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Old 01-29-2016, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,603 posts, read 58,073,078 times
Reputation: 52527

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podo944 View Post
Oh my goodness, I just cleaned out and sorted the shelf in my kitchen that had a zillion containers of various sizes and brands containing various spices! Lol!! It's like a time warp in there! A virtual history museum!
"But wait! What? Wasn't 2011 just a couple of of years ago?" (it was FIVE!) "Oh I remember 2009... that's the year we..." etc. etc.

I actually found an unopened bottle of hot sauce from 2004! Okay, now that's scary!

Needless to say 3/4 of that shelf is now empty!
What a shame. You needlessly wasted food that is still perfectly good, especially the unopened jar of hot sauce.

I use have spices from the Carter administration. They're fine. I just use a little more than I would if they were fresh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
I didn't know spices could go bad. I have some spices that I bought 10 years ago that are still fine to use.
They don't go bad. They lose intensity of flavor; the loss is more pronounced in herbs than in spices. You just use more.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:57 AM
 
16,724 posts, read 13,992,636 times
Reputation: 41042
Quote:
Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr View Post
I sell spices for a living.

The vast majority of them do not go bad. That expiration date you see on them, usually 2 or 3 years, is put on there at the request of the company selling them to consumers. It has nothing to do with an actual expiration of the spice.

Spices can age, they can fade, but their potency doesn't really change. To use black pepper as an example, if you buy ground black pepper, it will always taste about the same, even 5-10 years later. It may become clumped up due to moisture in the air, but shaking the bottle will fix that easily. If you buy whole black pepper, that's even better. Spices taste best when freshly ground, and any spice you can buy whole will last for years and it will be ready to be ground when you are finally ready to use it.

Whole spices generally cost a bit more, but if you're concerned about having to throw your spices away, buy the whole spices and you'll never have to throw them out, and they'll always be as fresh as the day you bought them when you grind them to use them.

Salt is another one... It doesn't go bad, ever. We manufacture our own label of salt and do not put an expiration date on it. However, for the grocery store chains we sell to, they want us to add an expiration date, because consumers don't like not knowing when something goes bad or not. So we add the date just to appease them.

The only spices that go bad are things like minced garlic in water, (any spice in water, really) and some extracts.

This was so interesting to read! Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Glen Burnie, Maryland
1,271 posts, read 3,376,308 times
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I have spices that were my mother's. I took them when she passed away because the were in fancy little jars and labeled so nicely. I still use them (especially the Italian blend). She passed away 22 years ago! Who knows how long she had them before I got them.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:20 AM
 
10,718 posts, read 6,875,939 times
Reputation: 11325
Quote:
Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr View Post

The only spices that go bad are things like minced garlic in water, (any spice in water, really) and some extracts.
What about minced garlic in oil kept in the fridge will it go bad?
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:23 AM
 
16,724 posts, read 13,992,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeIsGood01 View Post
What about minced garlic in oil kept in the fridge will it go bad?

Yes, it can go bad. Or at least it will become a consistency that is not nice to look at or feel and you will want to throw it out.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Deep In The Heart of Texas
1,579 posts, read 1,215,057 times
Reputation: 2919
I did this a few years ago when I retired and had the time and most of mine were expired and had lost their potency. Since then I put the date I bought them on the bottle with a black marker. I just don't use things up as much as I did when I had a family. Now I date almost everything so I know how old it is. Some items you can't read the expiration date on them. The date comes in handy because I can tell how much or how little I use something. Goes for OTC medicines too!
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:34 AM
 
Location: la la land
28,402 posts, read 12,017,804 times
Reputation: 20077
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugelstadt View Post
My understanding as well for dry spices. They may not have the same flavor (pepper comes to mind) but should be good. I've used old spices
me too! I think they just put an expiration date on them to get you to throw them away and replace them. My husband has a jar of Himalayan salt, front of it says "500 years old" back of bottle says "use before 12/1/2017"
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:59 PM
 
5,774 posts, read 3,553,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
me too! I think they just put an expiration date on them to get you to throw them away and replace them. My husband has a jar of Himalayan salt, front of it says "500 years old" back of bottle says "use before 12/1/2017"
That's really funny.

And you are exactly right about the expiration dates. Looking back at the OP, spices from 2011 do not belong in a "history museum." Spices from 2011 are mere children.
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Old 01-29-2016, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
21,789 posts, read 23,142,120 times
Reputation: 46389
I recently found an old bottle of Worcestershire sauce in the depths of my fridge. I have no idea how old it is, but it's not new, and theoretically it's probably okay since it's mostly vinegar. But if I ever have cause to put it in something, I'll probably just buy a new bottle.
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Old 01-29-2016, 02:38 PM
 
5,774 posts, read 3,553,670 times
Reputation: 14572
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleetiebelle View Post
I recently found an old bottle of Worcestershire sauce in the depths of my fridge. I have no idea how old it is, but it's not new, and theoretically it's probably okay since it's mostly vinegar. But if I ever have cause to put it in something, I'll probably just buy a new bottle.
Worcestershire sauce is aged for 18 months before it's even ready to bottle and sell. That stuff will last for years, at least 3-4 years after opening according to this site:

How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last? Shelf Life, Storage, Expiration
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