects. I hope this will help others who use candy melts too.