Two weeks ago, one of my friends asked me, "What does 'expired on' text on a syrup really mean?'" He is currently working in a place that uses syrup as one of their main product, slushes, then a couple of weeks ago he checked the expiration date of the syrup and it said 04/13/14. Meanwhile here we are in 2016, so it had been about 2 years they kept it and used it.

Is it still safe to be consumed by public?

1 Answer 1


You didn't say what type of syrup, so I'll assume a typical syrup like maple. According to stilltasty.com, it's good for one year if refrigerated and indefinitely if frozen.

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Stilltasty uses government food safety guidelines as its criteria, so it tends to be very conservative. I have a bottle of maple syrup that was opened over a year ago and I intend to keep it and finish the bottle even if it takes another year, and it is not refrigerated. It's kept in a pantry at room temperature. Since bacteria don't grow readily in heavy sugar solutions, bacterial contamination is almost never an issue with syrups, jellies, etc. Sometimes the sugars will separate out, but you can fix that by simply warming the syrup in a microwave or hot water. The sugar crystals will re-dissolve. Mold can sometimes get established, but that's plainly visible and you should toss anything with mold in it.

So, basically, government guidelines say throw that 2014 syrup away immediately. I, however, would eat it without worry.

EDIT: In response to a question in comments, I've added this link:


  • "bacteria don't grow readily in heavy sugar solutions" - do you have any references which I could read on that? Apr 10, 2018 at 22:03
  • @Chris See my edit.
    – Carey Gregory
    Apr 11, 2018 at 1:21

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