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iVillage.com: Food Expiration Dates: How Long to Keep Items

Most Dried Ground Spices

Unopened or opened: 2 to 3 years

When it comes to spices, fresh is best, but they should remain flavorful for up to three years. While spices do not spoil, anything older than three years will most likely be lacking in flavor, aroma and health benefits. Store in a cool, dark place away from direct heat or sunlight, closed tightly when not in use. To test when an herb or spice is still potent, rub or crush a small amount in your hand then taste and smell it. If the aroma and flavor is weak, it should be discarded.

(Credit: Stewart Waller/Getty Images)
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