Colourful various herbs and spices for cooking on dark background
Should You Use Expired Spices?
By Cynthia Anaya
Unlike milk or other dairy items, it can be difficult to tell when the spices in your kitchen are past their prime, especially since some types can last up to three or even four years. Once the expiration date passes, it's important to consider a few things before you choose to either throw them out or keep using them.
Most consumers think there's a correlation between food expiration dates and food safety, but the dates generally indicate freshness only, not the risk of food poisoning. When it comes to spices, a better sign that they’re going bad is a deterioration in their aroma and flavor, due to the oxidation of being exposed to oxygen over time.
Although they won’t be as aromatic or flavorful past their expiration date, it’s actually not dangerous to ingest expired spices. It all comes down to the overall quality of the dish you’re working with, and when using expired spices, you may have to add other spices to compensate for the loss of aroma or flavor.