Short answer: Sugar is safe to consume indefinitely.
I’ve had a bag of sugar in my pantry for years. It gets hard but never tastes funky, so I’ve always assumed it’s still safe to consume. Does sugar expire? Am I putting myself at risk when consuming hardened sugar?
Why does sugar get hard?
All types of sugar will dry out over time as the moisture evaporates, causing it to harden and clump together. Sugar is still safe to consume at this stage, though. To prevent or slow down this process, you can store the sugar in an airtight container in a moisture-free environment. Storing it in the refrigerator for long-term storage work well, too.
How do I soften hardened sugar?
The simplest method is to heat the hardened sugar in the microwave for 30 seconds. Alternatively, you could pick it apart using a pick or a fork.
Is sugar safe to eat after it hardens? Does sugar expire?
There is nothing in sugar that “goes bad” in a traditional sense. Sugar has an indefinite shelf life. Most manufacturers put a 2-year best by date label on their packaging, but sugar is safe to consume indefinitely.D
Honey also never expires and is safe to consume indefinitely.