I'm not the best with expiration dates. I recently ate some soup that had a "best buy" date from months ago, and it seemed totally fine to me. Really, anything that isn't moldy and smells normal is okay to eat in my book. But as little attention as I pay to expiration dates, I definitely prefer having them on my food packaging. It just makes me feel safer about what I'm putting into my body, you know?

Because of this, things like chewing gum that don't have expiration dates make me nervous. I'm forever afraid I'm putting something bad into my mouth, even though my brain is telling me it's fine to eat since it looks and smells normal.

Does gum expire? After one too many heart-thumping moments of putting a piece of obviously ancient gum into my mouth and waiting for a nasty reaction, I've decided to figure out once and for all if gum can go bad.

Does Gum Expire?

grass, Pink, candy, bubble gum, Hubba Bubba, bubbles, Gum, bubble tape
Julia Gilman

I recently bought a new pack of gum, and after examining it I did actually find an expiration date on it (which is about six months from now). Given that there are nine pieces of gum in the package, I'd like to think I'll finish it off by October. But what if I happen to lose the package, and rediscover it a year from now? Would it be a health risk to chew the gum? While I'd probably rather have a new pack, there may be a gum-related emergency where I'll need my gross old pack of chewing gum.

According to the International Chewing Gum Association, chewing gum is very stable. This is because it's low in moisture and non-reactive. Gum is not required by law to have an expiration date in most countries because of this. If the law doesn't require it, I'd say old gum isn't a threat. While old gum may have a less desirable brittle texture, it's still safe to eat.

Now you don't have to worry about the possible side effects of old gum. It may feel gross, but it's safe. If you'd rather buy a fresh pack though, that's understandable. I don't think crumbly, tasteless gum sounds super appealing, but at least it won't hurt you.