Do Welch’s Fruit Snacks Expire?

by Charlie
Welch's Fruit Snacks

If you’re a big fan of Welch’s fruit snacks, you’re probably wondering whether these delicious treats ever expire, or whether you can safely eat them no matter how much time has passed. Fruit snacks are very sugary and can last for a long time provided they are stored correctly and do not get damp.

Do Welch’s fruit snacks expire? Welch’s fruit snacks have a shelf life of a year, and you can find this information on the packaging. You may even be able to keep them for longer provided you store them in the correct conditions and they don’t get exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures. You may find that the texture degrades a bit, but they should still be safe enough to eat.

These fruit snacks are very popular and if you’re wondering how to store them for the best preservation, as well as how to read the expiry date on the packet, we’re going to cover all of that in this article.

How Do You Read the Expiration Code on the Welch’s Fruit Snacks Packet?

The expiry code on these packets should be reasonably easy to read as long as the packaging is intact. When you open a packet, it is worth being careful so that you don’t tear the expiry information.

You should be able to find the lot code, which will tell you what the production date was. You may find a code that starts with a couple of letters, followed by a series of numbers and letters. The first two numbers will tell you what year the product was made (e.g. 21 means it was made in 2021). 

This will then be followed by a letter that tells you the month in which they were made, with A being January, B being February, and so on. September is denoted by an X in these product codes.

After this letter, you should see numbers that tell you the day of the month in which it was produced.

For example, your product number might be something like PN21C1555. This would have been made on the fifteenth of March in 2021. This gives you a starting point to work out how soon the snacks will expire – simply count one year on from this day.

How Long Will Fruit Snacks Last If You Don’t Open Them?

Fruit snacks should last the full year if they are still sealed inside their packet. Here, there is no moisture to get at them, so they will stay dry and fresh, and won’t end up turning moldy. They are also kept away from direct sunlight and provided they aren’t subjected to temperature changes, they should remain pretty stable.

If you open a bag, the moisture is able to get at the snacks, and this will reduce their shelf life because they will start to absorb the moisture and may begin turning moldy or hardening.

How Can You Tell If Fruit Snacks Have Gone Bad?

You should check the fruit snacks themselves, not just the numbers on the packet, as sometimes the snacks may have gone bad before the best before date has been reached. This is unusual and will either be due to improper storage or, rarely, manufacturing issues, but it can happen.

Fruit snacks should not be either very hard or very squishy. If the texture has changed or they are all stuck together, this indicates something has compromised the snacks, and they are no longer fit to consume.

You should throw them away if you think they have gone bad. You aren’t likely to see visible mold on the surface, so don’t look for this. The snacks may also not have a bad smell, as rotting vegetables or other fresh foods would. You have to rely on their texture and their taste.

If you put one from an old packet in your mouth and it tastes funny, spit it out and throw the packet away.

Is it Okay to Eat Expired Fruit Snacks?

What about if you find a packet of Welch’s fruit snacks that are past their best before date but haven’t yet been opened. Could they be okay to eat?

It’s worth a try. Because of their high sugar content, these treats may last a long time, although their texture and taste may not be as good as it was.

You shouldn’t eat expired fruit snacks if you suffer from allergies or you are immunocompromised. Throw them away and buy a new packet instead.

What Happens If You Eat Expired Fruit Snacks?

Usually, expired fruit snacks are fine to eat, even if they don’t taste as good as they did. They are unlikely to hurt you because they have so much sugar in them, so they are extremely well preserved and shouldn’t go moldy the way some other foods might.

In theory, an expired fruit snack could make your stomach hurt if it had grown bacteria on the surface. However, this is pretty unlikely, and usually, you won’t notice any ill effects if you eat expired fruit snacks.

If your fruit snacks have got wet, however, you should throw them away. Adding a lot of moisture to the snacks may cause molding because it will soak up and dilute some of the sugar, creating a breeding ground for mold spores.

Open packets of fruit snacks may also absorb moisture from the air, reducing their resistance to mold. If you have opened your fruit snacks, use an elastic band or a clip to reduce the airflow, or decant the snacks into an airtight container before storing them to prevent moisture from being absorbed or the snacks from dying out.

Final Thoughts

Welch’s fruit snacks don’t really expire while they are in a sealed package, but once they have been opened, they may expire. The manufacturers advertise them as having a year-long shelf life, but in reality, they are likely to be safe to eat long after that provided they have not been opened.

Once they have been opened, they should be used up reasonably quickly and wrapped up to minimize their exposure to air. This will help to keep the fruit snacks fresh for longer.

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