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    GOSPELCLOWN   56,621
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Throwing Out Old Spices and Herbs

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Today, a neighbour dropped off two grocery bags of bottled spices and herbs. One of our local ladies has passed away and the hubby is trying to simplify his kitchen cupboards... that's where the spice bottles came from.

I noticed right away that many of the spices no longer had colour. When I opened the lids, the aroma was gone or smelled musty. How old was this collection?

I went on the Club House website because many of the bottles had those labels. This is what I have been able to glean:

Check for these signs:

All recent Club House packaging reflects the current Club House logo (house with green leaves) as is shown throughout our site.
If your Club House spice bottle is glass, the spice is over 15 years old
If your Club House spice has a yellow cap and label, it is over 4 years old
If your Club House pepper has a white/cream cap, it is over 4 years old
If your Club House tin is larger than 2" tall (excluding ground black pepper), it is over 8 years old
If your Club House product does not have the Club House logo with a red and orange wave in the upper left corner, it is over 4 years old.

Product Expiry Guidelines

Your Club House products will deliver the best flavour if used within these guidelines.

Ground spices - 2 to 3 years
Whole spices - 4 years
Herbs: 1-3 years
Sesame Seeds & Poppy Seeds 2 years
All other Seeds 4 years
Spice Blends: 1-2 years
Pure vanilla extract: unlimited shelf life

How to Maximize Freshness

Spices and herbs that are whole maintain their freshness longer than those that are ground. If kept in airtight bottles, they will keep for a long time. Spices and herbs do not spoil but they do lose their strength. Old and weak seasonings will not deliver the taste they should.

There are three checks to use when verifying freshness: look, smell and taste. A visual check for colour fading is a good indicator of flavour loss. Taste and smell your spices and herbs; if a fresh odour or taste is not apparent, they need to be replaced.

Avoid sprinkling spices directly from the bottle over a steaming pot. Steam will get into the bottle and result in caking the content. Measure spices in a separate bowl, seal bottles and then add measured spices to pot.

Soooooo... I have a collection of 15 year old (or more) spices in the most ancient of bottles with the old labels and old coloured lids. I think I will wash the bottles out and go to my local bulk food store to start over.

Easy come-- easy go!
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVBUG2 2/2/2014 11:54AM

  As I wiped down my much used salt and pepper containers, i decided to checked on the out dated herbs from my cupboard and I was very surprised to find 2/23/11 dated rosemary and cumn, both smells just as fresh as to when I first used them. I thought of my daughter right away, because she NEVER uses anything out dated. but she loves my cooking. emoticon

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MARILYNKNITS 11/19/2011 4:33PM

  I decided to toss my old herbs and spices too. This is what happens when you "lose" them in the back of the cupboard!!

I am going to replace them three at a time - otherwise I'll be broke!

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NOLAZYBUTT110 9/30/2011 4:20PM

    My way of telling if the spices or herbs are ...if they have no aroma, they are over a year old. If they have no taste, they are ready for the trash can! If they have bugs, (and you can even find them in cayenne pepper) you may end up hosting a whole family you dont want to host. Your best bet is...if its over a year old for leaves, toss it! Leave/ herbs lose their potency after one season believe it or not! And dont have much of a taste or aroma. Its usually after the first years season taht herbs and soem spices are nto so good to use, some can even be poisonous. Like Tumeric. If you want to be kosher about it... get rid of all your old spices and herbs after a year! Even tea bags after a year they may be good and they may not be good. It depends how you contain them. If you keep them in plastic they will be iffy after a year. If in glass containers you may get up to 5 years for some teas. Herbs and teas varie for potency. Black versus green. Greener canbe less tasty than dark colored teas ad herbs. Green tea is fresher than black but is only good for the year. After that they may even become filled with bugs (hard to know if their are parasites in somethings espeically teas and spices!

Even though some herbs/Teas are roasted or dried they still can get bugs via the distributors inability to control such via enroute to the stores. If I were you, I would be more incline to toss old spices or teas or at least be careful about some things esp some spices and herbs. You could be asking for troubles and parasites when you dont know how old theya re or how they were contained or their expiration dates.

As for me, I date everything I bring into my house! Your safer to know the date you bought it or at least make sure it has an expiration date on it, because spces and herbs do expire! and can make you sick if you dont know much abitu them. Soem can be even toxic when OLD!LIke Tumeric! Susana

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GOSPELCLOWN 9/29/2011 12:06AM

    I'm a great user of oregano and Mrs. Dash. I love cinnamon and nutmeg. I often make chili so I go to the garlic, cumin and a chili powder.

I cannot use added sodium either, so the herbs and spices are my way of improving flavour.

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KNIT1PURL2LOSE3 9/28/2011 8:43AM

    It's amazing how long people hold onto spices and think they are actually flavoring food. Good for you for checking them out.

I'm in the process of replacing all my spices and herbs (and I use a lot of them!) with organic ones. It's expensive to switch them all over, but I'm going a few at a time. Some I have replaced when they were empty, but others I am tossing out because they are old and it is time to get fresh.

Those of us restricting sodium know how important it is to use a lot of herbs and seasonings to punch up that flavor!

What are some of your favorite and most often used spices and herbs?

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MOTTAMAMALOU 9/27/2011 7:24PM

    Love the tip!

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ROEANDGO 9/27/2011 5:29PM

    Great info! You've inspired me to open my spices and start replacing the ones I use the most. Maybe I'll put them all in a basket and pull out the ones as I use them, test them and replace if needed. Any others will just get tossed. I have some white pepper that has to be 20 years old!

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LAFFLOTS57 9/26/2011 5:14PM

    Good info! I always wondered about spice life.

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PROT358 9/25/2011 11:16PM

    Wow, that is interesting information. We keep using the same old stuff. They quite literally have dust on the tops of them. Well now I can make a compelling argument to get some new spices!

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GOSPELCLOWN 9/25/2011 11:07AM

    Tell your partner to throw out HIS Old Spice too! Haa, haa, haa!

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PANSYLADY2 9/25/2011 9:02AM

    Good information!! I'm glad to see you plan to put those glass spice bottles to good use. (And I love your new quilt background.) Have a great day.

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JUDITH316 9/25/2011 6:18AM

    emoticon for the timely tip, after reading the description above, I can be sure I have heaps of old spices in my spice rack. I threw out some old spices not long ago because when I went to use, the spice didn't look right, and when I smelled the product it sure did not smell pretty. LOL Anyway your post has only reinforced a reminder to clean out my spice rack, no more second guessing for me, I'm also positive that ALL my spices are old in that rack and like you I'm heading to the Bulk Spice section and what I can't get there I'll head over to my trusty dollar store, I can get large bottles of spices for under $3.00, most are between 1 and 2 dollars a bottle.

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_CYNDY55_ 9/25/2011 2:18AM

    emoticon for the Great Info and Tips!!!
I am also Guilty of Keeping old spices!
Right on with the Pure Vanilla Extract!!!!!

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UNICORN212 9/25/2011 1:26AM

    I am guilty of having old spices, too, but I have been trying to replace the worst offenders! At lease you learned something from the experience!

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