Club House for Chefs

Spice Storage Information

  • The freshness of spices and herbs can be maintained longer if they are stored in airtight containers.
  • Keep away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. These elements hasten the loss of flavour and aroma of spices and herbs. Avoid storing over the stove, dishwasher, sink or near a window.
  • Spices should not be stored in the freezer. Freezing does not extend the shelf life of regularly used dried spices and herbs. If stored in the freezer, and repeatedly removed for use, condensation will form in the bottles and accelerate loss of flavour and aroma.
  • Always close spice containers tightly after each use.

General Freshness Guidelines for McCormick Products

Your McCormick 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
    • All other pure and artificial extracts: 4 years
    • Gravy Mixes: 1-2 years
    • Seasoning Mixes/Packets: 1-2 years
    • Batters & Flours: 1-2 years
    • Wet marinades & sauces: 1-2 years

How to Optimize Freshness

  • Spices and herbs that are whole maintain their freshness longer than those that are ground.
  • Spices and herbs do not spoil but they do lose their strength. Old and weak seasonings will not deliver the taste they should.
  • Spices and herbs will keep for a long time if they are stored in airtight bottles. The shelf life of properly stored spices and herbs is approximately 4 years for whole spices, 2-3 years for ground spices and 1-3 years for leafy herbs, depending on the herb.
  • There are three checks to use when verifying freshness--look, smell and taste. A visual check for color 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.
  • Do not sprinkle spices and herbs directly from the bottle over a steaming pot. Steam introduced into the bottle will hasten the loss of flavour and aroma. Steam will also result in caking of contents.
  • Make sure your measuring spoon is completely dry when you dip it into the bottle. Moisture introduced into the bottle will also result in caking and flavour loss.
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