Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Richmond, BC, .
Dry foods (powder, etc) can go stale if exposed to light, air, or moisture (humidity), but bacteria cannot grow by light alone. Obviously if it's a dry hard lump, throw it away... but if it's still light and fluffy (and no signs of "badness within"), it should be safe to consume. And although it might taste funny, it's not likely to make you sick... especially if you use it in something boiled (like hot chocolate). If it was sealed fairly air tight, and not exposed to moisture, it should be fine.
Funny story... My parents moved last november, and in the cleaning, my mother found some canned soup in the garage, that was dated very early 80's. Being the crazy person she is, she opened it up, boiled it up, and ate the soup (my father also agreed to try some). It tasted a bit bland, but no one got sick. I (of course) flat out refused to eat it.
I probably shouldn't have told that story, but whatever. lol