How long do spices last? – Cheryl Z.
When I was growing up, my mother kept spices around for decades. She hardly used them and didn’t realize they would lose their punch after awhile. I’ve been guilty of that myself on occasion. But after reading Penzeys Spices Thanksgiving catalog, I know better. Here is what this herb and spice company says:
“The government’s guidelines for freshness dating is four years for whole spices and two years for ground. Some people say six months is the longest spices should be stored, but most spices are harvested only once a year, so it does not make sense to discard them every six months. On the other hand, two years is too long to store finely powdered spices…. When in doubt about a spice, just smell it. If it smells strong and spicy, use it. If not, toss it.”