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Bowl of common Halloween Candy

It's close to that time of year again of ghouls, goblins, candy and unique costumes. During this Halloween season after checking the candy for your children, be aware that some Halloween candy can expire and become unhealthy.

Karen Blakeslee, in the food safety department and Fadi Aramouni, professor of food at the Kansas State University warn that the shelf life of candy can vary.

"The shelf life depends on the type of candy, packaging and storage conditions," Blakeslee said. "Shelf life can vary anywhere from two weeks to a year."

"The less exposure to air, the better," she said. "Also, store it at room temperature. Heat can cause many candies to melt and get too sticky. Chocolate can get a powdery look to it -- called bloom -- because of temperature changes, but it is still fine to eat."

After Halloween has past and there is still candy leftover; here are some key warnings that the candy has expired:

  • Discoloration
  • Extreme stickiness
  • Bugs
  • Odor
  • Mold
  • "Oozy" substance

Anything that contains chocolate , fruits and nuts will mostly likely expire between 8 to 10 months. Salmonella poisoning can occur if these signs are overlooked.

Carmel can last between 6 to 9 months if stored away from any heat or light. Hard candies and jellied candies should be kept in a cool climate area. Both can last from 6 months to a year.

If the candy doesn't look right just throw it away; in 12 more months Halloween will be back again to replenish your children bags.

Keep in mind that you don't know how long the tricky treats were sitting in a warehouse or store shelves before they ended up in the trick or treat bags.

Check your children's candy, use common sense, if in doubt throw it out and have a safe and fun Halloween.