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Do Spices Go Bad? Yes — Here’s How To Tell When To Toss ‘Em


Preparing flavorful meals isn’t possible without herbs and spices. Whether you’re sprinkling dried oregano in tomato sauce or ground cinnamon over sweet potatoes, seasonings are the backbone of every dish. (Fun fact: Cooking with spices can also help lower your blood pressure over time.) It’s easy, though, to lose track of each seasoning’s freshness — you probably use them as needed and put them away without thinking. Butcontrary to popular belief, spices do go bad. Read on to learn how to tell which of your pantry’s current seasonings need to be tossed, and when to toss those that you keep.

Is it safe to use expired spices when cooking?

Good news: Cooking with expired seasonings won’t make you sick — but it will leave your food tasting bland. Exposure to direct light, humidity, and/or oxygen eventually causes dried spices to lose their essential oils, which means they’ll also lose their vibrant flavor and color. You can toast whole spices in a dry pan and ground seasonings in oil to liven up the taste; however, this method should only be used as a last resort, if you can’t buy a fresh bottle right away.

How do you know if spices are too old to use?

If you pour seasonings into separate…

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