How To Tell If Fudge Has Gone Bad

How to tell if fudge has gone bad

Despite being one of the oldest confectionary delights around, fudge still remains hugely popular to this day – being loved by countless millions of people for its delicious taste, gooey texture, and moreish qualities. 

However, as with all confectionaries, fudge can indeed go bad. But this begs the question: what are the signs that fudge has gone bad, and what things do you need to be aware of? 

You can tell if fudge has gone bad by the following signs:

  • Mold or color changes
  • Extremely hard, dry, or crumbly texture
  • Off-putting odors

You should also consider how the fudge has been stored, if it has been exposed to heat, or if it is past its recommended shelf life.

Can Fudge Go Bad? 

Like all food stuff, fudge certainly has the potential to go bad – however this might not happen in the same way that you would expect from other desserts and foods. 

Generally speaking, fudge maintains a semi-decent appearance even after it has spoiled – similar to chocolate – and this can, at times, be deceiving for those people who have been keeping fudge for a while and are trying to ascertain how good it is. 

Despite not being a registered hazardous food by food groups – even once it has gone bad – there are still numerous changes to color, appearance, texture, taste, and smell that will make the experience of consuming fudge drastically different. 

What Happens To Fudge When It Goes Bad? 

When it comes to fudge, there are many ways for you to tell whether or not it has gone bad. 

Mold Formation

This is one of the most obvious signs that your fudge has gone bad. If there is mold forming on your fudge, then you should not eat it and should, in fact, dispose of it straight away to avoid injury and contamination with other foods in your refrigerator. 

However, this is generally a later sign of fudge going bad, and there are in fact, numerous signs that will present themselves prior to the formation of mold. 

Texture Changes

One of the first signs that your fudge has gone bad is a change to the general texture. 

These texture changes can include the fudge becoming hard or the fudge becoming soft, and while some basic, barely noticeable changes are probably fine, any major change to the texture and feel of the fudge should be cause for concern. 

These changes are usually brought on by temperature – which in turn can be a sign that they were improperly stored.

While these changes might not always be a sign that something is going bad with the fudge, they are certainly things to keep an eye out for. 

Color Changes

 As well as changes to texture, you should also be wary of changes to the color of your fudge, as these could also be a sign that your fudge is going bad. 

While the introductory color of the fudge depends entirely on the ingredients included therein, extreme color changes can be an indication that something is not quite right. 

In this instance, you are better off not taking any chances, and simply disposing of the fudge instead of risking illness from consuming it.  

Moisture Build-Up

If your fudge begins to turn soft and runny, and the container becomes filled with any form of fluid, then you should definitely dispose of them as soon as possible. 

This is usually caused by temperature changes – or improper storage – and this is a definite sign that the fudge has gone bad and is no longer fit for consumption. 

Deep Cracks

Likewise, if your fudge becomes cracked or broken without any assistance from you, then this is a sign that it has passed its best and should be thrown away. 

This generally means that the fudge has dried out and has exceeded its expiration date. As such, it should be disposed of and not eaten. 

How Long Does Fudge Generally Last? 

How To Tell If Fudge Has Gone Bad

The lifespan of fudge depends almost entirely on the environment in which you live, and the manner in which it is stored. 

If you live in a moderate climate that doesn’t experience too much heat, then your fudge should last for approximately 2 weeks at room temperature.

However, for this to happen, it needs to be properly stored in an airtight container, and kept out of the direct sunlight and sources of heat – i.e. the stove. 

While the milk and butter found within fudge are perishable and do not last long by themselves, the sugar content inside the dessert allows them to survive for longer periods of time – even at room temperature. 

If the fudge is stored in a refrigerator, then you can generally keep it for a period of 3 weeks.

Likewise, if it is frozen at the appropriate temperature, then you can usually keep it in the freezer for around 3 months – depending on the condition. 

For more information on how to store fudge, check out our recent blog post!

Is Out-of-Date Fudge OK To Eat? 

I suppose this is really the biggest question of the article: is out-of-date fudge okay to eat? 

The answer to this question really depends on what is inside the fudge, how long out of date the fudge actually is, and the environment in which it has been stored. 

Room Temperature Fudge

If you have stored the fudge at room temperature in an airtight container, then you should still dispose of the fudge after a period of two weeks, and you should not consume it after this point. 

This is due to the milk and butter content of the fudge, which can go bad after this time and cause illness in some cases. 

Refrigerated Fudge

If you have stored your fudge in the refrigerator, then you can generally eat it up to a period of three weeks – although this should depend entirely on the condition that the fudge is in, and the method in which it was stored. 

However, you should not consume it after the three-week point. 

Frozen Fudge

The best way to store fudge for long periods of time is in the freezer.

While it can effectively be kept indefinitely at these low temperatures, it is still best to consume the fudge within a period of three months. 

After this time, the fudge itself begins to break down on the cellular level, and the taste and consistency will become worse over time. 

Can Bad Fudge Make You Sick? 

This also depends on how long the fudge has been out of date, and the methods through which it was stored in the first place. 

Generally speaking, though, while the appearance and taste of fudge will certainly be compromised once it has exceeded its expiration date, it should not make you sick. 

While the milk and butter can be a risk – especially for nausea, sickness, and diarrhea – the sugar content of the fudge generally protects the consumer from becoming noticeably sick. 

Final Thoughts

It’s certainly true that fudge is a popular sweet, and one loved by many for its delicious, gooey texture, moreish flavor, and downright indulgent taste.

However, like all things, fudge can go bad, so it pays to be aware of the signs to avoid this dream dessert becoming a nightmare. 

So if you are concerned about your fudge, then be sure to look out for these signs.


Hi, I'm Sarah and welcome to Call Me Fudge! From a younger age I've always pottered about in the kitchen and even selling my fudge in the high school grounds. Cooking and baking to me is like second nature and I want to share this passion with you.

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