I like to buy the seasonal colored ones AFTER the holiday because they are like 75% off. Wanted to make sure it was safe though because we can have a bottle for a whole decade for as often as we make cookies 'round here haha.
I think that as long as moisture hasn't gotten into the bottle so they are all stuck together, they should be just fine. We raised 5 children to adulthood, we always used the sprinkles until it was empty, no matter how long it took, and I can't ever remember one of them getting sick from cookies. (Although I did tell them that they might if they ate too many)
I reused them as well. I am not dead as far as I can tell.
Plus, I can't imagine anything harmful surviving the baking process.
(I am reminded of party I was at as a kid where the cupcakes had those silver ball decorations in the frosting. I guess they were a novelty at the time. A panicked debate ensued among the moms after some of the kids ate them. Are they edible? They don't look edible! Should we race to the hospital? The embarrassed hostess mom had to explain that they could be eaten.)
I love the silver balls! In fact saw them grocery shopping in the baking aisle by spices but in an "international" section. They were 10 bucks a jar! They even had (never seen before) PASTEL colored jar of them and those were 10 but red ones (NOT red hots) were only 5 lol, guess it has to do with the cost of that metallic coating?
I don't bake sprinkles into my cookies. I prefer frosting and then a light sprinkle as decoration. Oh man growing up my sibs would decorate the cookies and there'd be GOBS of sprinkles and just enough icing to hold them to the center of the cookies. Yuck. I would always hold out the ones I'd do (frosting to the edge, just a touch of sprinkle or none) and then who's do you think still were eaten first!? MINE!
Okay so what do you think the shelf life be on after holiday chocolates? I'm talking like Christmas m&m's lol. I bought the bags of them at 69 cents (!!!) divided out the reds from the greens (it's easy, you can watch TV same time and with rubber gloves even the kids can help!). Reds = valentines cookies, greens = st. patty's day (yes we honor the Irish here!).
But there was NO expiration on any of the bags???
DH sealed them in foil packs with oxygen absorbers but other than that I've no clue.
I wouldn't worry about it a bit, as long as they don't get too warm. March isn't that far away, and sealed in foil packs they should be just fine.
For a little while when I was going to college I worked part time at a candy factory. (It's not as appealing as you might think.) They were making chocolate bunnies in the summertime...maybe 9 months ahead of when they were going to be sold.